Get those rump shakers ready. Teddy Riley is coming to the 2015 Allstate Tom Joyner Family Reunion after rocking the boat on The Fantastic Voyage this year. The creator of New Jack Swing who has made many of the 90’s hits we all know and love was also in the groups Guy and Blackstreet.
One of his biggest hits was “Just Got Paid” with the recently deceased singer Johnny Kemp, a song that became the Friday payday anthem for many.
“Our last performance was a week and a half before the cruise. I showed him that vision and when he saw it in Brooklyn, he said he was coming. It’s so crazy because he said [at first] he didn’t want to come, I guess he was feeling something,” Riley says. “Johnny Kemp knew me since I was 15 years old.
We used to perform in all the nightclubs [ in different bands]. I did ‘Just Got Paid’ when I was about 19, 20. We had that one song that we could have put on the Guy album or the Keith Sweat album. Johnny came along and we said ‘That’s our boy. We gotta give him that record. We didn’t know it was a hit, but we knew it was a party record. Johnny Kemp came and he brought the life to it. ”
All of Riley’s early hits were created in his first floor Harlem apartment, where a Mrs. Black was extremely upset about the amount of noise they made.
“She would bang on the pipes and tell us to turn the music down,” he laughs. “If she came downstairs I was going to sic my momma on her.”
Despite the sadness of Kemp’s tragic passing, Riley is heading to The Tom Joyner Family Reunion in Orlando September 3-7.
“I’ve got more than what was on the cruise coming,” Riley says. “Me and your team is putting everything together. We’re trying to show the vision of New Jack Swing – of what it was and what it is now. So get ready, get ready, get ready. I’m so honored to have finally made it!”
Performing at the ‘Fantastic Voyage’ had it’s own special set of challenges. Riley’s show went on in the wee hours on board, but it was still standing room only.
“It was two o’ clock in the morning. That was like the challenge of a lifetime. I’ve never performed after 12 ‘o clock. But it was so incredible. It was amazing seeing these zombies turn into a party,” Riley said. “Man, they were partying. These people were going at it.”
Despite the time, Riley performed for two hours. And he promises to do the same at the Family Reunion.
“We’ve got to give them a show. I want people to say ‘New Jack Swing’ we need that back.”
As Riley would say ‘Yup yup!”
Click the link above to hear the entire interview!