Swing Mob (sometimes known as Da Bassment Cru) was an R&B/hip hop collective consisting of artists and record labels first discovered by Jodeci member DeVante Swing. The artists on Swing Mob included: Missy Elliott with the group Sista, Timbaland, Magoo, Ginuwine, Playa, Darryl Pearson, Mike "Funky Mike" Jackson, Tweet with the group Sugah, Majik, Jimmy Douglass, Stevie J, Maija Max, Renee Anderson, Bazaar Royale and Chad "Dr. Ceuss" Elliott among others, although all official members had never been confirmed. A list of some known artists in Swing Mob at the time of the group's activity can be found in the liner notes of Jodeci's third studio album, The Show, The After-Party, The Hotel.[1][2]

Swing Mob
Also known as
  • Da Bassment Cru
  • Superfriends
OriginUnited States
GenresR&B, hip hop
Years active1991—1995 (Swing Mob)
1997—2004 (Superfriends Collaboration)
Membersfounder DeVante Swing
Past membersDeVante Swing
Missy Elliott
Jimmy Douglass
Stevie J

Associated members:
Nicole Wray

Swing Mob and formation of Da Bassment Cru Edit

DeVante Swing (center right) of Jodeci, formed the collaborative crew called 'Da Bassment' part of his label Swing Mob

In the early 1990s, DeVante Swing decided to assemble a large crew of rappers, singers, instrumentalists and producers who could sign to his Swing Mob label and collaborate. He auditioned many local groups and acts; the performers met in Swing's basement studio in Rochester, a location that inspired the moniker "Da Bassment Cru" (also a pun on bass). The group brainstormed and recorded music together in Swing's studio, ultimately aiming to produce a VHS compilation project that could market the group members to record labels. Acts who were recruited into Da Bassment Cru included the R&B groups Fayze (later renamed to Sista) and Playa; the rap duo Timbaland & Magoo; the singer Ginuwine; and a trio called Sugah. Swing also recruited record producers and audio engineers such as Jimmy Douglass and Stevie J. Swing met Rochester School Of The Arts graduate Renee Anderson through Paul Boutte, a prominent figure in the Rochester gospel scene, producer Reginald “Reggie” Moore, and Dajhelon Studio owner Dave Schumaker. Anderson was a member of Colorz, a local R&B girl group at the time. Moore played Anderson's demo for Swing backstage during an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and Swing then flew back to Rochester to meet Anderson, agreeing to produce an album for her. [3]

From 1993 to 1995, the collective crew released multiple collaborative EPs, though many of these were commercially unsuccessful. In 1994, Sista released its sole album, 4 All the Sistas Around da World;[4] this album received positive reviews but was shelved due to a lack of commercial success. Swing Mob members also featured on film soundtracks during this period, with their music appearing in titles such as Above the Rim and Dangerous Minds.[5]

The Swing Mob label dissolved in 1995. Artists such as Missy Elliott (who had been a member of Sista) and Ginuwine had begun to leave the group and pursue musical careers elsewhere, and other artists from the collective stated that they felt Swing was underpromoting or mismanaging them.[5] Smoke E. Digglera of Playa has stated that artists were forced to choose whether they wanted to sign directly to Def Jam or through Swing Mob instead, weakening some acts' loyalty to the Swing Mob brand.[6][7] Since the disbandment of the collective, Swing has also been accused of physically abusive behavior toward his artists; Stevie J has described an incident in which Swing purportedly entered the studio with his entourage and began slapping the artists, a situation which devolved into an all-out brawl.[8][9][10][11]

The Superfriends Edit

Missy Elliott was first part of the girl group SISTA under the Swing Mob collective before branching off to become a successful artist.

After the dissolution of Swing Mob, its former artists continued to collaborate. During the late 1990s, they formed a loose collective, initially called Da' Bassment; this would go on to be supplanted by The Superfriends collective in 1997.[12][13] The group became much of a 'dream team' of acts within each other making hits, as described by both Missy and Timbaland, who would add a few more members to Da Bassments new family roster. Members would now included Nicole Wray,[14][15] Skillz, Rochester School of the Arts graduate Tweet, and rising R&B artist Aaliyah.[16][17] The collective began working with each other collaborating on each other recordings keeping the features between the small unit, often appearing in each other music videos still gathering anonymously as 'Da Bassment Cru' post-Swing Mob days but became their own creative team eventually phasing out the name and brand as they all just went by their own separate names due to their own gradual success respectively.

The first collaboration under the Superfriends name took place on Timbaland & Magoo's 1997 single "Up Jumps da Boogie", in which Elliott and Ginuwine provided background vocals and made appearances in the music video. Also providing background vocals was Aaliyah, who had become affiliated with the former Swing Mob roster after Timbaland produced her 1996 album One in a Million.[18] Missy Elliott, who had served as a writer and background vocalist on One in a Million, went on to release her debut solo album, Supa Dupa Fly, in 1997. A critical and commercial success that featured production from both Elliott and Timbaland, this album helped to raise the profile of the collective.[19][20][21] While affiliated with the Superfriends collective, Playa released the 1998 album Cheers 2 U; Playa member Static Major also served as a songwriter for many other members of the collective, contributing writing to Ginuwine's "Pony" and many of Aaliyah's songs from this period.[22] Nicole Wray and Tweet also released music during the Superfriends' period of peak activity.[23]

Aaliyah, who had gradually become a core member of the Superfriends due to her commercial success, died in 2001. This loss shook the collective, and its members gradually began to drift apart in the aftermath.

R&B artist Aaliyah became a major part of the Superfriends collective after the release of her album One in a Milion.

Superfriends members Edit

The 'Superfriends' collective collaborations singles Edit

Song Artist(s) Featured artist Songwriter(s) Producer
"4 Page Letter" Aaliyah Timbaland (as background vocals) Missy Elliott, Timbaland Timbaland
"All Y'all" Timbaland & Magoo Tweet, Sebastian Mosley Timbaland, Magoo Timbaland
"Are You That Somebody" Aaliyah Timbaland Static Major Timbaland
"Bounce" Timbaland Missy Elliott Timbaland Timbaland
"Beep Me 911" Missy Elliott Magoo, 702 Missy Elliot w/various contributors Timbaland
"Call Me" Tweet Missy Elliott (as background vocals) Missy Elliott Timbaland
"Cheers 2 U" Playa Timbaland (as background vocals) Static Major, Timbaland Timbaland
"Cop That Shit" Timbaland & Magoo Missy Elliott Timbaland, Missy Elliott w/various contributors Timbaland
"Hot Like Fire" Aaliyah Missy Elliott (as background vocals) Missy Elliott, Timbaland Timbaland
"I Care 4 U" Aaliyah Missy Elliott (as background vocals) Missy Elliott Timbaland (w/various producers)
"If Your Girl Only Knew" Aaliyah Missy Elliott (as background vocals) Missy Elliott, TImbaland Timbaland
"Make It Hot" Nicole Wray Missy Elliott, Timbaland Missy Elliot, Timbaland Timbaland
"None of Ur Friends Business" Ginuwine Timbaland (as background vocals) Ginuwine,Timbaland Timbaland
"One In A Million" Aaliyah Missy Elliott (as background vocals) Missy Elliott, Timbaland Timbaland
"Oops (Oh My)" Tweet Missy Elliott Missy Elliott, Tweet (co-writer) Timbaland
"Pony" Ginuwine Timbaland (as background vocals) Static Major, Ginuwine Timbaland
"Same Ol' G" Ginuwine Timbaland Ginuwine, Static Major, Jimmy Douglass (Swing Mob) Timbaland
"So Anxious" Ginuwine Timbaland (as background vocals) Ginuwine, Static Major, Timbaland Timbaland
"Take Away" Missy Elliott Ginuwine, Tweet Missy Elliott, Ginuwine Timbaland
"The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)" Missy Elliott Timbaland (as background vocals) Missy Elliott, Timbaland (various contributors) Timbaland
"Try Again" Aaliyah Timbaland Static Major, Timbaland Timbaland
"Up Jumps Da Boogie" Timbaland & Magoo Missy Elliot, Aaliyah Missy Elliott, Timbaland (various contributors) Timbaland
"We Need A Resolution" Aaliyah Timbaland Static Major, Timbaland Timbaland
"What's So Different" Ginuwine Timbaland (as background vocals) Ginuwine, Timbaland w/various contributors Timbaland
Timbaland's collaboration through compilation with 'Swing Mob' partners 'Superfriends'
Artists Album Featured Artitsts Label/Distribution Year
Timbaland Tim's Bio: Life from da Bassment Aaliyah, Ginuwine, Magoo, Missy Elliott, Playa, Skillz Blackground Records/Empire Distribution 1998/2021

*Timbaland, Missy Elliott and Static Major has actively been involved in majority of the collective works, with Timbaland serving as the predominant producer on majority of the songs on multiple albums. However the three does not serve as writer and producer on every song on each albums. The 8 artists of the collective also appear and feature on multiple tracks on various albums also sharing writers credit. However many of the tracks may not have been marketed as a single, which of the above is a select few.[26][27]

♦The Term Superfriends, coined by the collective crew themselves, was a reference to them being superheroes, changing music every chance they got in order to save the world, as claimed by both Missy and Timbaland.[28][29] It also comes from the track "Best Friends"(Featuring Aaliyah), with Missy explaining that they would come together as super friends.[21] It also derives from the term 'supergroup', the collaboration of the urban R&B/Pop team being composed of music producers, writers, rappers and singers all from the Da Bassment Camp as well as solo artists who were becoming successful in their own right.

After Swing Mob Edit

Some former Swing Mob members ultimately went on to establish their own record labels. Missy Elliott founded The Goldmind Inc., while Timbaland founded Mosley Music Group and the now-defunct Beat Club Records. After Playa broke up, member Static Major found mainstream success in writing songs for other artists including Aaliyah ("Try Again", "Are You That Somebody?"), Pretty Ricky ("Your Body"), and Lil Wayne ("Lollipop"). He eventually died in 2008 after complications from a medical procedure.

Ginuwine and Timbaland would eventually fall out with one another,[30] but relations remain close between the other former members of the Swing Mob and Superfriends collectives.

Swing Mob discography Edit

Da Bassment Edit

  • 1993: Da Bassment Cru (Swing Mob/EastWest)

Sista Edit

Sugah Edit

  • 1997: Untitled Album (unreleased) (Swing Mob)

Mad Skillz Edit

Missy Elliott Edit

Timbaland Edit

Playa Edit

Ginuwine Edit

Tweet Edit

Mr. Dalvin Edit

Renee Anderson Edit

  • 1995: Untitled Album (unreleased) (Dajhelon/MCA/EMI/Swing Mob)

Bazaar Royale Edit

  • 1995: Untitled Album (As Da Boogieman)(unreleased) (Swing Mob)
  • 2003: What's It All For? (Def Jam/Ruff Ryders/Bloodline)

Soundtracks Edit

References Edit

  1. ^ "The Origin of a Sound". VirginiaLiving.com. 2016-12-22. Retrieved 2022-08-23.
  2. ^ "The show, the afterparty, da bassment". (585) magazine. 2018-12-26. Retrieved 2022-08-23.
  3. ^ "The show, the afterparty, da bassment". (585) magazine. 2018-12-26. Retrieved 2023-06-27.
  4. ^ Abraham, Mya (2021-09-25). "Missy Elliott Celebrates Her Introduction As An Artist In '90s Girl Group, Sista". VIBE.com. Retrieved 2022-08-23.
  5. ^ a b YKIGS (2021-01-28). "The Story of DeVante Swing's Da Bassment As Told By the Artists Who Were There - YouKnowIGotSoul.com". YouKnowIGotSoul.com | New R&B Music, Songs, Podcast, Interviews. Retrieved 2022-08-23.
  6. ^ "Smoke of Playa: An Insider's View of Swing Mob - R&B Haven". www.rnbhaven.com. Retrieved 2022-08-23.
  7. ^ Bowser, Edward (2012-11-05). "What Ever Happened to: Playa". Soul In Stereo. Retrieved 2022-08-23.
  8. ^ "Missy Bravely Tells Why She Never 'Felt Pretty' In Devante Swing's '90s Girl Group". I Love Old School Music. 2021-09-14. Retrieved 2022-08-23.
  9. ^ "Stevie J Recalls Brutal Brawl with K-Ci After Devante Smacked Missy Elliot [VIDEO]". EURweb. 2019-09-14. Retrieved 2022-08-23.
  10. ^ "Missy Boldly Admits Why She Never 'Felt Pretty' In Devante Swing's 90s Girl Group". I Love Old School Music. 2018-04-18. Retrieved 2022-08-23.
  11. ^ Balogun, Oyin (2019-09-08). "Stevie J Revealed Details about K-Ci Altercation after Devante Swing Allegedly Hit Missy Elliott". news.amomama.com. Retrieved 2022-08-23.
  12. ^ Williams, Stereo. "Before 'Supa Dupa Fly:' The Rise Of Missy Elliott". rockthebells.com. Retrieved 2022-08-23.
  13. ^ Cochrane, Naima (2018-08-26). "THE SUPERFRIENDS". #MusicSermon. Retrieved 2022-08-23.
  14. ^ YKIGS (2014-07-18). "Nicole Wray Talks Joining Lady the Band, New Solo Music, Static & Aaliyah Memories, Missy Elliott Advice (Exclusive Interview) - YouKnowIGotSoul.com". YouKnowIGotSoul.com | New R&B Music, Songs, Podcast, Interviews. Retrieved 2022-08-23.
  15. ^ "Nicole Wray's Debut Album "Make It Hot" – An In Depth Look at the Creation of This R&B Gem". youknowigotsoul.com. You Know I Got Soul. Archived from the original on 2017-06-10. Retrieved 2018-01-26.
  16. ^ "Tank Says Validation From Aaliyah Meant Everything To His Career: "Nothing Trumps That"". The Rickey Smiley Morning Show. 2022-05-23. Retrieved 2022-08-23.
  17. ^ "Aaliyah's Final Album Turns 20". Stereogum. 2021-07-16. Retrieved 2022-08-23.
  18. ^ Br; August 26, on Caldwell; EDT, 2021 at 01:10 PM. "How Aaliyah's 'One in a Million' set the blueprint for modern R&B". EW.com. Retrieved 2022-08-23.
  19. ^ "Supa Dupa Fly Turns 25: A Tribute to Missy Elliott's Genre-Defying Debut". BET. Retrieved 2022-08-23.
  20. ^ "Missy Elliott's "Supa Dupa Fly" Came from the Future". The New Yorker. 2018-11-20. Retrieved 2022-08-23.
  21. ^ a b Tinsley, Justin (2017-07-13). "Timbaland on Missy Elliott's 'Supa Dupa Fly' and how hip-hop got its groove back". Andscape. Retrieved 2022-08-23.
  22. ^ "Diddy Remembers Aaliyah And Biggie In Classic 1994 Throwback Photo". HotNewHipHop. 2021-01-08. Retrieved 2022-08-23.
  23. ^ "Q&A: R&B singer Tweet explains why it took her a decade to release a new album". Los Angeles Times. 2016-02-25. Retrieved 2022-08-23.
  24. ^ Mixon, Imani. "Remembering and releasing Aaliyah, 20 years later". Detroit Metro Times. Retrieved 2022-08-23.
  25. ^ "Hard-Working Aaliyah Packed Hit Albums, Movies Into Short Life". MTV. Retrieved 2022-08-23.
  26. ^ Johnson, Daniel (2022-03-07). "The Truth About Missy Elliot And Timbaland's Relationship". Grunge.com. Retrieved 2022-08-23.
  27. ^ Alex, Brenda; er (2021-01-07). "Missy Elliott Say's Tweet's 'Oops, (Oh My)' Isn't About Sex". Showbiz Cheat Sheet. Retrieved 2022-08-23.
  28. ^ "Aaliyah, RIP". The FADER. Retrieved 2022-08-23.
  29. ^ Thompson, Erica (2019-03-15). "Ginuwine & Timbaland Reflect on 20th Anniversary of '100% Ginuwine,' 'One of the Best Albums Ever Made'". Billboard. Retrieved 2022-08-23.
  30. ^ VIBE; VIBE (2010-04-12). "Ginuwine 'Doesn't Like' Timbaland, Still Calls Him One Of 'Best Producers Ever'". VIBE.com. Retrieved 2022-08-22.

External links Edit