Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis are legends for their production work with Janet Jackson, Elton John, Lionel Richie and TLC. But even though they’ve worked on 16 Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 and racked up more than 100 Platinum certifications for their songwriting and production work over the past four decades, they’re just now putting out their debut as artists.
And who better to tap for the lead vocals but old friend Babyface? The triple-threat trio bring the lights down low and serve up real talk on the sensual “He Don’t Know Nothin’ Bout It.” The song, which dropped on Friday morning (Nov. 13), was produced by five-time Grammy winners Jam and Lewis and written by all three men.
“This is one everybody’s been asking for but never thought they’d see,” Jam and Lewis said in a statement. “You know Kenny’s voice the second you hear it, and he blessed the track with an incredible performance. It’s been a long time in the making and we cannot wait for everybody to hear it.” The possibility of a collaboration kicked off last fall when Babyface presented the Icon Award to Jam and Lewis at the 2019 Soul Train Awards.
“Working with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis was a beautiful experience. We had a mutual respect for each other’s creativity…So the music came easy and the love just flowed,” said Babyface. “We could all use a little more of that today.”
The slow jam has Babyface singing, “Talkin’ about all of the things he goin’ do to you when he gets you home/ Coming up short, making all them excuses, well/ You’re better off alone/ Think he’s fire ’cause he drive a six hundred that/ He don’t even own/ Talkin’ like he’s the guy/ He could buy her anything she want,” before dipping into the velvety, heart-on-sleeve chorus, “He don’t know nothin’ bout it/ Bout time you found a man/ He just beaten’ around it/ Girl he don’t understand/ What you go through/ He ain’t go a clue.”
A release announcing the single promises that “He Don’t” is the place-setter for Jam and Lewis’ first-ever artist album of all-original music as part of their deal with BMG, the details of which will be announced soon.
Listen to “He Don’t Know” below.