Nowadays, Hip-hop and R&B are intrinsically connected, rap songs regularly feature soulful hooks over samples and nearly all pop songs have an MC do a verse, but in the late-1980s and early-1990s, the fusion of jazz, R&B, and rap over “swinging” drum machine samples was known as the phenomenon as New Jack Swing.
It was a sensation, I thought it had pervaded the culture enough that a quiz called “How Well Do You Know New Jack Swing?” But no one knows anything about it! So here’s my dumbed down, easy version of the quiz.
1. Which of the following was NOT a member of New Edition?
A. Michael Bivins
B. Bobby Brown
C. Johnny Gill
D. Montell Jordan
Still too hard? Come on!
2. The correct name of this seminal New Jack Swing group is _____.
A. Tony! Tony! Tony!
B. Tony! Tonee! Toe-knee!
C. Tony! Toni! Toné!
D. Tonee! Toneee! Toneeee!
None of this makes sense to you, does it? Look, there was once a group called Tony! Toni! Toné! That’s who I was referring to. Go ahead, circle B. This will be a free space.
3. Color Me Badd were featured on which 90s Fox show?
A. The Simpsons
B. The X-Files
C. Married… With Children
D. Beverly Hills 90210
I hope you guessed the teen drama since it was the perfect venue for a stylish boy band. Not the animated show or the Alien-hunting FBI agents.
4. The term “New Jack Swing” was coined in a profile of Teddy Riley in this now-defunct New York Alternative paper.
A. The New York Times
B. The New York Daily News
C. The New York Post
D. The Village Voice
Didn’t you look at context clues? Even if you’ve never heard of this fusion of hip-hop and R&B, didn’t “Defunct,” “Alternative paper” tell you anything? Alright, I’ll make it easier.
5. Bobbi Brown’s “On Our Own” was featured on the soundtrack to this 1989 spooky comedy sequel.
B. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
C. Ghostbusters II
D. Back to the Future II
6. New Jack Swing is a genre of music.
True or False.
Oh, now it’s too easy?
7. In a drastic career change, famed Singer/Producer Raphael Saadiq founded a video game studio, IllFonic. IllFonic is best known for developing this 2017 survival horror game, based on a long-running horror movie franchise.
B. Friday the 13th
Got that one, didn’t you? Nerd.
8. Kenneth Brian Edmunds got this stage name because of his youthful, babyish face.
B. Al B. Sure
C. Heavy D
D. Keith Sweat
I’ll take this seriously when you take this seriously. You think writing quizzes is easy?
9. This King of Pop’s record, “Dangerous,” is the best selling New Jack Swing album of all time selling 30 million copies.
Hint: His sister, Janet Jackson’s album, Control was considered the first breakthrough New Jack Swing record.
A. Michael Jackson
Interesting, huh? I was going to put in the stuff about the child molestation accusations, but you got it without that, right? Congrats.
10. Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis wrote songs for the following artists:
A. Morris Day and the Time (It’s going to be all of the above.)
C. Ralph Tresvant
E. All of the Above.
It was all of the above.
Score: Everyone gets an D+ for getting this far.