“Got ‘Til It’s Gone” by Janet Jackson feat. Q-Tip & Joni Mitchell (1997)

“Got ‘til It’s Gone” has to be one of the least safe lead singles to be released as the first single from a highly anticipated pop project. Janet Jackson was coming off the twin triumphs of 1993’s janet and a 1995 greatest hits collection when she began to prepare what became The Velvet Rope. For… Read More “Got ‘Til It’s Gone” by Janet Jackson feat. Q-Tip & Joni Mitchell (1997)

“Funny How Time Flies (When You’re Having Fun)” by Janet Jackson (1986)

There were many new images Janet Jackson presented to the public on Control, including that of sexy Janet. Even though she’d been married and divorced by the time her breakthrough album hit the shelves, I can’t imagine that very many people thought of Penny from Good Times as a sexual being. “Funny How Time Flies… Read More “Funny How Time Flies (When You’re Having Fun)” by Janet Jackson (1986)

“Eric B. Is President” by Eric B. & Rakim (1986)

And now, a few random thoughts regarding “Eric B. Is President”. “President” heralded the next major advance in hip-hop upon its release in late 1986. Production-wise, Eric B & Rakim’s debut marked one of the first instances of  layered samples (rudimentary as the layering was). Rakim also signaled a seismic shift in the art of… Read More “Eric B. Is President” by Eric B. & Rakim (1986)

“Don’t Mess Up This Good Thing” by Janet Jackson (1982)

I’ve already discussed how Janet’s 1982 debut album is a low-key jam. “Don’t Mess Up This Good Thing” is probably the album cut that’s most suggestive of the itchy funk that she’d go on to perfect with the assistance of Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis. It’s produced by Foster Sylvers, whose big brother Leon defined… Read More “Don’t Mess Up This Good Thing” by Janet Jackson (1982)

“Come Give Your Love to Me” by Janet Jackson (1982)

Pre-Control Janet wasn’t bad. Before JJ’s Jam/Lewis-assisted breakthrough, she recorded two albums. The second of the two, 1984′s Dream Street, was a bit messy and unfocused. Her self-titled 1982 debut, though? It’s not…I mean it isn’t The Velvet Rope, but it’s a solid piece of early ‘80s dance/boogie/funk, contemporaneous with what acts like Shalamar (whose Howard… Read More “Come Give Your Love to Me” by Janet Jackson (1982)

“Broken Hearts Heal” by Janet Jackson (2014)

I was one of the millions who was devastated when Michael Jackson passed away. As much as I mourned though, I can’t imagine anything I felt was anywhere near the same ballpark as the anguish his family underwent following Michael’s death. Wow, that still feels weird to write and it’s been almost nine years. “Broken… Read More “Broken Hearts Heal” by Janet Jackson (2014)