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by Mosi Reeves

June 8, 2011

Senior Year, 1990: New Jack House Party

by Mosi Reeves  |  June 8, 2011

Do a little dance y'all! (Like this y'all, like that y'all!) Feel the groove! (I feel it, I feel it now!) Make a little love now! (Ooh, aah, ooh ooh, aah!) This party's at the funhouse, we're rocking high-top fades, Cross Colours tees and high-top Jordans, and the sound is the New Jack Swing.

It's been here since 1987, ever since Teddy Riley dropped a bomb on us with Keith Sweat's "I Want Her" and Kool Moe Dee's "How Ya Like Me Now." And it ain't going nowhere; as Guy's second album title put it, it's The Future. So what if G-funk and boom-bap lie just around the corner, and dudes were about to keep it too real and hardcore to have fun anymore, and soul music was about to get so horny it would make Digital Underground's "Freaks of the Industry" seem as G-rated as Disney's Beauty and the Beast? For now, U can't touch this, even if you rocked a pair of MC Hammer's yellow parachute pants.

And don't even get us started on New Edition. They're straight running things in 1990, whether it's Johnny Gill, Ralph Tresvant or Bell Biv Devoe, who had us on lock with "Poison." And don't forget Bobby Brown ... Cool used to do her, too. Yeah, buddy, you better heed EPMD's warning and watch out for those fly honeys: they might be a "Gold Digger," or may leave you thinking "I Thought It Was Me?!!" like B.B.D. But hey, every guy wants an "Around the Way Girl" like Uncle L, while the ladies just want to "Hold On" to their love like En Vogue. We're conscious enough to keep it Afrocentric, work out the battles between the sexes and build a true Rhythm Nation.

So swing your black medallions and get busy to the sounds of Janet Jackson and Father MC, and an era when R&B and hip-hop still seemed innocent and carefree.

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