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Teddy Riley

Source: Catherine McGann / Getty

Boom 92 salutes a real pioneer in the music game… Edward Theodore Riley … aka Teddy Riley!

Born and raised in Harlem, New York, Teddy became something of a music prodigy. As a teen, his mother was a driving force to help develop his aspirations in music. After hustling on the streets, he cashed in the money he earned and bought the instrument that would help him create his music, a keyboard. Riley would play improptu concerts in churches and the harlem streets. His uncle co-owned the famed “Rooftop” club in Harlem and built a studio for Riley, where he spent most of his time growing up.

Upstart New York rappers were using his track to make music, and by the age of 17, Teddy Riley worked with Doug E. Fresh and Kool Moe Dee. A year later he formed his first band, named Wreckx N Effect with his brothers Markell and Brandon mitchell and released their debut in 1987. Riley also formed another band that year named “Guy” with Aaron Hall and Timmy Gatling. Their self titled album hit number one in 1998 while the group traveled on sold out tours.

A journalist from the village voice dubbed Teddy’s style of music “New Jack Swing” As the group “Guy” stayed on top of the charts, Wreckx N Effects suffered tragedy when riley lost his younger brother, Brandon due to gun violence. Riley also parted ways with his long time manager after a dispute over royalties. In the nineties, teddy’s style of music was on the rise, labeling him as one of the hottest music makers working with music’s best, like Michael Jackson, Keith Sweat, Bobby Brown, and Janet Jackson.

Teddy Riley also worked on film soundtracks for “Do The Right Thing” and for “New Jack City”. After the break up of “Guy” Riley created another band named “ “Blackstreet” and they released their debut song in 1993. Riley continued to work with rap artists, like Jay-Z, Queen Pen and Foxy Brown. In 1998 Blackstreet won the coveted grammy for best r&b performance.

Teddy’s vision and unique style that created an signifiacnt genre in music, gives him the title of being one of the most influential producers in the music business of all time.

Today we salute and wish a happy birthday to Teddy Riley!

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