Wreckx-N-Effect

Wrecks-N-Effect

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While Keith Sweat was the soul loverman, Bobby Brown the R&B bad boy, and Guy the new jack of all trades, Wrecks-n-Effect was the rap contingent of Teddy Riley's new jack swing juggernaut. And before there was the monster crossover single "Rump Shaker" (with its immodestly fleshy video), there was the somewhat tamer (though still fairly lascivious) pleasures of Wrecks-n-Effect. Lyrically and thematically, this debut recording does not exactly get over on its ambition. Aside from fascinating deviations into hypnotic soul-rap ("Soul Man," with it chant-like overtones) and fusion (the drawn-out jazz keyboards of "Deep" and "V-Man"), the album mostly splits the difference between battle-style boasting ("Leave the Mike Smoking'," a showcase for Aqil Davidson, the trio's primary mic-man), nods to quiet storm R&B (the cornball but somehow endearing, slow-mo sleaze of "Juicy"), and club workouts ("Club Head," "Wipe Your Sweat"). But then, Wrecks-n-Effect wasn't pretending to make anything but good, sweaty, slightly debauched fun, a goal it accomplishes quite wonderfully. This is party-starting and extending music. Still, with the insistent "New Jack Swing" (produced by Riley's brother, Markell), the trio also came up with a call to arms for the then-neophyte genre that was precisely midway between the squelchy funk of the Gap Band and old school rap. It remains arguably the most memorable thing they ever recorded.

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