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JumpinJack AJ

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Posts posted by JumpinJack AJ

  1. Yes! This is perfect for the end credits. DJ Khaled is mad annoying, so I'm glad that he definitely took a back seat on this.  The music definitely has a late 90's/early 2000's feel to it.  The way he says "never had a friend like me" feels like he borrowed from 2Pac's "Never Had A Friend Like Me." I get the feeling his going to let Aladdin be a vehicle to finally get his own music out.

  2. I can't believe this day has come.  Like, I'm speechless.  Honestly.

    I love the video. It's strange, but I feel like a lot of the things I always imagined about it were actually in the video.  Can you imagine how HUGE this would have been in 1988!?

    Nancy, who on earth are you, other than an angel that has played a role in answering our prayers?  This appears to be from a promo tape. I've heard that the video never aired, but I've also hear that it aired once. Based on the beginning of the video, this definitely looks like it was off of a promo VHS tape? Were you with Jive or part of the team that worked on the video?

    Man, I wish there was a master copy that wasn't victim to VCR tracking and deteriorated tape. The lighting in this looks incredible. The reactions and expressions in this video that are blurred are likely comedic gold.

  3. For those that haven't been following, the Black Eyed Peas have reinvented themselves, going back to their pre-Fergie formula.  BEP followed a formula that stared with two classic Hip-Hop albums, followed by two hugely successful Hip-Hop/Pop album, and then two Hip-Hop laced dance/pop albums.

    I love Fergie, but it looks like her leaving the group has directed them back to their roots. I'd like to think they have a new album coming soon. In the mean time, check out these newer songs, starting with newly released "Constant"


  4. I'm sure many of you have read how Jazz/R&B musician and producer Robert Glasper aired out L-Boogie. This summer she has gotten more complaints regarding her tour practices. Well, she addresses it here... https://medium.com/@Ms.LaurynHill/addressingrobertgalsper-f08c20e02ffe

    I’ve remained patient and quiet for a very long time, allowing people to talk, speculate, and project, while keeping my nose to the grindstone fighting for freedoms many folks aren’t even aware matter. The arrogance of presumption that allows someone to think that they could have all the facts about another person’s life and experience, is truly and remarkably… presumptuous.

    People can sometimes confuse kindness for weakness, and silence for weakness as well. When this happens, I have to speak up.

    I apologize for the delay in getting this posted, I was late in hearing about it. I understand this is long, but my last interview was over a decade ago…

    ‘Addressing Robert Glasper and other common misconceptions about me (in no particular order)’

    By Ms. Lauryn Hill

    -It’s not completely informed, but he’s entitled to his perception. Context certainly helps though.

    -You may be able to make suggestions, but you can’t write FOR me. I am the architect of my creative expression. No decisions are made without me. I hire master builders and masterful artisans and technicians who play beautifully, lend their technical expertise, and who translate the language that I provide into beautifully realized music.

    -These are my songs, musicians are brought in because of the masterful way that they play their instruments. I’m definitely looking for something specific in musicians, and I absolutely do hire the best musicians I can find. Not every band had that particular ‘something’ I was looking for. That doesn’t make them bad musicians, just different than what I needed in that particular moment.

    -The Miseducation was the first time I worked with musicians outside of the Fugees who’s report and working relationship was clear. In an effort to create the same level of comfort, I may not have established the necessary boundaries and may have been more inviting than I should have been. In hindsight, I would have handled it differently for the removal of any confusion. And I have handled it differently since, I’m clear and I make clear before someone walks in the door what I am and am not looking for. I may have been inclusive, but these are my songs.

    -I have come across the occasional musician who thinks they already know what I want, feelings and egos can be easily bruised when you tell them they actually don’t. I am never trying to intentionally hurt anyone’s feelings btw, but when people insist that they know you and don’t, you may have to be equally as firm to demonstrate otherwise.

    -I am paying for a service, and looking for something SPECIFIC, which isn’t up to someone else’s interpretation or opinion. I have my own idea of what works for me. That shouldn’t offend.

    -And I definitely don’t like to fire anyone. It did take me meeting a lot of people over a number of years to find the right musicians, but my current band has been with me for a long time, the newest members probably 2/3 years, some as long as 7/8 years now. I was looking for a similar natural chemistry with new musicians that I’d had with the Fugees and Miseducation bands. I’d literally grown up with some of those musicians. That isn’t easy to find.

    -In 2008, I had only a young man helping me and my Mother, after disbanding my former support staff. No idea why any musician would have had knowledge of what I was being paid, not sure what he’s saying is accurate. Don’t have the details or recollection of cutting the band’s pay in half. If fees had been negotiated and confirmed without my knowledge, I may have asked for them to be adjusted. But I would never just cut a musician’s pay arbitrarily unless I had a legitimate reason. There are artists who do cut pay though, James Brown was notorious for docking musicians if they did something he didn’t like, I’m sure there are others.

    -It was necessary for me to reestablish trust and cultivate a new environment. I was looking to challenge myself artistically. I was also openly challenging music industry norms. I’d left ‘the machine’. With ‘it’ went some polish, but the cause we were fighting for, creative integrity, was worth far more than a little polish to me.

    -When you’re a popular artist or public figure, people can sometimes forget that you’re hiring them to perform a service, and that you’re not the one there to entertain THEM. I didn’t scream or yell. Maybe I didn’t provide the experience that a musician may have wanted or expected during that time, but I was straight-forward, direct, and about the business at hand.

    -Making my art is a labor of Love, but it’s still labor, and can be labor-intensive at that. If a musician was looking for a cushy job filled with the same trappings I was purposely weaning myself from, we wouldn’t have been on the same page anyway. Make no mistake, addiction is a common snare laid to dismantle the integrity of artists. My environment, at that time, operated more like a rehabilitation clinic than an after-party.

    -I don’t think most people, perhaps not even some celebrated artists, are aware of the battle it takes to be an artist and remain true to what you really think. I don’t even ‘practice’ small talk, so I’m never confused with someone who can be seduced. There are traps all around, what could look like a successful career in entertainment today, could be an addictive lifestyle of convenience attempting to control you tomorrow. I set the tone with every band that working for fame and accolades is a different walk than fighting for personal integrity and making art that doesn’t compromise itself for money.

    -I’m confused as to why such a principled musician, who thought I ‘stole’ from his friends, would show up to work for me anyway. If that was hypocrisy or opportunism instead of genuine interest, it would further explain why an artist would feel the need to put his or her guard up.

    -No matter how incredible the musicians who play with me are, MY name is on the marquee. The expectation to make it all come together is on me. The risk and the financial losses are on me. Hence, MY VIBE, though not the only consideration, is the priority. Few people actually know what this road is like, but many want to judge and comment, having never done it. Try doing what I’ve done yourself. If nothing else, you will gain some insight into and respect for my process.

    -During the time in question, I also believe I was playing a lot of new music with controversial content. FOR ME, rehearsal was about readying myself for the battle I knew I was entering into for simply not allowing a system to pimp me. If I was on edge, I had good reason to be.

    -Perhaps my seriousness and militancy in the face of tremendous resistance was misinterpreted as meanness, or that I was unloving or uncaring, when my true intent was to protect. I wouldn’t be the first Black person accused of this. I don’t think of Harriet Tubman’s skills as those of a hostess, but rather her relentless dedication to helping people who wanted out of an oppressive paradigm. #IGETOUT

    -People also unwilling to ‘play the game’ might have found that environment refreshing. Straight talk isn’t devoid of Love, it’s just devoid of bullsh#t.

    -And just to clear up an old urban legend that somehow people still believe, I do not hate white people. I do, however, despise a system of entitlement and oppression set up to exploit people who are different. I do loathe the promotion and preservation of said system at the expense of other people, and the racist and entitled attitudes it gives rise to. The lengthy history of unfairness and brutality towards people of color, especially Black people, has not been fully acknowledged or corrected. The expectation is for us to live with abuse, distortion, and deliberate policies, meant to outright control and contain us — like we’re not aware of our basic right to freedom. I resist and reject THESE ideas completely. Like many Black people, I work to reconcile my own generational PTSD. I do my best to Love, pursue freedom in body, Spirit and mind… and to confront. To repress everything in the name of ‘getting along’ is to deny our right to healing. It’s an ugly, distorting and complicated history at best. We’ve been shaped by it for better or worse. I just choose not to pretend that it’s not there in order to maintain public approval and gain economic advantage. My true white friends and colleagues and I discuss these schemes and machinations, and the distrust that people of color would naturally have toward such a system and towards those who agree with it. We don’t run from those conversations, we run into them, which is why I can call them friends and colleagues. Within these relationships I can be my complete self, and not a splintered individual/soul repressing the truth about generations and generations of abuse.

    -There were lots of issues both personal and in the world of entertainment during that period that needed resolve. I was definitely going through a significant transition. I no longer felt safe.

    -There’s an entire album about that, it’s documented and called Lauryn Hill MTV Unplugged. For some, the Unplugged album provided useful insight during dark times, gave important context on some real but hidden issues, and helped people going through personal struggles, because I’d exposed myself in such a raw and vulnerable state.

    -Who are you to say I didn’t do enough? Most people are probably just hearing your name for the first time because you dropped MINE in an interview, controversially. Taking nothing away from your talent, but this is a fact.

    -The Miseducation was my only solo studio album, but it certainly wasn’t the only good thing I did.

    -I was also a member of the Fugees, another groundbreaking, multi-platinum selling group, who bridged social and cultural gaps, and were ambassadors of hip-hop all around this planet. We laid important groundwork upon which an entire generation of artists and musicians still stand. We broke through conventions and challenged limited world views every time we played.

    -The song To Zion gave encouragement to women during challenging pregnancies. There are children who were given a chance at life because their Mothers experienced moral and emotional support through this song.

    -What about the image of Black women in hip hop? When exposure and sexualization of the Black female body was the standard, SOMEONE stood up and represented a different image entirely, giving a generation of young women options and alternatives of self-representation. #AMNESIA

    -And let’s not forget that I am a mother of 6…

    -Not only have I been instrumental in pushing forward the culture of live music in hip-hop for decades now, but I’ve been traveling with and employing a large band for many years, despite the economic challenges in doing so. Others have followed in my footsteps, seeing the value of live music.

    -Show me an artist working now who hasn’t been directly influenced by the work I put in, and I’ll show you an artist who’s been influenced by an artist who was directly influenced by the work that I put in. I was and continue to be a door opener, even if the blind don’t see it, and the prideful are too proud to admit it. I lived this, you watched this and heard about it.

    -97.9 The Box, feel free to not play my music if you agree that ‘I haven’t done enough.’

    -I never told anyone not to look me in the eye, that may have been something someone said assuming what I wanted. However, I would understand why an artist would say that. It’s about reaching a level of vulnerability while making or playing your art, and not wanting to worry about being examined while you’re in that process.

    -There are plenty of people, I’m sure, who THINK they know me. This can happen when you do anything that people Love or feel they can relate to. Their perception of me, however, doesn’t make it my reality. Sister Act II is a movie. Rita Watson is a character I played…in a movie, for those confusing that with real life.

    -And yes, Ms. Hill was absolutely a requirement. I was young, Black and female. Not everyone can work for and give the appropriate respect to a person in that package and in charge. It was important, especially then, for that to be revealed early.

    -I adore Stevie, and honor Herbie and Quincy, who are our forebears, but they’re not women. Men often can say ‘I want it done like this’ and not be challenged. The same rules don’t always apply for women who may be met with resistance. When this happens you replace that player with someone who respects you and the office you hold.

    -My approach to making music is non-traditional, possibly non-linear, and more a product of my heart, soul, and experience gained through doing, than something I was taught in a formal school setting. Not much different than the genre of hip-hop itself.

    -I never held myself out as some accomplished guitar player, I play to articulate better to seasoned players what I want. It’s an instrument I learned without any real lessons or instruction. I play in an unorthodox manner and use it as a writing tool. Couldn’t or didn’t tune my own guitar? That sounds like an assumption.

    -I take rehearsal seriously, I take performance seriously, I take my art seriously. My particular preparation process suits me. To each his or her own. My goal is to feel confident and free on stage.

    -I don’t think my process is for everyone, which is why band selection is so important. It’s not just about how well someone plays, but also their attitude. I’m not offended when people say it’s not for them, no more than they should be offended when I say this doesn’t work for me.

    -Auditioning, btw, may have nothing to do with how good a musician is. If a musician isn’t accomplished, he or she wouldn’t have been called. An audition or meeting could be about whether we vibe well, whether they understood my particular musical vernacular or direction at the time. I could have a jazz beast on keys, who couldn’t necessarily play reggae or some other musical style I also incorporated into my performances.

    -My sound is eclectic, I’ve been influenced by a wide variety of music. Like language, music isn’t always easily translatable. Someone could be a great player, but lack the ability to capture the feel or groove of a particular style.

    -I’m attracted to musicians that are open and excited to try new things. When people think they already know what needs to be known, and aren’t interested in exploring what I’m into, that’s fine, but it doesn’t work for my band.

    -A fair weather band is a complete impracticality, a liability even. I’m expected, through my art, to pour out the depths of my soul. Some days that’s easier than others. If the crew of people supporting me aren’t built for that walk, they shouldn’t be there. #Realtalk. Some people vibe well together, some don’t. It’s ok. Ignorant patriarchy is a b#tch though,

    I could speak volumes…

    -My standards are too high, and my process too idiosyncratic, not to work with people who really want to be there. When I don’t have that, I keep searching until I find them.

    -I remix my songs live because I haven’t released an album in several years. There’s a ton of backstory as to why, but there’s no way I could continue to play the same songs over and over as long as I’ve been performing them without some variation and exploration. I’m not a robot. If I’d had additional music out, perhaps I would have kept them as they were. I didn’t, so I revise and rearrange them according to what I’m feeling in that moment. This way, my performances are heartfelt and authentic, not me just going through the motions. I can’t imagine why that would be a foreign concept to anyone who appreciates jazz.

    -And the myth that I’m not allowed to play the original versions of my songs is…a myth (anyone who’s seen my current show knows this).

    -There can also be an energetic or emotional transference when I perform, and it can be heavy/weighty at times. As an artist, I’m tasked with bringing a different vibration into the space that transcends this. Not an easy gig but an important one. I can imagine there are people who value this process and don’t mind waiting a little if it means experiencing something inspired.

    -Me being late to shows isn’t because I don’t respect my fans or their time, but the contrary, It can be argued that I care too much, and insist on things being right. I like to switch my show up regularly, change arrangements, add new songs, etc. This often leads to long sound checks, which leads to doors opening late, which leads to the show getting a late start. This element of perfectionism is about wanting the audience to experience the very best and most authentic musical experience they can from what I do.

    -I reject being pigeonholed or pinned down by someone else’s uninformed concept of me. I’m my own person, free to explore my potential like everyone else.

    - Where I am in one chapter of my life isn’t necessarily where I’ll be in the next chapter. I reserve the right to be an honest artist in those moments and not a fabrication, fake or phony version of myself, because that’s what someone else likes.

    -I don’t owe anyone self-repression. Some fans will grow with me, some won’t and that’s ok.

    -Life is to be lived, it’s not a full-time performance you put on for others, so people won’t have bad things to say about you in interviews.

    -Hip-hop was born through people who didn’t necessarily have traditional musical training, the best tools, and in some cases even instruments, but found a way to express themselves despite that. My art exists because it has a will to exist, like hip hop.

    -The album inspired many people, from all walks of life, because of its radical(intense) will to live and to express Love. I appreciate everyone who was a part of it, in any and every capacity. It wouldn’t have existed the way that it did without the involvement, skill, hard work, and talents of the artists/musicians and technicians who were a part of it, but it still required my vision, my passion, my faith, my will, my soul, my heart, and my story.

  5. I don't know if this article is important, but it's kinda interesting.


    Are Rap Albums Really Getting Longer?

    How the lengths of popular hip-hop records have shifted across the last 30 years.

    Graphics by Patrick Jenkins

    Lists & Guides

    July 27 2018

    So far, 2018 has been dominated by a seemingly endless run of huge rap records with intimidatingly long tracklists and runtimes: Eminem, Migos, Post Malone, G-Eazy, and Drake have all held the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s Top Rap Albums chart this year with LPs that include at least 18 tracks and run for more than an hour. The apparent trend has been met with critics decrying the deluge as a crass way to game streaming numbers. Then Kanye West, ever the contrarian, went against the grain by releasing a run of conspicuously brief G.O.O.D. Music albums that all clocked in at under 30 minutes. It all made us wonder: Are rap albums really getting longer? To investigate, we compared the runtimes and number of tracks of the Top 20 rap albums on Billboard’s year-end charts from the past 30 years.


    Our data begins in 1988, the first year Billboard’s year-end Top R&B Albums chart featured at least 20 rap albums. At this point, hip-hop was evolving from a singles-oriented genre into an album-oriented one, with full-lengths like Public Enemy’s It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (58 minutes; 16 tracks), EPMD’s Strictly Business (44 minutes; 10 tracks), and rap’s first double album, DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince’s He’s the D.J., I’m the Rapper (72 minutes; 17 tracks) among the year’s most popular rap records. But overall, the biggest hip-hop albums of 1988 were decidedly succinct compared to what would come later, with the average runtime at about 49 minutes, and the average number of tracks at around 12. And, as always, format played a role: Most people in the late ’80s were buying cassettes, and ingrained limitations including the modest capacity of physical media helped keep runtimes in check.

    The shortest popular rap album of the late ’80s was Brooklyn MC Dana Dane’s Dana Dane With Fame, which managed to pack all of its goofiness and dark humor into 37 minutes of breezy rhymes and beats. On the other hand, the longest was As Nasty as They Wanna Be by 2 Live Crew—18 tracks and 79 minutes worth of horny, bass-heavy party music, with each of the four members getting their own tape side. While As Nasty as They Wanna Be’s commercial success was partially due to the censorship controversy that surrounded it—the album was ruled obscene by a federal judge, making it illegal in parts of Florida for almost two years—it also helped pave the way for more lengthy, bawdy rap albums.


    As the ’90s progressed, both the average number of tracks and average album runtimes for the biggest rap records increased sharply. This trend peaked in 1998, when hip-hop albums ballooned to an all-time high of about 75 minutes and 20 tracks long. The popularity of star-stuffed movie soundtracks like 1994’s Above the Rim (77 minutes; 18 tracks) and 1998’s Master P comedy I Got The Hook-Up (78 minutes; 21 tracks), along with cinematic double albums from 2Pac, the Notorious B.I.G., and Wu-Tang Clan contributed to the decade’s bulge.

    The ’90s also marked the golden era of the CD, which allowed artists to create longer albums without worrying about having to flip over a cassette or vinyl record. CD players also allowed people to flick between songs with ease, making gargantuan tracklists feel more manageable and encouraging artists to take more of a something-for-everyone approach. The longest album this decade was Scarface’s 1998 feature- and filler-packed opus My Homies, lasting 136 minutes.


    After rapid growth in the ’90s, rap album lengths stayed high throughout the first 10 years of the 21st century. In fact, hip-hop records were never longer than they were that decade, when the average popular album ran for about 17 tracks and 67 minutes. It felt like every rapper was trying to make their feature-length statement around this time, even as the popularity of MP3s rose, and the music industry went through a tech-addled tailspin. Album lengths were evolving faster than the physical media that supported them, resulting in many albums being released on double CDs. There was OutKast’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (135 minutes; 39 tracks), UGK’s Underground Kingz (129 minutes; 29 tracks), and JAY-Z’s The Blueprint 2: The Gift and the Curse (112 minutes; 25 tracks), to name a few. Even Nas, whose 10-track, 40-minute 1994 debut Illmatic is often held up as a model of concision, got in on the extravagance, releasing his longest-ever album, the 87-minute Street’s Disciple, in 2004.

    But as rap vets were stretching out their creativity during this time, some younger stars were compressing hip-hop in new ways. The shortest popular rap album of the 2000s was 13-year-old Lil Bow Wow’s Beware of Dog, which lasted only 11 tracks and 34 minutes. Meanwhile, newcomers like Lil Jon and Soulja Boy achieved some of the first viral internet hits with quick, catchy hooks and even quicker ringtones, which became a billion dollar business dominated by rap music in 2007. This shifted the focus of the genre away from albums, and back towards the success of singles.


    Average album track lengths and runtimes dipped slightly in the early 2010s before steadily increasing over the last few years, as hip-hop/R&B became the most popular genre in America. Meanwhile, with the rise of streaming this decade, the average number of tracks has grown, from about 15 in 2010 to 17.5 last year. This could be because streaming services incentivize artists and labels to pad track listings in hopes of capitalizing on these platforms’ click-based monetization systems. The expansion of hip-hop’s cultural footprint has also played a part: The longest popular rap album this decade was the 2015 cast recording for the wildly successful Broadway musical Hamilton (142 minutes; 46 tracks).

    That said, the 15 albums that have reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Rap Albums chart in 2018 have had less tracks and significantly shorter runtimes on average compared to records from the previous three years. So for every extravaganza like Migos’ Culture II (105 minutes; 24 tracks) or Drake’s Scorpion (90 minutes; 25 tracks), there are more modest statements including J. Cole’s KOD (42 minutes; 12 tracks), Jay and Bey’s Everything Is Love (38 minutes, nine tracks), and Kanye’s Ye (23 minutes, seven tracks). This current disparity likely stems from artists and labels’ uncertainty about how to best utilize the freedoms associated with streaming, where the technologically imposed time limits of CDs and cassettes no longer apply. And if the wide range of this year’s runtimes tells us anything, it’s that rappers are still figuring out how to best navigate this latest technological turn.

  6. I was at work yesterday when he posted this. I had to leave the office and give it a listen.  I love it. He left the beat smokin' . Like the songs on Lost + Found, he doesn't waste a single lyric. Everything he spits, he spits for a reason. No filler lyrics. With mainstream music being nothing but paid commercial time, this is the perfect way for him to re-introduce himself musically and get attention without being a partly under-the-radar independent artist or a record label pawn.  I will say I'm not a fan of hearing FP cuss on a song, but he's not overdoing it, or for the sake of getting a PA sticker. I just hope it's not prominent in the new music. He built his career on being selective for what he says, so it's going to disappoint a few people. 

  7. I have been enjoying M3, but it's not the kind of album that I listen to non-stop for days. The musicians that make up The Playlist are incredibly talented. I think Rhymefest, Dayne Jordan, and Uhmeer are crazy talented, though I do wish there was more variety when it comes to the emcees on the album. 2 Step, Child of God, Stronger Than Me, Wide Awake, Skater's Paradise, and the Outro are my personal favorites.

    THE ALBUM IS GETTING A PHYSICAL RELEASE. I had a feeling it would. You can pre-order on Jeff's website: http://www.djjazzyjeff.com/shop/.

    I really wanted it on CD, which they don't sell separately, so I ended up getting the package with the Deluxe 12″ 2 LP Gatefold Vinyl Edition (signed), the #M3 T-Shirt, the USB, and the CD, plus the Chasing Goosebumps double vinyl. I actually already have Chasing Goosebumps. I kinda wish they'd let me trade that for ANY other vinyl in his store because I don't think I have any of it, other that The Magnificent Instrumental, but the copy I have skips. I was also kind of bummed because I had a 15% off coupon code from a previous purchase that didn't work.


  8. Terry, Cindy, and (now with) Rhona are back!

    En Vogue Is Back with a New Album & Sound

    The award-winning R&B group on their decades-long career, the one ’90s trend they’ll never wear again, and their upcoming tour.

    Photography: Tristan Kallas

    “Oh my gosh, we’ve been making music from analog to digital recording,” Cindy Herron giggles as I ask her how things have changed for her and fellow En Vogue-ers Terry Ellis and Rhona Bennett over their 27-year-long career. We’re in the penthouse suite at The Jeremy in West Hollywood, the sun is setting, and the “Don’t Let Go” vocalists are wrapping up a day of back-to-back press. With 20 million records sold to date under their belts, En Vogue is about to release their seventh studio album, Electric Café—their first in 14 years—on April 6th, and are embarking on a European tour early next month.

    You would never know they’ve been up since dawn by the way they work the camera. But, then again, with a thriving career that spans over two decades and one that’s racked up countless accolades, they quite literally are the ~definition~ of pros. As the golden hour faded and we snapped our final shots, I sat down with the R&B group to talk about their new sound, how they’re prepping for their international tour, and their personal style.


    en vogue
    en vogue

    On their new evolved sound:

    Terry Ellis: “Initially our album was going to be EDM-inspired. But as we got into the studio [and] we started to create, the sounds just started to evolve. We started with Denzel Foster and Thomas McElroy—the original founders and producers of the group. The through line is definitely the En Vogue signature sound, but you’ve got some punk soul now. We’ve got regular straight up and down R&B, we’ve got some EDM twinges. There’s an eclectic blend of sound right now. Each time we went into the studio we’d say, ‘One more song.’ Finally landed on a ‘Rocket’—we were like, ‘It’s time to take off.’”

    What it was like creating the “Rocket” video:

    Rhona Bennett: “It was really great. We worked with the director Damien Sandoval. And we were out in El Mirage dry-lake desert.”

    CH: “We got there just before sun-up. It was freezing [Laughs]. We got into hair and makeup, and then we got out there, and the sun was hot. It was a really great experience and something new for us. Damien, the director, used a drone. He was just standing there playing with it like a kid, but he was getting these amazing shots. We’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, video-making has changed [Laughter].’”


    en vogue

    How the industry has changed over the years:

    CH: “Oh my gosh, we’ve been making music from analog to digital recording. There weren’t that many record companies [in the ’90s].

    TE: “Of course cassettes are out of the door [Laughs].”

    RB: “Vinyl is coming back.”

    TE: “There are no record stores anymore. The tools: auto-tune, the way you record, the sounds that you can put on your recording while you record, sending it to Melodyne—it can sing for you now, it can change your vibrato. It can straighten your note…”

    RB: “Although we don’t use those.”


    CH: “Thank goodness we all came up old-school, so if you need to go in there and earn a note, we can go in there and earn a note.”

    TE: “Also social media—it allows you to stay directly in touch with your fans and be more accessible, which is really cool.”

    en vogue
    en vogue
    en vogue

    Their tour essentials:

    [in unison] “Alkaline water [Laughter].”

    CH: “Veggies; having a veggie plate.”

    TE: “Makeup remover towelettes.”

    RB: “Workout clothes, so that we can work out. And that’s pretty much it. And trying to get some sleep—it’s a luxury.”

    Favorite way to chill out and unwind:

    RB: “I’m going to take myself to dinner. I love taking myself out to a nice dinner when I’ve been working. There’s a bomb sushi spot near my house. I have my palate worked up for it.”

    Their pre-show rituals:

    TE: “We pray and we vocalize. Before we go onstage, we tell each other to go out and have fun with your friends.”


    en vogue
    en vogue

    How would you describe your style:

    RB: “I wear a lot of black. I wear jeans and combat boots and my jewelry. I wear my gemstones—I love what they represent. Whatever I see in them, that’s what they remind me of. And so that’s what inspires in me.”

    TE: “I’m a moody dresser. It fluctuates. But my general attire usually is a baseball cap, blue jeans, white t-shirt, and some Converse tennis shoes.”

    CH: “When I’m at home and in town, you can catch me on almost any day in workout clothes. Because I’ll go to the gym in the morning, and then I kind of just stay in those clothes all day, just running errands and doing stuff. I stay in them all day [Laughs].”

    The look from their past they are retiring for good:

    TE: “Yes. Biker shorts. [Laughter]. There is a video of us when we performed at Oprah Winfrey’s show, and the style at that time was very tailored fitted jackets and biker shorts. I don’t even know how, to this day, that was in style, but we have this look, and it’s on video. And I would never, ever do that again.”


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