Okay, this weeks Black on Red Special takes it back to the early 90's for some hip-hop/soul. This is the sound of the Back Bar of Sir Henrys in the 90's and it's known variously as New Jack Swing/Street Soul/Urban or what many people in Cork call "Back Bar Choons".
At the time hip-hop on both coasts was becoming more and more macho and aggressive until a few of the best artists and producers started working with some r&b and soul singers. Mary J Blige hooked up with Pete Rock, Grand Puba and Biggie, SWV and Wrexx n Effect got a hold of Teddy Riley while Zhane used the same producer as Naughty by Nature (Kay Gee).
Looking at it now it seems so simple. Sing some r&b over a hip-hop beat and get the best of both worlds. It provided hip-hop with a less macho and more soulful angle while adding street credibility to an 80's soul scene that was at times drifting into blandness. This resulted in some great artists and it helped propel hip-hop and urban music into the mainstream like never before.
Artists such as TLC, Mary J Blige, En Vogue, Brownstone, R Kelly and Blackstreet became massively successful while a group of younger artsits like Usher, Brandy, Jermaine Dupri, Aaliyah and Monica became major stars.
Cork was one of the very first cities outside the US to embrace this sound and the Back Bar of Sir Henrys was undoubtably the most upfront club night in the country breaking this new music every week.
Besides the well known stuff there was incredible music emerging by Erykah Badu, 702, Eric Benet, Raphael Saadiq, Groove Theory, Beverly Knight, Horace Brown, Veba and lots lots more. Some of the best hip-hop artists and producers (Tribe, De La Soul, Biggie, Dre, Nas, 2 Pac, Wu Tang etc etc) started working with some of these r&b stars and hip-hop itself blew up even more.
For many it become to big and hip-hop heads all over the world complained that their precious music was now being listened to by their little sisters and was watered down. It was however the first time that hip-hop artists were receiving their due reward however and even the most cynical will have to admit to the relevance of artists such as Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu and Jill Scott.
Hip-hop-Soul offered a new lease of life to veterans such Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan and the previously obscure Angie Stone while even now youngsters such as Mario and Jo-Jo have got major footholds in the industry. On Saturday i'll be playing the best of quality hip-hop/soul. It happens between 9 and 10PM.
This is still the sound of Black on Red and Jam and throughout therest of the show (7-9PM) i'll be playing the hottest new hip-hop, soul and r&b tracks.
Okay way back when i did this mix initially i hadn't yet got to grips with the music specials but this week i've done a nice hip-hop/soul mix which will go out on Saturday night on Black on Red. www.redfm.ie
Gina Thompson/Missy Elliot-The Things You Do
Total feat Biggie-Can't You See
Case feat Foxy Brown-Touch Me, Tease Me
Aaliyah-If Your Girl Only Knew (Remix)
Trina Broussard-Love You So Much
Usher-Thinking of You
Isyss feat Jadakiss-Day & Night
Deborah Cox-Up & Down
En Vogue-Hold on
SWV-I'm So Into You (Remix)
Montell Jordan feat LL Cool J-Get it On Tonite
Lucy Pearl-Dance Tonight (remix)
Sweet Sable-Tonight's the Night
Yasmeen feat Ghostface Killah-Blue Jeans
Swing 52-Colour of My Skin (Soul mix)