Keith Sweat’s “Make It Last Forever”

Released November 24, 1987

Genre: New Jack Swing

Label: Vintertainment • Elektra

Producer: Teddy Riley • Keith Sweat


New jack swing is a genre of music defined as “pop music performed by Black musicians that combined elements of jazz, funk, rap and R&B. Many artists have released new jack swing influenced music, but when it comes to KEITH SWEAT?! He is one of the originators of New Jack Swing, and we can thank Keith Sweat’s debut album Make It Last Forever.

Make It Last Forever was released November 24, 1987 by Vintertainment & Elektra records. Produced by Keith & Teddy Riley, Make It Last Forever is one of the earliest R&B albums that showcased the new jack swing sound. In the era where artists like Aretha, Whitney, Luther, Anita..hell even Janet were heating up the airwaves, hip hop was going even further..& with New Jack Swing being the marriage of R&B & hip hop, we forever have to give Teddy Riley his flowers, along with Keith.

Today, we know Teddy Riley as the King of New Jack Swing and one of the best producers of all time, but at that time..he was an up and coming producer who had just found the group Guy (along with Aaron Hall & Timmy Gatling) and would become pioneers of the New Jack Swing movement.

Another thing to note was that at the time 1987 came around, Teddy Riley was a rap producer, and had no interest in doing R&B. He worked with a couple of rap artists like Kool Mo Dee, Slick Rick & Doug E. Fresh & The Get Fresh Crew & Big Daddy Kane. That all changed once he & up & coming crooner Keith Sweat crossed paths.

A fun fact is that Keith Sweat wrote Just Got Paid for the album and ultimately passed on it and Johnny Kemp recorded a demo for the song. & the rest was history.

Make It Last Forever peaked at number one on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and number fifteen on the Billboard 200 charts respectively. The album also has been certified 3x platinum by the RIAA, being one of the most successful new jack swing albums ever.

Ladies & Gentlemen, I present to you Keith Sweat’s Make It Last Forever.

Something Just Ain’t Right

Written by Teddy Riley • Keith Sweat

The album kicks off with the up tempo Something Just Ain’t Right, which has Keith confronting his cheating lover and putting two & two together.

Right and A Wrong Way

Written by Teddy Riley • Keith Sweat

One of my favorite songs from this album is the immaculate Right and A Wrong Way. While it was not released as an official single, Right and A Wrong Way is a staple on quiet storm stations and has been sampled or covered by many artists like Beyoncé, Pretty Ricky, Mario, Plies & Bone Thugs-N-Harmony.

Tell Me It’s Me You Want

Written by Teddy Riley • Keith Sweat

One of the album cuts that is extremely underrated, Tell Me It’s Me You Want has the singer wanting the woman he wants to profess his feelings for him. The song was sampled by Raekwon.

I Want Her

Written by Teddy Riley • Keith Sweat

I Want Her is a new jack swing CLASSIC!!! It was not only Keith’s debut single, but it became the song that solidified him into the R&B legend that he is today. A fun fact that I didn’t know is that Teddy & Keith wrote the lyrics to song over the phone while Keith was working his day job. The song was Keith’s first number one record on the R&B charts, and first top 5 pop hit…peaking at number five.

The song was also the first new jack swing to hit to top the charts, and was also one of the most influential new jack swing records at the time. The song has been sampled by Vanessa Williams, Ready for the World, Heavy D & The Boyz & Fred Hammond. Fun Fact: I love how Teddy Riley suggested that Keith sings in a very nasally tone (which was something Keith didn’t like) and honestly that has set him apart from other singers with his tone and delivery.

Make It Last Forever featuring Jacci McGhee

Written by Teddy Riley • Keith Sweat

Make It Last Forever is one of the best R&B songs ever, and that’s on period. That moment when you hear Jacci McGhee & Keith in the beginning of the song, you KNEW it was going to be a duet!

A song about Keith singing to his lover that he wants their love and bond to be a forever thing, Make It Last Forever was all of the proof Teddy Riley needed to let him know that as a producer…he could do hip hop and R&B. The song was a huge hit on the R&B charts in 1988, peaking at number two.

The song has been sampled and covered by many amazing artists like Mariah Carey, Mia X, Juvenile, Playa Poncho & Chanté Moore & Kenny Latimore.

In The Rain

Written by Tony Hester

My favorite song from the album has to be Keith’s version of In The Rain. A cover of The Dramatics’ classic record, I personally love Keith’s version because he made it his own. Everything about the production is just amazing and paid homage to the original while having an organic sound that’s suitable for quiet storm lovers.

While it wasn’t released as a single, it one of those quiet storm cuts that is just avoidable to hear on the radio. The song was sampled by Master P for his No More Tears record.

How Deep Is Your Love?

Written by Teddy Riley • Keith Sweat

How Deep Is Your Love is another album cut that is adored by Keith’s many fans. The song has been sampled by Trey Songz & H-Town.

Don’t Stop Your Love

Written by Keith Sweat

The album closes with the amazing Don’t Stop Your Love. The uptempo record was a top ten hit on the R&B charts, peaking at number nine.

It is important that the newer generations understand that Keith is and always will be one of the Kings of R&B, new jack swing, all of that! Make It Last Forever is truly one of the most flawless R&B albums ever. -MJ.

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