J. J. Fad
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|J. J. Fad|
|Also known as||Original J. J. Fad|
|Origin||Rialto, San Bernardino County, California, United States|
|Associated acts||N.W.A, Eazy-E|
|Members||Juana Burns (MC J.B.)
Dania Birks (Baby D)
Michelle Franklin-Ferrens (Sassy C)
Kim Nazel (Arabian Prince)
J. J. Fad is an American female rap group from Rialto, California, a city in the Inland Empire east of Los Angeles. The name was an acronym of the original group members' given names (Juana, Juanita, Fatima, Anna, and Dania), but when the line-up changed the tradition developed that it stood for Just, Jammin', Fresh and Def. The group was backed by DJ Train (Clarence Lars).
J. J. Fad began in 1985 as a quintet comprising Juana Burns (MC J.B.), Dania Birks (Baby-D), Anna Cash (Lady Anna), Fatima Shaheed (O.G. Rocker) and Juanita Lee (Crazy J.). It was one of the original acts signed to Ruthless Records by Eazy-E. In 1987, this line-up released its only recording, the single "Anotha Ho" backed with "Supersonic" ("Anotha Ho" was the A-side), which was produced by Arabian Prince.
Due to management and financial disagreements, Cash, Shaheed and Lee quit the group, leaving J. J. Fad as a duo. The surviving original members (Burns and Birks) were joined by Michelle Franklin (Sassy C.) and DJ Train, and together they re-recorded and re-released "Supersonic" in 1988, this time as the A-side. It sold 400,000 copies independently before Eazy and Jerry Heller secured the group a major-label recording contract with Atco Records.
The single was followed by the album Supersonic, which was also produced by Arabian Prince, who made J. J. Fad accessible to pop audiences—unlike many West Coast rappers of the day—by including electro elements in their music. Due to their involvement with Ruthless Records, co-producer credits were added for Dr. Dre and DJ Yella.
J. J. Fad was the first female rap group to earn a Grammy nomination, and both the single "Supersonic" and the album Supersonic were certified gold. (The group believes the single sold a million copies in the U.S.—equivalent to platinum status—but this has not been certified.)
Not Just a Fad
With Eazy and Heller enjoying success with N.W.A, it was three years before J. J. Fad returned with a follow-up album. Not Just a Fad was released in 1991, produced by Arabian Prince, Yella and overseen by Eazy, but failed to make an impact. The group disbanded shortly afterwards. DJ Train died in 1994 of smoke inhalation.
After almost two decades out of the music industry raising families, the famous line-up of J. J. Fad reunited. The group performs at old-school concerts.
In 2004, MF Doom sampled the beatboxing intro from the 1988 video for "Supersonic" in his song "Hoecakes" from his album Mm.. Food. In 2006, Fergie used an interpolation of "Supersonic" in her song "Fergalicious", while in 2013 Eminem referenced J. J. Fad and "Supersonic" in his single "Rap God". "Supersonic" appeared in the music video game Dance Central 3 (2012), which J. J. Fad promoted on its Facebook page.
- J. J. Fad Website. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
- "Jerry Heller on the other women 'Straight Outta Compton' forgot". March 24, 2014. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
- "Arabian Prince on J.J. Fad's "Supersonic"". August 27, 2015. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
- RIAA Gold and Platinum Program Searchable Database. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
- Layli Phillips, Kerri Reddick-Morgan and Dionne Patricia Stephens, "Oppositional consciousness within an oppositional realm: The case of feminism and womanism in rap and hip hop, 1976–2004," Journal of African American History, Vol. 90, No. 3 (Summer, 2005), p. 257.
- Roberts, Randall (August 27, 2015). "Why was J.J. Fad and its 'Supersonic' success left out of 'Straight Outta Compton'?". Los Angeles Times.