Sunday, June 22, 2008

One thing I just thought of re. the new jack swing piece: It may be that Public Enemy's greatest sonic impact on black music wasn't on hip-hop or jungle: it was on R&B. New jack swing's clattering beats and textured noisescapes come in large part from the Bomb Squad (and also in large part from Marley Marl). (The Def Jam house style wasn't nearly hectic enough to qualify. It occupied a big, simple sound field, whereas P.E. was jam-packed.) Obviously Teddy Riley had learned a ton from Jam & Lewis as well, not to mention Prince and dozens of other synth-funk merchants. But if Riley changed R&B forever, and he did, that alone would be argument for P.E.'s impact on R&B proper.