Those of a certain generation of people who thrive when they hear songs like Boyz II Men’s “Motownphilly” or Tony! Toni! Toné!’s “Feels Good” or Bobby Brown’s “My Prerogative”. There’s an incomparable sense of nostalgia when any song by Guy, Jade, Troop or the iconic Bell Biv DeVoe hits the airwaves. That era of music known as New Jack Swing is the subject of the new six-part podcast series “Jacked: The Rise of New Jack Swing” hosted and produced by Taraji P. Henson. Barry Michael Cooper will serve as a consulting producer. Wondery and Universal Music Group (UMG) will partner to produce the series which will premiere on November 17 on wherever you listen to podcasts.
Jacked will be written by Rico Gagliano and Andy Hermann and focus on the rise and fall of the New Jack Swing genre. The series will focus on the complex relationships of a group of teenagers from Harlem who would create a sound that forever changed music. Told through Wondery’s signature style of immersive, character-driven storytelling, the series will feature dozens of interviews including band members and managers, and extensive music from UMG’s catalog. This marks the first joint project since the previously announced partnership between Wondery and UMG.
New Jack Swing was an innovative fusion of hip-hop and R&B dominated the charts between the golden years of 1987 to 1992. New Jack’s influence can be heard today. In fact, many of today’s artists were shaped by New Jack Swing artists and producers including Teddy Riley, who was a member of the aforementioned band Guy. Despite the popularity of New Jack Swing during its heyday and the lasting influence of its pioneers, few people know the real story behind the music. It’s a seldom-heard story of dashed hopes, jealousy, betrayal, drugs, hip-hop, and rivalries. And it all comes to a head with a fatal shooting during a massive summer concert tour.
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