Black Music Month Spotlight: Stevie J
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on MadameNoire June 19, 2014.
While Stevie J is known for many things these days that aren’t the most positive (including slacking on paying child support, acting the fool on reality TV and being a habitual cheater), his work in music is something he can look back on with pride. He’s behind a slew of classic jams, as he was one of the key in-house producers and writers for Bad Boy Entertainment in the ’90s. What jams you say? Why, take a look…
“Friend Of Mine” by Kelly Price
Stevie J was co-writer and co-producer of this popular track about a downtrodden woman recounting the pain of a trifling friend who stole her man by hopping in the sack with him. The award-winning song went all the way to the top of the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and is one of Price’s biggest hits (for songs she was the main performer on).
“The Things You Do [Bad Boy Remix]” By Gina Thompson feat. Missy Elliott
The original isn’t bad, but the remix is the most well-known version. The remix was bumpin’ beat wise, and it was one of the first times we had the chance to hear Missy do her now trademark “Hee Hee Hee Hee Haw” line. You can thank Stevie for that, because the co-producer on the track reportedly encouraged a then-“Puff Daddy” to let Missy rap on the song. It peaked at #3 on the US Billboard Hot Dance Music charts.
“Honey” by Mariah Carey
Stevie received a Grammy for his contributions to Mariah’s epic Butterfly album, a piece of work that would help make her more noticeable to the hip-hop set thanks to tracks like “Breakdown,” (with Bone-Thugs-N-Harmony) and “Honey.” Mariah and Stevie J would continue working together after the fact, and this is definitely one of their biggest hits.
“Summertime” by Beyoncé feat. Diddy
A playful cut off of The Fighting Temptations soundtrack, Stevie J was co-writer on this track about finding love during the summer. You know, right before cuffing season starts kicking in…
“Breakdown” by Mariah Carey feat. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
Perhaps my favorite song by Carey, Stevie J co-wrote and co-produced the song alongside Puff Daddy (who produced) and Carey (who co-wrote and co-produced). The song went gold and peaked at #4 on the U.S. Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and is a classic.
“Mo’ Money Mo’ Problems” by Notorious B.I.G.
One of BIG’s most popular posthumous singles, Stevie J was a co-writer for the track as well as the producer of it. It is not only just a bangin’ track, but it’s definitely one of the most popular songs in hip-hop, and definitely makes folks want to do the diddy bop whenever it’s played.
“Love @ First Sight” by Mary J. Blige feat. Method Man
It was the song that reunited Mary with Method Man, and though it didn’t go number one on any charts, it charted well all over the world, including Denmark, the UK and Italy. Stevie J produced the intro of the song, which is featured on the album, Love & Life.
“Let Me Blow Ya Mind” by Eve feat. Gwen Stefani
At the time this popular track came to fruition, Eve was still in a relationship with the producer. But he received co-writing credits for the song, while Dr. Dre and Scott Storch took over as producers of the hit. It went on to earn Eve a Grammy for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration.
“Cant Nobody Hold Me Down” by Puff Daddy feat. Mase
This juggernaut of a hit went #1 on the Hot 100, R&B and Rap charts, went four times platinum, and was the debut single for a then-Puff Daddy. Next to Puff’s name in the writing credits is “Steve Jordan,” who is also tagged as a co-producer of the song.
“Can’t Let Her Go” by Boyz II Men
The third single from their Evolution album was unconventional for the group. Quick beat and a lot of dancing–it was like “Motown Philly” all over again! But not really…
Anywho, Stevie is co-producer of the song, alongside Puff Daddy again, and Ron “Amen-Ra” Lawrence.
“Only You” by 112 feat. Notorious BIG
Alongside Diddy for the umpteenth time, Stevie J was a producer on this classic song, which was the debut single for this R&B quartet. The song went number one on multiple charts, including the Hot R&B one, and it charted at #7 on the Hot 100.
“Never Leave You” by Lumidee
“Uh ooooooooooooh!” It was the song of the summer in 2003. And while Stevie didn’t write or produce this one, he used his talents to obtain engineering and mixing credits on the song, which is way too infectious (it’s actually stuck in my head right now…).
“I’ll Be Missing You” by Diddy feat. Faith Evans and 112
Stevie definitely helped Diddy create some his biggest hits during Bad Boy’s golden days. Aside from having a hand in the greatness that was “All About the Benjamins,” Stevie J and Diddy were credited as producers of the epic and uber successful track, “I’ll Be Missing You,” a number put together in honor of the Notorious BIG, who was killed a few months before the song’s release. Not only was it the first rap song to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100, but it still remains as one of the best selling singles of all time.
“Spendin’ Money” by R. Kelly
Way before R. Kelly obtained creep status, he was teaming up with Stevie J (and Puffy on numerous occasions) for this deep cut from the R. album. Steve “Stevie J” Jordan was co-producer and co-writer of the track about Kellz spending hard-earned money on his number one girl…
“You Don’t Have To Worry” by New Edition
Remember when New Edition made that comeback (back when they were all still looking good…and healthy) with the Home Again album in 1996? If you do, you might remember “You Don’t Have To Worry,” which featured Bobby as lead vocalist. Stevie J was the lead producer on the song, which peaked at #7 on both the R&B and Hot Dance Music charts.