Now unless you have been hiding under a rock in the most isolated place in the world, you have been informed that Mrs. Janet Jackson- Al Mana is serving us with a album, and a world tour. The announcement was made two months ago via YouTube the night of her 49th birthday. We laughed, we cried, we celebrated, we even convinced ourselves that her announcement was made specifically for us, individually.
Now I didn’t know where exactly I wanted to go with this post. I could of given a run down on Janet’s accomplishments, things she has achieved her career, or the never-ending comparisons between herself with Ciara and Tinashe. But I think I am going to go a different way with this. I am going to speak about the ungratefulness of some of her fans.
This morning I was on Facebook in a group designed especially for Janet fans by Janet fans. And there was a post by a fan, in which they had shared a video by the infamous blogger/blogger TriniTrent. Trent is a trending blogger who has made many videos of valid points and strong opinions. The One video of his that I absolutely praised him for, was about Beyoncé’s performance at the MTV Music Awards when she received the Michael Jackson Vanguard Award. His thoughts and opinions about the choices of attires and references in her music from her last self titled album, Beyoncé, in front of her then 2 year old daughter Blu Ivy hit home for me because I am a mother. He also shared his thoughts on why he does not believe Beyoncé is a true definition of a feminist. (Different story for a Different post.)
Nowadays I like to give everybody the reason of the doubt to not make an ass of themselves. I also like to give people an opportunity to express or further explain their opinions. Because something has to have led you to your opinion in the first place, right? So despite all the cheers and jeers his video was receiving, I tried to coach myself to watch all 22 mins of his rant. But could only make it through the first 7 mins. The title of the video “Wake up Janet Jackson” can be seen as a humorous word play that parallels her single titled, “No SL333P“. I think it’s safe to say that Mrs. Janet is indeed wide awake. In the description box, Trent explains how he feels her comeback is already in trouble and he offers tips to help her along the way. Now, I am all for people being helpful, when it is for a good cause. But what I am not a fan of, are people with no knowledge, experience or accolades in the music industry, giving a well decorated musician tips on how to be relevant. Would a nurse tell a brain surgeon how to prep for brain surgery? Would a school crossing guard tell a 20 year vet Officer how to handle a situation under fire? I didn’t think so.
Now the first thing that he said that left me a little disturbed was his comparisons of Janet to Madonna and Mariah Carey. He stated that he sees a pattern of which all divas follows that he now sees is being done with Janet. He feels that Janet is not being active, which would counteract her success in today’s market, as though activity is a synonym of success. Now pause. Janet had just announced a World Tour two months ago, just a little over a month later, she releases “No sl333p” but not before long time friend and producer Jimmy Jam of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, released a photo of the lyrics to the song in a dark lit studio. “No sl333p” sold 38,000 copies through digital download in its first week. No promotions, no album in sight, just a Tour with no dates (at the time) 38,000 units in one week. Compared to Madonna’s “Living for love” which sold 10,000 in its first week from an album that sold 121,000 in the first week. Mariah Carey’s “Me. I am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse” sold 58,000 copies in the first week with the single, “Beautiful” selling 114,000 copies. People may want to argue that both Madonna’s and Mariah’s projects weren’t promoted the way it should have been but Janet has had zero promotion and has sold out Tours dates, everywhere. I don’t think relevancy is a problem of Janet’s.
Next Trent continues to put his foot in his mouth by stating that Janet’s single “No Sl333p” isn’t competitive enough, a song that fails at “making a dent” in the charts. According to whom?! I am convinced that this is not a fact, but more of an opinion of someone who isn’t a fan of the song itself. “No Sl333p” debuted at #15 on the Adult R&B Charts and has since moved up to #6 (as of today July 15). Pushing up past 9 positions in the last month of its release. I guess this is the little engine that could and DID! To add insult to injury, he goes as far as to say that the single is “dated”. I don’t blame him for this statement, however, I do blame the Industry for allowing such mediocrity (with the exception of a few)music flood our airwaves to where we forgot what the actual music sounds like. At the age of 49, married and fully equipped with the knowledge of the industry and self discovery of her own original style, I think it would be nothing short of poor taste to assume Janet would release anything that didn’t represent her as a woman first and an artist second. Janet has already received her stripes in the industry almost 40 years ago. The musicians of today should be competing with her, not the other way around. Furthermore, correct me if I am wrong, but I have not seen or heard Janet or anyone from her team confirm that this was the official single of the new album.
In fact, do we even have an official title for the album yet? I’ll wait……
He Continues to press the issue of lack of promotion and the fact that she is approaching the tender age of 50. And I understand where he feels that she has to compete with the younger generation of artists but to be honest, the younger generation is struggling with their own lack of chart topping hits and album sales. Janet isn’t concerned with being number one, in my humble opinion. After being number one so many times and so many years, you lose the need of having to prove yourself to people. I feel the competitiveness of Janet left after the passing of the brother. She just wants to create music for her love and her fans. It isn’t Janet that wants a number one single, a number one album or a number one world tour, it’s the fans. If we would only allow Janet to reveal herself to us in her own time without being pushy or allowing the bias opinion of a blogger cloud our judgement, we see and appreciate what gift she is giving us. Janet came back to us for one last time, to deliver what could possibly be the most real and intimate album she has ever created. It’s time that we are reminded of what real music and artistry is all about. Let’s keep this conversation going……
Thank you, Janet.