New Jack Swing Music
New jack swing or swingbeat is a fusion genre spearheaded by Teddy Riley and Bernard Belle that became popular from the late 1980s into the mid 1990s. One can describe it as a modern-day upheaval of swing music, sophisticated bubblegum pop, a hip hop vibe in a church scenery or a minimal precursor or second-cousin to 90s dance and house music, the latter partly based on fashion. The genre's run-time spanned from 1986 ("Nasty" by Janet Jackson) to 1995 ("Scream" by Michael and Janet Jackson). Its influence, along with hip hop, seeped into pop culture and was the definitive sound of the inventive black New York club scene. It fuses the rhythms, samples, and production techniques of hip hop and dance-pop with the urban contemporary sound of R&B.
The new jack swing style developed as many previous music styles did, by combining elements of older styles with newer sensibilities. It used R&B style vocals sung over hip hop and dance-pop style influenced instrumentation. The sound of new jack swing comes from the hip hop "swing" beats created by drum machine, and hardware samplers, which were popular during the Golden Age of Hip Hop, with contemporary R&B style singing.
Merriam-Webster's online dictionary defines new jack swing as "pop music usually performed by black musicians that combines elements of traditional jazz, electronica, smooth jazz, funk, rap, and rhythm and blues". Encyclopædia Britannica calls it the "most pop-oriented rhythm-and-blues music since 1960s Motown", since its "performers were unabashed entertainers, free of artistic pretensions; its songwriters and producers were commercial professionals."
New jack swing did not take up the trend of using sampled beats, and instead created beats using the then-new SP-1200 sampler and the Roland TR-808 drum machine to lay an "insistent beat under light melody lines and clearly enunciated vocals." The Roland TR-808 was used to create distinctive, syncopated, swung rhythms, while its snare sounds were also prominent. The key producers were Babyface & L.A. Reid, Bernard Belle, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, and Teddy Riley.
New Jack Swing Music Videos