Super producer duo Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis will always be forever synonymous with Janet Jackson. Handling the bulk of the production for her albums from 1986’s Control on to the present with the exception of 2008’s discipline which was spearheaded by Rodney Jerkins. The sound and the chemistry between the production duo and Janet is undeniable, churning out hit after hit. At the same time though it has been fun to hear Janet throughout her career working with hip hop producers remixing and putting a spin on her music.
The first time this occurred was when Janet had DJ Muggs of Cypress Hill fame remix “Because of Love” off her 1993 Janet album. The track was a complete departure from the original top ten light laidback hit. Next was Janet’s “Together Again” from 1997’s Velvet Rope. The album version was an up-tempo dance hit. DJ Premier completely flipped it into a hard-hitting track, something that would be found on a Gang Starr album.
Janet Jackson – Because of Love
Janet Jackson – Because of Love (remix) (prod. by DJ Muggs)
Janet Jackson – Together Again
Janet Jackson – Together Again (remix)(prod. by DJ Premier)
On the same project Timbaland remixed “Go Deep” which also featured Missy Elliot who she would go on to collaborate several more times. Following that was famed west coast producer DJ Quik’s take on the album title track “All for You” released in 2001 and reaching number one on the charts. Then came “Someone to Call My Lover” which was also a hit, peaking at number 3. The remix treatment was by Jermaine Dupri. Giving the song the down south So So Def bounce that was popular at the time.
Janet Jackson – Go Deep
Janet Jackson – Go Deep (remix) (prod. by Timbaland)
Janet Jackson – All for You
Janet Jackson – All for You (remix) (prod. by DJ Quik)
Janet Jackson – Someone to Call My Lover
Janet Jackson – Someone to Call My Lover (remix) (prod. by Jermaine Dupri)
“Son of a Gun” which was also from the All for You album was given multiple remix treatments. One of them worth noting is the remix produced by the Neptunes. This was around the time when everyone wanted to work with them. The last producer to mention is Lil Jon, who remixed the lead single “Call on Me” which featured Nelly form the 2006 album The 20 Y.O. The album version had a laid-back smooth r&b sound. While Lil Jon’s version put that energetic crunk sound into it.
Janet Jackson – Son of a Gun
Janet Jackson – Son of a Gun (Remix) (Prod. by The Neptunes)
Janet Jackson – Call on Me
Janet Jackson – Call on Me (remix) (prod. by Lil Jon)
Every single Janet Jackson put out from the mid 80’s through the early 2000’s was a classic hit. Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis’s partnership with Jackson is one of the most successful pairings in music history. The sound is timeless. However, a true artist from time to time has the ability to step out of their comfort zone and still pull it off. That is exactly what Janet Jackson has done throughout her career, branching out and working with these top hip hop producers.