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AARON ARADILLAS: 20 years later, a soundtrack that still has JUICE

The first half of the 1990s may be considered by some as being ruled by grunge, but for more enlightened music fans that is simply not the case. Hip-hop and R&B, in particular the New Jack Swing sound of the early ‘90s, has had a profound impact in shaping pop music. Producers like Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis and Teddy Riley modernized the rather quaint sound of R&B with funk rhythms, piano, jazz and break beats, while guys like Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest and The Bomb Squad gave hip-hop a fuller sound – a bass-thumping thickness. Rap and R&B, two genres that had been segregated by class prejudice and musical temperament, were now fused together to create an at once looser and tighter sound. Songs like Johnny Kemp’s "Just Got Paid" or Tony! Toni! Tone!’s "If I Had No Loot" or Michael Jackson’s "Remember the Time" or Schoolly D’s "Am I Black Enough For You?" or Naughty By Nature’s "O.P.P." made you feel as if you were inside the song – as if the greatest block party was boiled down to four minutes of grooves, beats and samples.
  • By Aaron Aradillas
  • |
  • February 18, 2012 6:28 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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