Everything You Need to Know About Jock Jams Volume 1

In the summer of 1995, the future of high school arena music was forever altered when a little rap label famous for putting out albums by De La Soul, Naughty By Nature, and Digable Planets teamed with ESPN to release an album entitled “Jock Jams.”

2 Unlimited – Get Ready for This

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0skZvqLTiw?rel=0&w=480&h=360]

If you are anywhere between 19 and 40 years old, this song was an anthem of your youth. The band, which has sold over 20 million records, consisted of producers Jean-Paul De Coster and Phil Wilde along with “vocalists” Ray Slijngaard and Anita Doth, all from the Netherlands. Ray was the rapper of the group and Anita was considered the singer. They got together in 1991 and the first single they released was “Get Ready for This.” It was a hit peaking at #10 in their native Netherlands as well as climbing to #8 in Belgium, #2 in Germany, Australia, and the UK. While it was a big hit in the US, it only managed to reach #38 on the charts.

Tag Team – Whoomp! There It Is

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-FPimCmbX8?rel=0&w=480&h=360]

“Whoomp! There It Is” is the one and only hit of Tag Team (aka DC the Brain Supreme and Steve Roll’n) that was released on July 20, 1993. Controversially, it was released a month and a half after the extremely similar sounding Whoot There It Is by 95 South. The song sold over 4 million copies and was the #2 song of 1993 behind Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.” In 2010, Gawker questioned whether or not this extra (seen at the 1:00 mark of the video) was in fact future president Barack Obama.

Black Box – Strike It Up

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vR54Qr33DXs?rel=0&w=480&h=360]

In a story that sounds very familiar to that of Milli Vanilli, Black box was an Italian group that consisted of club DJ Daniele Davoli, Valerio Semplici – a classically trained clarinet teacher, and a keyboard and electronic music “wiz” (according to Wikipedia, at least) – Mirko Limoni. Fronting the group as the “lead singer” was French fashion model Katrin Quinol. Previously, they had recorded music (minus Quinol) under many different names and had scored a #9 hit in the UK in 1989.

Of course, it was actually an overweight black woman – Martha Wash and not the slightly more attractive Katrin Quinol that was singing the songs. Wash also can be heard singing the lead vocals on C+C Music Factory’s “Gonna Make You Sweat” and Black Box’s “Everybody Everybody”

69 Boyz – Tootsee Roll

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qs7f3ssuEjA?rel=0&w=480&h=360]

A majority of the members were born in 1969, hence the group name. The song was certified platinum and spent four months in the top 20 before eventually peaking at #8 on the Billboard chards in January of 1995. The group featured rappers with the (now comical) names: Thrill da Playa, Fast, Slow, Quick Skeet, Busta Nut, Rottweiler “Mike Mike”, Jay Ski, and C.C. Lemonhead. Their album peaked at #59 on the Billboard album. They went on to release three more albums that nobody cared about – “The Wait is Over,” “2069” and my personal favorite “Trunk Funk 101.” They did release one other song – “Hoop in Yo Face” – off the Sunset Park soundtrack that I’ve listened to entirely too many times in my life.

K7 – Come Baby Come

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbd2PBO3k6w?rel=0&w=480&h=360]

I couldn’t find a whole lot of information about K7 (real name: Louis Sharpe) so instead I’ve tried to interpret the lyrics from the first 20 seconds of the songs.

Ba Ding Da Ding Da Ding Da Da Da Ding Ding
Ba Ding Da Ding Da Ding Da Da Da Ding
Ba Ding Da Ding Da Ding Da Da Da Ding
Da Ding Da Ding Da Da Da Ding Ding

Ski Bu Dah
Dip A Dup A Dip a Duh
Ski Bu Dah
Ba Dip a Dup Dip Ba Dip A Dup A
Ski Bu Dah
Dip A Dup A Dip a Duh
Bob Ba Do Dayyyyyyy

Ski Bu Dah
Dip A Dup A Dip a Duh
Ski Bu Dah
Ba Dip a Dup Dip Ba Dip A Dup A
Ski Bu Dah
Dip A Dup A Dip a Duh
Bob Ba Do Dayyyyyyy

Thankfully, Snow wasn’t featured on this album as I’m not exactly the Michael Jordan of transposing wordless lyrics.

Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock – It Takes Two

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IBRbzf3Fws?rel=0&w=480&h=360]

“It Takes Two” which features an intro that samples “Space Dust” by The Galactic Force Band from 1978 along with “Think (About It)” by Lyn Collins and James Brown. The album went platinum 7 times over (a number that’s unfathomable today). The song has been sampled no fewer than 85 times according to whosampled.com and has been featured in movies and video games for the past two and a half decades. The song was produced by super producer Teddy Riley who is worth over $80 million due to his work with Michael Jackson, Bobby Brown, Doug E. Fresh, Today, Keith Sweat, Heavy D., Usher, Blackstreet, Snoop Dogg, and Robin Thicke.

C + C Music Factory – Gonna Make You Sweat

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LaTGrV58wec?rel=0&w=480&h=360]

C + C Music Factory, which stands for Clivillés + Cole Music Factory, consisted of primary members Robert Clivillés and David Cole while featuring various vocalists. “Gonna Make You Sweat” featured Freedom Williams – who (you can’t make this up) was once the owner of the Atlanta Krunk CBA basketball team – and the aforementioned Marsha Wash. The video featured model Zelma Davis lip-synching to the actual Martha Wash vocal parts. The song reached the top ten in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the USA helping the album sell more than 5 million copies. In 1995, founding member David Cole lost his battle with a long illness. The megahit “One Sweet Day” by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men was written about Cole.

Naughty By Nature – Hip Hop Hooray

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HypOHRuVi8E?rel=0&w=560&h=315]

After releasing what might have been the best rap album of 1991 featuring hits “O.P.P,” “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright,” and “Uptown Anthem,” Treach, Vin Rock, and DJ Kay Gee released one of the great rap songs of the 90s – “Hip Hop Hooray” – off of 1993’s appropriately titled “19NaughyIII” album. The video, directed by Spike Lee, received a massive amount of airplay on MTV and even managed to inspire an ad for Super Fruity Kool Aid.

MARRS – Pump Up the Volume

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cak1xly8oUM?rel=0&w=560&h=315]

Interesting story for a band here… MARRS started as a collaboration between AR Kane and Colourbox with input from Chris Mackintosh and Dave Dorrell. It didn’t really go well, though, and the producer John Fryer was unable to resolve conflict. Instead of working together, the two groups recorded one track each and turned it over to the other band for additional input. One song “Anitina” was done by AR Kane. The other song was “Pump Up the Volume” mostly by Martyn Young of Colourbox featuring AR Kane guitarwork. MARRS is an acronym for the first name of the five members of the group.

The only thing they ever released was the 1987 single “Pump Up the Volume” (with “Anitina” as a b-side). It went on to be a number one hit all over the world. It’s a song that couldn’t possibly be made today since it features 30 different samples – different samples in different parts of the world (see a full list here).

No album was ever even released making this band undeniably a one-hit wonder.

Snap! – The Power

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nm6DO_7px1I?rel=0&w=480&h=360]

Snap! was formed in 1989 and has a similar story to a lot of bands featured on the first Jock Jams album. The band consisted of two European producers who brought in vocalist, rappers, and used a variety of samples to create the hit “The Power” (along with “Rhythm Is a Dancer” two years later). The song was later used by Swizz Beats in Kanye West’s “Power.” The following story is so cool, I’ve got to quote it from Wikipedia in it’s entirety:

On July 5, 2011, a 39-story shopping mall called the “Techno-Mart” in Gwangjin-gu, Seoul, shook violently for 10 minutes and was evacuated for two days. After study, it was determined that about 20 people performing Tae Bo exercises to “The Power” caused the building to vibrate by creating a mechanical resonance. The tentative conclusion was the consensus among the six professors from an architectural institute and vibration measurement experts who participated in a recreation of the event. The Architectural Institute of Korea was scheduled to release the final results of the safety inspection later in 2011.

EMF – Unbelievable

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=waacof2saZw?rel=0&w=480&h=360]

First Jeopardy question for you? The answer is: The man who says “Oh!” at the start of the song and before each chorus of EMF’s hit song “Unbelievable” from 1990.

Who is Andrew Dice Clay?

EMF – rumored to stand for Epsom Mad Funkers – had the 1,000th number one hit in Billboard history with “Unbelievable.” Although they’ve had 10 different members of the band and attempted 3 different comebacks, they originally hail from Gloucestershire, England (arguably, the most English name for a town ever created).

Last bit of trivia – some believe “Unbelievable” my be responsible for the most profanity ever heard on the radio. After the “OH!” of the chorus, the background vocal says “what the f— was that?” I’ve never noticed it before, but after re-listening to the song, it’s obvious that’s what the lyric is.

Village People – YMCA

I’m going to guess this will be the least clicked on of any of these videos and I couldn’t find an official video, so you’re on your own.

The writer of the song, Victor Willis (who is straight), claims he did not write YMCA as a gay anthem but rather as a “a reflection of young urban black youth fun at the YMCA such as basketball and swimming.” Of course, performing as a sailor, cowboy, biker, and construction worker doesn’t do anything to dispell these rumors. It was initially intended as a “dance” song like the Macarerna, Gangham Style, or whatever that Superman song by Soulja Boy is called. Instead, they performed the song on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand in 1979 and Dick Clark suggested the infamous hand gestures. The rest is history…

This song felt strangely out of place on the Jock Jams album. Personally, I wish they would’ve included it on the prior released “Jock Rock” and put a song like “Jump!” by the Movement on here instead.

Technotronic – Pump Up the Jam

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9EcjWd-O4jI?rel=0&w=560&h=315]

When I was 10 years old, my favorite musicians were either MC Hammer or Technotronic. I think I went back and forth in my mind on a daily basis on who was better. “Pump Up the Jam” is thought of as the first House song to break into the American mainstream market rising to #2 on the charts. In 1995, when the original “Jock Jams” album was released, they were well on their way down. I would strongly argue the release of Jock Jams kept them relevant for the latter part of the decade even though they haven’t released an album since 1995.

2 Unlimited – Twilight Zone

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yql6jEDZfDo?rel=0&w=560&h=315]

In 9th grade, I was the lone holdout believing “Twilight Zone” was a better song to run out to than “Get Ready For This.” Time has apparently proved me wrong, though, as “Get Ready For This” is still around and this song has all but disappeared. It takes a big man to admit when he’s wrong, but 16 years ago when we were warming up for an important 9th grade basketball game against the Frazee Hornets to a tinny boombox and a scratched copy of “Jock Jams,” I was wrong.

Gary Glitter – Rock and Roll Part 2

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nras3c8r45k?rel=0&w=480&h=360]

If you watch one song from this entire nearly 2,000 word post, please let it be this classic Gary Glitter video. I think I’d heard rumblings about this a while ago, but Gary Glitter is apparently a major creep. In 1999, he was convicted of possessing child pornography. In 2002, he was deported from Cambodia for suspected child abuse. In 2006, he was jailed for child sexual abuse charges in Vietnam. So next time you’re having a great time at a ballgame and that song comes on, good luck trying to enjoy yourself while singing alone to the “Hey” song.