Last month I downloaded an album by Bow Wow with the extremely promising title "New Jack City II". Well, turns out he obviously did it for the search hits. I was hoping it would be signalling a nascent interest from the hip-hop community in plundering the wonderful R&B era circa 1990, but the album is not very good and has sold badly, plus the actual connection to New Jack Swing is a series of rather old-fashioned Jermaine Dupri productions:
Feel a bit sorry for the tumbling career of a fading rapper who has to release extreme low-budget videos. I guess to be charitable there's a bit of new jack swing in there with the bassline and some of the harmonies, but it's no "Poison".
But maybe there's still a scent in the air that signals new jack swing's return. Especially, it seems, in the metaphorical Baltimore. This track, rather literally, is "Poison" (via):
Bell Biv DeVoe - Poison (Alvaro ft DJ Punish Baltimore Club Edit)
There's something about the natural choppiness of swingbeat, especially when like here combined with that Jam & Lewis sensibility, that lends itself particularly well to Bmore's cut-and-paste techniques. Sure, the breakbeat is an awkward fit here, and the whole thing does gel more Bmore than it does swing, but there's definitely possibilities here.
One novelty reworking does not make a revival, but there's another album coming out this spring with New Jack in the title, also in the Bmore/Brick City fold: DJ Sega's New Jack Philly. I realise after dissing Mad Decent rather badly last post I shouldn't be hyping one of their releases, but this is looking rather good and based on the sample track offered there are definite new jack swing touching points (via):
DJ Sega - Sega's Theme
It needs a few more orchestral hits and a bit more harmony and we'll be there. Here's hoping.
2017 with feeling
1 week ago