Taraji P. Henson to host and produce ‘Jacked: Rise of the New Jack Swing’ podcast series

The six-part podcast series premieres November 17

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Taraji P. Henson is on a roll and shows no signs of slowing down. Hot on the heels of announcing her upcoming talk show that focuses on mental wellness for Facebook Watch, the actress has signed on to host and produce a podcast series with Universal Music Group and Wondery. 

The six-part podcast entitled Jacked: Rise of the New Jack Swing will focus on the complex relationships of a group of teenagers from Harlem who would create a sound that changed music forever. 

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Told through Wondery’s style of immersive, character-driven storytelling, Jacked: Rise of the New Jack Swing will feature dozens of interviews including band members and managers, and extensive music from UMG’s catalog. This marks the first joint project since the previously announced partnership between Wondery and UMG. 

Taraji P. Henson
(Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

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.

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Many of current day 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: The Rise of New Jack Swing is written by Rico Gagliano and Andy Hermann.  The six-part podcast series will kick off November 17 on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, the Wondery App and wherever you listen to podcasts. 

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