A majority of the music we were jamming to in the late ’80s and early ’90s we can thank Teddy Riley for. One of the big New Jack Swing producers of the time, Riley made hits for all your favorite artists. Jams for Heavy D. “Remember The Time” for Michael Jackson? Yeah, that was him. He also collaborated with Jay Z (“City is Mine”). And it should be known that all Guy songs and Blackstreet jams (“No Diggity” anyone?) were brought to fruition with the help of Riley. He’s a genius really. And while we knew he was behind some major hits, there are others we found out about that surprised us, like the following songs:
“It’s In The Mornin'” by Robin Thicke feat. Snoop Dogg
The song, off of Thicke’s Sex Therapy: The Session album 2009), was probably the biggest hit on the CD next to the song the album is named after. It was the anthem for those who enjoy fooling around first thing in the morning.
“Make It Last Forever” by Keith Sweat
One of Sweat’s biggest hits, Riley produced the song, which peaked at #59 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song has been sampled by just about everyone over the years, including Joe and Mariah Carey (“Thank God I Found You”) and T.I. (“Collect Call”).
I Like The Way (The Kissing Game) by Hi-Five
With the help of Riley’s production, “I Like The Way” was a #1 pop and R&B single and is the track Hi-Five is best known for. Riley also co-wrote and mixed the song, which came out back in ’91.
Right Here (Human Nature Mix)
The original song was produced by Brian Alexander Morgan, but the remix, known as “Right Here/Human Nature,” was a #1 R&B single that spent a whopping 54 weeks on the charts. Surprisingly, SWV stated earlier this year that they weren’t that crazy about the remix, which is a fan favorite.
“Just Got Paid” by Johnny Kemp
It’s the theme song for those glorious pay day Fridays, and was written and produced by Riley (Aaron Hall, Gene Griffin and Kemp also helped pen the track). The song was originally intended for Keith Sweat, but when he passed on it, it became Kemp’s signature jam. The song was Grammy nominated for Best R&B Song in 1989.
“Something in Common” by Bobby Brown Feat. Whitney Houston
Riley did a great deal of work on the album Bobby (1993), including co-writing and co-producing this duet between Bobby Brown and then-wife, Whitney Houston. It was a musical middle finger of sorts to people who were critical of their relationship. The song was never actually released as an official single in the U.S., but it’s still a well-known song and was a hit in the U.K.
“Heaven Can Wait” by Michael Jackson
The song from Jackson’s Invincible album (2001), was originally intended for Blackstreet, but Jackson reportedly persuaded Riley (who co-wrote and produced it) to let him have the song. The two worked together in the past on the Dangerous album, and Jackson wrote “Joy,” which became a big hit for Blackstreet.
“Stutter” by Joe
No, I’m not speaking of the beloved remix featuring Mystikal. But the original “Stutter” is pretty hot too! Teddy Riley produced the acoustic-driven track.
“The Show” by Dougie Fresh & The Get Fresh Crew
Riley worked on production of the classic hip-hop song “The Show” for Dougie Fresh way back in 1985. Dougie Fresh said that after Riley put together the track, he knew that he was going to be a big deal in music. “From that point you knew he had the knack to really help you cultivate your ideas and get them out there in the way that you really wanted them to be out there.”
“I Can Tell” by Monifah
From Monifah’s third album, Home, Teddy Riley produced the track about being able to pinpoint a dog back in 2000. The two worked together more than once, incluing on the song “Rescue Me,” also on the Home album.
“My Prerogative” by Bobby Brown
The Grammy-nominated song brought a co-production and co-writing credit to Riley, who helped Brown speak about moving forward after he walked away from New Edition. The jam was a #1 hit for Brown, and was the second biggest song of 1989.