Today is the fourth day of Black History Month. Over the course of the month, I’ll spend some time paying tribute to Black artists across a wide and diverse array of genres and styles. My hope is that these posts should serve as an important reminder that the Black experience is the American experience, that Black culture is American culture — and importantly, Black lives and Black art matter. You can’t love Black art and Black artists without giving a shit about Black people.
This month won’t be a comprehensive study of Black music. It’ll be more idiosyncratic because — well, JOVM after all. Now, if you’ve been following this site, you may recall that so far I’ve paid tribute to
- Chaka Khan
- Reverend Al Green
- The Whispers
- Rick James
- Aretha Franklin
- Sister Rosetta Tharpe
- Chuck Berry
- Donna Summer
Today, I need to show love to the Queen of Pop, Ms. Janet Damita Jo Jackson. I’ve shamelessly admitted this countless times on social media: I’ve had a crush on Janet Jackson since 1986. The “Pleasure Principle” video and “Nasty Boys” were imprinted within the heart and soul of a 7 year old Will Helms.
Seriously though, Janet Jackson is an iconic artist, who has influenced an incredibly array of contemporary artists throughout her five-decade plus career. Janet’s a badass. It’s that simple.