Saturday, May 15, 2021

"Supersonic" by J.J. Fad

Gold Record Alert!
Song#:  3494
Date:  04/23/1988
Debut:  78
Peak:  30
Weeks:  22
Genre:  Rap

Pop Bits:  The all-female rap group J.J. Fad began life as a quintet and in '87 they released their first indie single "Anotha Ho" on the Ruthless Records offshoot label Dream Team. Also on that single was the song "Supersonic." While the single wouldn't chart, it did sell well enough for the group to move forward, however, by that time three of the members were gone leaving just Juana Burns (MC J.B.) and Dania Birks (Baby-D) to carry on. The pair then brought in Michelle Franklin (Sassy C.) and turned J.J. Fad into a trio. This version of the group went into the studio and re-recorded "Supersonic." Initially released on the Dream Team label, the single started to sell so well that a deal was struck between Ruthless and Atlantic Records for more extensive promotion and distribution. The boost certainly helped with the single climbing the charts and reaching #10 Dance and #22 R&B. It also crossed over to the Pop chart where it just barely make the Top 30. Sales of the single far outweighed airplay and that made the single go gold. With the track doing so well, the trio were rushed into the studio to quickly make a debut album also titled Supersonic. It would reach #20 R&B and #49 Pop. By the fall it too would become a gold seller. The song would also earn the trio a Grammy nomination in the brand new category of Best Rap Performance.

ReduxReview:  Along with Salt-N-Pepa's "Push It," this song helped to break female rappers on the charts and into the mainstream. This track didn't jam out quite as much as "Push It," but it was a fun track. It was catchy and the speed rap added another dimension. These rappers definitely demonstrated their skills on the track and it paid off in a gold record. I was one who added to that tally as I ran out and got this single. It is still a fun track and one that sadly doesn't get much attention any more.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) The moniker J.J. Fad was initially created by the first letters of the first names of the original quintet. After being reduced to a trio, they kept the name, but changed its original meaning to being an acronym for Just Jammin', Fresh and Def.  2) In 2006, Fergie used an interpolation of this song in her hit "Fergalicious" (#2 Pop), a single from her debut solo album The Dutchess. Instead of using a sample from the song, which is a direct snippet from a recording, the songwriters/arrangers intentionally copied/recreated compositional elements from the original song. Either method requires permission from the copied song's composers/publishers/label. It seems that Fergie and her team did get the correct permissions to copy portions of "Supersonic" for "Fergalicious." However, when money/royalties were paid out to Ruthless Records they apparently didn't forward a portion of the funds to "Supersonic" producer the Arabian Prince, who had a stake in the track. After attempts to get the money to no avail, the Arabian Prince finally filed a lawsuit. There is no indication of a trial, so it is assumed that a settlement was reached in the lawsuit and the Arabian Prince finally got paid.


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