Keith Sweat "Make It Last Forever" cover Keith Sweat "Make It Last Forever" cover

What Millennials Should Know About... Keith Sweat's 'Make It Last Forever'

To celebrate Black Music Month, VIBE spotlights some of music's most essential timepieces for Gen Y to get hip to

KEITH SWEAT
Make It Last Forever (1987)

Most Slept On: Anyone who blasted Keith Sweat's debut album during the winter of 1987 understood that the best way to kick it to this R&B classic was to let it run 'til track eight. Which means it's damn near impossible to pick an underrated song given that radio seemingly embraced every cut on this highly influential release which doubles as Teddy Riley's production breakthrough. But if by chance you were told that the future of all mankind depended on you choosing a sleeper track then you should go with Sweat's alluring cover of the Dramatics' regal '70s slow jam "In The Rain." It's not that Sweat re-invents the wheel and tops the Detroit vocal group's Tony Hester-penned classic. It's the fact that the Harlem crooner had the good sense to stick with the proverbial script and keep the moody ballad's atmospheric heart and soul intact.

Lines Best For Status Updates:
-"You may be young but you're ready (Ready to learn)" ("Right And A Wrong Way")
-"I want, I want, I want, I want, I want, I want her...uh-uh/Don't misunderstand me" ("I Want Her")
-"Shooby dooby dooby doo wop, baby/That means I love you, darlin'!" ("How Deep Is Your Love")
-"Forget about the dinner, oh, honey/'Cause the only thing I'm hungry for, oh, baby, is you" ("Don't Stop Your Love")

Bet You Didn't Know: That Make It Last Forever almost got derailed. Before its release, late influential New York DJ and WBLS program director Frankie Crocker decided to premiere Sweat's first single "I Want Her" on his powerful Make-It or Break-It segment. "The people chose to break it," Teddy Riley told The Atlantic in 2012. "They thought it was wack." Good thing Crocker vetoed the vote, kicking off the genesis of a new musical era.

Synopsis: Before the release of the triple platinum Make It Last Forever, soul-based music was operating within two sects: the respected old guard ('70s survivors Frankie Beverly & Maze, Cameo, Luther Vandross, the Isley Brothers, and Patti LaBelle were still staples on what was still remarkably coined as the "black" charts) and the mammoth pop crossover of R&B-based icons Michael Jackson, Prince, and Whitney Houston. That all changed with the emergence of Sweat and Riley. Make It Last Forever gave birth to New Jack Swing, a groundbreaking Riley-conceived sound that married the streetwise swagger of hip-hop with traditional gospel and blues fueled chords. It was young, ambitious, and effortlessly sexy. Kool Herc's DIY children finally had their own music to fall in love to.

The frenetic jams and baby-making soundtracks are unleashed at a furious pace. You want a mid-tempo cool-out groove? "Something Just Ain't Right" should be added to the playlist. "Right and A Wrong Way" arguably possesses the most quoted first line of R&B's late '80s canon (see Status Updates above). "I Want Her," (the first) and most important New Jack Swing statement, shoots out of the gate like a chest-beating sprinter who knows the race is all but a formality. "Make It Last Forever" damn near created another baby boom while "How Deep Is Your Love" makes the case that the more bass, the better.

At the center of it all is Sweat and Riley. The former at times has gotten a bad rap for his overt please-baby-please-baby-please begging theatrics. But that's the magic of Make It Last Forever—and the formula that would allow Sweat to outlast many of his peers into the next decade. You believed the guy when he pleaded for his girl to stay on "Tell Me It's Me You Want": "I know a man ain't supposed to cry/So why don't I just wipe these tears on my eyes?" But it was Riley's genius that gave Sweat's emotional lyrics an infectious platform. The church-reared keyboardist and boy wonder set the stage for how urban music would sound for the next seven years as everyone from Janet Jackson, R. Kelly and Mary J. Blige to the King of Pop himself would latch on to Riley's energy. Guy's self-titled album may have been cooler; Bobby Brown's Don't Be Cruel more of a commercial game-changer; and Michael Jackson's Dangerous was the sound of New Jack Swing going global. But Sweat's genre-shifting Make It Last Forever is the first shot across the bow. This was the new dope. And everybody wanted an invite. —Keith Murphy (@murphdogg29)

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Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’ Is Expected To Make $64 Million Opening Weekend

Thanks to Us, Jordan Peele has another blockbuster on his hands. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the highly-anticipated horror flick starring Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Shahadi Wright Joseph and Evan Alex, is expected to have a $64 million opening weekend at the domestic box office.

Peele’s sophomore horror film earned an impressive $7.4 million on Thursday (March 21) night previews, and is forecasted to take in about $27 million from Friday sales. The film is also on pace to knock Captain Marvel out of the No. 1 spot at the box office.

Once final numbers are tallied, Us will likely snatch the third-best opening weekend record for an R-rated horror film behind It, which brought in a whopping $123.4 million, followed by Halloween’s $76.2 million opening weekend last year.

Aside from rave reviews and a genius promo run that included simultaneous screenings in major media markets, Us earned a 95 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The film, set in the mid-1980s centers around a family of four who set off on a vacation that finds them confronting some familiar faces.

Peele recently spoke to VIBE about casting Duke (our April 2019 cover star) in the role of patriarch, Gabe Wilson. “I have to have somebody voice what the audience was saying,” he said. “In the case of Get Out, it’s Rod, like, ‘How have you not left yet?’ [In Us], Winston is largely that voice. There’s one moment where Lupita [Nyong’o] takes a step into the unknown, where black people [will think], ‘I don’t know.’ But to have Winston say, ‘Aaaand she left. Your mother just walked out of the car.’ That’s all we need.”

Duke also opened up about the intricacies of his character. “His function isn’t to see through the veil. His function is to tell the absolute truth how he sees it,” explained the 32-year-old actor. “He’s sometimes there to say the things that other people don’t want to say, but he’s also there to make fun of things to keep it from not getting too heavy, even though it’s real. That was my job. [Peele] respected that. I like to lean into functions. If I’m going to be your antagonist, I’m gonna really push you. If I’m gonna be your clown, funny guy, I’m gonna do that.”

Click here to read VIBE’s April 2019 cover story.

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Cardi B Explains Why She Wants To Trademark “Okurrr”

Cardi B hopes to secure as many “bags” as possible. In response to backlash and burning questions surrounding her decision to file to trademark “okurrr,” the 26-year-old rapper took to social media Friday (March 22) to defend her latest money move.

Since people tend to ask Bardi to use what has become her signature catch phrase, she figured that it was time to cash in. “You think I ain’t gonna’ profit off this sh*t? B*tch white folks do it all the motherf**king time,” she said. “So you gon’ be mad at me ‘cuz I want to get some motherf**king money?

“While I’m still hear I’ma secure all the fucking bags,” Cardi continued before adding that there are a “lot of ways to get rich” in 2019.

The Bronx native caught heat for wanting to trademark the word because she wasn’t the first to say “okurrr.” Cardi already revealed that she started using it after she heard Khloe Kardashian saying it, but the word was originally popularized in drag culture -- most notably by Rupaul’s Drage Race contestant Laganja Estranja, in 2014.

However, Rupaul attributed the word to Broadway actress, Laura Bell Bundy, who used it in YouTube skits dating back to 2010. In the skits, Bundy pretends to be a hairdresser named “Shocantelle Brown.”

Although Bundy caught criticism for her little character, which was deemed racist, she typically gets credit for bringing “okrrr” (different spelling) to the internet a full decade before Cardi made it mainstream.

No matter the origin, it looks like Cardi will be the only one profiting off of “okurrr.”

 

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#CardiB on why she decided to trademark “Okurr”

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Kanye West, EMI Working Towards Private Settlement

Kanye West and EMI could be close to settling their legal drama. Each party filed documents requesting a stay of the case to “explore the potential for a resolution,” The Blast reports.

West sued EMI in an effort to “gain freedom” from his contract, and to own his publishing. In the lawsuit, ‘Ye argued that his contract ended in 2010 under California law, which bars entertainers from being tethered to an agreement for more than seven years. The multi-Grammy winner, who signed the deal back in 2003, also accused the company of slavery because the contract doesn’t allow him to retire.

“Even if the contract were not lopsided in EMI’s favor (it is), even if its terms valued Mr. West’s artistic contributions in line with the spectacular success he has achieved for EMI (they do not), and even if EMI had not underpaid Mr. West what it owes him (EMI has), he would be entitled to be set free from its bonds,” the lawsuit reads.

EMI hit back with a countersuit filed in New York, instead of California. The suit pointed out that the 41-year-old rapper signed multiple contract extensions, in addition to accepting millions in advances.

According to The Blast, West and EMI now feel that putting a hold on the legal proceedings will be beneficial to both sides “and the Court by enabling the parties to engage in meaningful discussions in an attempt to resolve this action without having to incur the burden and expense of litigation and motion practice.”

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