Janet Jackson’s Janet, released 30 years ago today, embraces the maturity of her sexuality and political identity, and in the process, she creates beautiful music.
By evoking disco and queer dance culture, Janet Jackson subverted her grief over AIDS deaths by turning it into pop joy on The Velvet Rope 25 years ago.
If Janet Jackson wanted to declare independence from her famous family, she didn’t entirely succeed with her debut LP. It wasn’t until 1986’s Control that she fully emerged.
Rebbie was the first of the Jackson sisters to find solo success, scoring a gold record out of the gate with Centipede. When she released Reaction in 1986, she was no longer the most successful Jackson sister.
Janet Jackson’s 20 Y.O. became emblematic of the excesses of sexism, misogyny, and racism when looking at the reach of powerful, successful white men.
New Jack Swing was the soundtrack for young Americans of the late 1980s and early 1990s in the same way that Motown was for young Americans of the 1960s.
Janet Jackson’s masterpiece of self-worth-themed contextual pop proves our idiocy for downgrade shaming her to the status of “wardrobe malfunction”.