Jheri Curl June: Zapp’s “Heartbreaker”

Last June, we talked about Roger Troutman‘s “I Want to Be Your Man“–a classic jheri-curl ballad, completely worthy of inclusion in the annals of JCM history. But the song I really wanted to talk about was “Heartbreaker,” the 1983 hit by Troutman’s band Zapp. The reasons for this are obvious: first, because it’s a Zapp classic–a song scientifically engineered to be bumped as loud as one’s car speakers will allow, preferably while rolling through South Central L.A. in a 1961 Impala like Big Worm from FridayAnd second, because it’s one of the few jheri-curl songs to make lyrical reference to an actual jheri curl: as Troutman croons through his vocoder at the beginning of the third verse, “Everybody thinks that you’re a nasty, nasty girl / Wearing short dresses and that sexy jheri curl.”

The fact that Troutman and company knew a little something about “nasty” is obvious just from “Heartbreaker”‘s patented bass-heavy bounce. And as for whether they knew a little something about jheri curls…well…

roger troutman en 1981

Enough said.

Enjoy “Heartbreaker,” and the rest of the playlist, below. And look forward to more Jheri Curl June tomorrow!





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