The ThinkTank Panel (of One) proudly presents the 30 Most influential People of the last 30 years. These are the people who have shaped and molded the ThinkTank Panel (of One) into what it is today; Arrogant, Neurotic, Ostensibly Ostentatious, and Prohibitively Expensive. Today we have a tie at #23.
Teddy Riley and Dr. Dre
In the late 80s and early 90s a definitive and historically noted musical phenomena took place. That movement was New Jack Swing. The New Jack Swing movement was lead by one man. That man was Teddy Riley.
At age 14 Teddy began writing beats for the wellspring of rappers exploding in Harlem NY in the early 80s. As time went on Teddy Riley produced track for most of the ThinkTank Panel (of One)’s favorite artists; everyone from Heavy D to MC Hammer. Bobby Brown’s “My Prerogative” was all Teddy Riley. When the legendary Quincy Jones wasn’t available to produce Michael Jackson’s Dangerous Album (probably because he was too busy producing the Fresh Prince of Bel Air with #26 on the countdown) who stepped in at Quincy’s recommendation and delivered the 32 million selling album? Teddy Riley did.
Oh and then there are the three groups in which Teddy Riley was actually a performer; Guy, Wrecks N’ Effects, and of course Backstreet.
Then there are the protégés Teddy has spawned. The likes of Parrell and Timbaland learned their craft, apprenticing under the master at his personal studio in Virginia (which has since burned to the ground).
Meanwhile in what seems like an alternate Universe (Los Angeles), the Dr. was operating. From NWA through the glory and gory at Death Row, and on to the Aftermath, Andre Young, better known as Dr. Dre, has been operating. To list all of Dre’s discography would require a novel. To pick and choose the highlights would be like describing Michael Jordan by talking about his shoes. If you’re reading this blog, you know who Dre is and what he does.
Basically Teddy Riley was the Hip , and Dr. Dre was the Hop in what became the culture of Hip-Hop the ThinkTank Panel (of One) claims to have been raised in. And as fate would have it, Teddy and Dre collaborated once. In 1996, on Backstreet’s Magnum Opus, “No Diggity.” No doubt, best song ever! New Jack and Gangsta. East and West. Love and Hate. Fire and Ice Cube.