Taraji P. Henson Joins Forces With Wondery, Universal Music Group to Unveil Jacked: The Rise of New Jack Swing

Illustration for article titled Taraji P. Henson Joins Forces With Wondery, Universal Music Group to Unveil Jacked: The Rise of New Jack Swing
Photo: Jason Merritt (Getty Images)

Pandemic or not, Taraji P. Henson continues to keep her foot on the gas.

Earlier this month, the The Best of Enemies actress announced Peace of Mind With Taraji, her upcoming Facebook Watch show that will focus on mental health and wellness. And after conquering film and television, now comes the news that she’ll be expanding her digital empire with the unveiling of her latest venture: a new podcast.


Henson has been tapped to host Jacked: The Rise of New Jack Swing, a six-part podcast series produced by Wondery and Universal Music Group that will chronicle the complex relationships of a group of teenagers from Harlem that would create a sound that would forever change the face of music.

Writer and filmmaker Barry Michael Cooper, who coined the phrase “New Jack Swing,” will serve as a consulting producer on the podcast, which will be told through Wondery’s signature style of immersive, character-driven storytelling. Jacked will also feature dozens of interviews from band members and managers, in addition to music from UMG’s legendary catalog.

From Wondery and UMG:

From 1987 to 1992, New Jack Swing’s innovative fusion of hip-hop and R&B dominated the charts. Even if you’ve never heard of New Jack Swing, you know the music: Bobby Brown’s “My Prerogative,” Bell Biv Devoe’s “Poison,” Tony Toni Tone’s “Feels Good” or Wreckx-N-Effect’s “Rumpshaker” - New Jack’s influence can be heard today. In fact, many of today’s artists were shaped by New Jack Swing artists and producers including Teddy Riley, who was a member of the band, Guy. Despite the popularity of New Jack Swing during its heyday and the lasting influence of its pioneers, few people know the real story behind the music. It’s a story of dashed hopes, jealousy, betrayal, drugs, hip-hop, and rivalries. And it all comes to a head with a fatal shooting during a massive summer concert tour.

Jacked is set to premiere on Nov. 17 on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your fix for podcasts.

Menace to supremacy. Founder of Extraordinary Ideas and co-host and producer of The Extraordinary Negroes podcast. Impatiently waiting for y'all to stop putting sugar in grits.


Murry Chang

I would love to see an actual documentary on New Jack Swing with snips of the music videos and everything, that’d be sweet.  Just heard Rumpshaker on the radio the other day and remembered how cool New Jack Swing was:)