Random J playlist: Produced by Rodney 'Darkchild' Jerkins

Random J playlist: Produced by Rodney 'Darkchild' Jerkins | Random J Pop

Whitney's "It's Not Right, But It's Okay", Brandy & Monica's "The Boy Is Mine", Lady Gaga's "Telephone", Beyoncé's "Déjà Vu", The Pussycat Dolls' "When I grow up" all share one thing in common.

Rodney Jerkins. Known to most as Darkchild.

During the mid to late 90s, Rodney was a relatively unknown producer, but he was working with some big names, although mostly on album cut. His breakthrough moment was via his work on Brandy's critically acclaimed Never Say Never. An album which went on to become one of Brandy's best selling, spawning a song that marked two firsts for Brandy, Monica and the Darkchild crew: A number 1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 and a Grammy award.

Rodney's work for Brandy would eventually land him to book Whitney and producing her comeback single "It's Not Right, But It's Okay" which also hit number 1 on the Billboard hot 100.

Between Brandy, Monica and Whitney; Rodney had shown he could deliver hits for teenage up and comers, but also established and seasoned veterans. And from this moment onward, Rodney would be the guy that labels would call to produce singles for young newcomers and seasoned artists alike. Jennifer Lopez ("If You Had My Love"), Destiny's Child ("Say My Name"), Toni Braxton ("He Wasn't Man Enough"), Spice Girls ("Holler").

Rodney Jerkins had a production style which felt unique at the time; taking classical instruments such as harps, violins and double basses, and sitting them within R&B arrangements which were Pop leaning. This wasn't a sound that was so prevalent on the charts since the days of Quincy Jones and Stevie Wonder. It would be a Darkchild signature for years until the turn of the Century when the charts started to favour more electronic and 'futuristic' styles of sounds, which also happened to affect the sound of R&B. At this point the Darkchild sound started to change and became far less distinct. Adopting 'The Millenium Sound'. Rodney Jerkins fell into that digital rabbit hole so far that he even changed his credit imprint from 'Produced by Rodney Jerkins for Darkchild entertainment' to 'Produced by Rodney Jerkins darkchild.com' in his inlays.

But as Rodney Jerkins attempted to capitalise on this sound, it also fell from the charts. And to make matters worse, several high profile projects that Rodney Jerkins was tied to under-performed. Brandy's Full moon album came and went as a result of Brandy's pregnancy which put all Full moon promo on ice, and nothing from the album went on to become even remotely close to the hit that "The boy is mine" was. The Spice Girls' last album Forever got some good reviews, but was their lowest selling album, and got swept up in a chart feud with UK boy band Westlife . Then there was Michael Jackson's big comeback album Invincible, which Rodney had worked on with Michael for YEARS, which likewise, did well commercially, but not as well as expected.

But even in the midst of not reaching previous chart successes, Rodney Jerkins had already created his musical legacy. Brandy's Never Say Never album is a classic. And despite the commercial lukewarm reception and critical polarisation of Full Moon, it's still an album that's adored by fans, with Rodney turning in some amazing productions. Whitney's "It's Not Right, But It's Okay" is one of her best songs. Who the fuck else can say that they've produced songs for music legends Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey and Janet Jackson in addition to a whole other generation of artists such as Britney Spears, 🟊NSync, Beyoncé, Hikaru Utada, Lady Gaga and Justin Beiber!?

Nobody is who.

🎧 Listen on Spotify: Produced by Rodney 'Darkchild' Jerkins