J. J. Fad is an American female rap group from Rialto, California, a city in the Inland Empire east of Los Angeles. The name was an acronym of the original group members' given names (Juana, Juanita, Fatima, Anna, and Dania), but when the line-up change...
J. J. Fad is an American female rap group from Rialto, California, a city in the Inland Empire east of Los Angeles. The name was an acronym of the original group members' given names (Juana, Juanita, Fatima, Anna, and Dania), but when the line-up changed the tradition developed that it stood for Just, Jammin', Fresh and Def. The group was backed by DJ Train (Clarence Lars).
J. J. Fad began in 1985 as a quintet comprising Juana Burns (MC J.B.), Dania Birks (Baby-D), Anna Cash (Lady Anna), Fatima Shaheed (O.G. Rocker) and Juanita Lee (Crazy J.). It was one of the original acts signed to Ruthless Records by Eazy-E. In 1987, this line-up released its only recording, the single "Anotha Ho" backed with "Supersonic" ("Anotha Ho" was the A-side), which was produced by Arabian Prince.
Due to management and financial disagreements, Cash, Shaheed and Lee quit the group, leaving J. J. Fad as a duo. The surviving original members (Burns and Birks) were joined by Michelle Franklin (Sassy C.) and DJ Train, and together they re-recorded and re-released "Supersonic" in 1988, this time as the A-side. It sold 400,000 copies independently before Eazy and Jerry Heller secured the group a major-label recording contract with Atco Records.
The single was followed by the album Supersonic, which was also produced by Arabian Prince, who made J. J. Fad accessible to pop audiences--unlike many West Coast rappers of the day--by including electro elements in their music. Due to their involvement with Ruthless Records, co-producer credits were added for Dr. Dre and DJ Yella.
J. J. Fad was the first female rap group to earn a Grammy nomination, and both the single "Supersonic" and the album Supersonic were certified gold. (The group believes the single sold a million copies in the U.S.--equivalent to platinum status--but this has not been certified.)
Not Just a Fad:
With Eazy and Heller enjoying success with N.W.A, it was three years before J. J. Fad returned with a follow-up album. Not Just a Fad was released in 1991, produced by Arabian Prince, Yella and overseen by Eazy, but failed to make an impact. The group disbanded shortly afterwards. DJ Train died in 1994 of smoke inhalation.
After almost two decades out of the music industry raising families, the famous line-up of J. J. Fad reunited. The group performs at old-school concerts.
In 2006, Fergie used an interpolation of "Supersonic" in her song "Fergalicious", while in 2013 Eminem referenced J. J. Fad and "Supersonic" in his single "Rap God". "Supersonic" appeared in the music video game Dance Central 3 (2012), which J. J. Fad promoted on its Facebook page.
The 2015 biopic film Straight Outta Compton left out the story of J. J. Fad and how some in the media felt the group was responsible for "forging a path for the breakout success of N.W.A."