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Watch: Janet Jackson “Got ’til It’s Gone”

One can only imagine how this music video would’ve been received in this political climate.

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Watching music videos you loved as a child decades later as an adult gives you a new lens. Janet Jackson won a Grammy for this excellent visual ode to Black beauty long before it was mainstream and popular to do so and I didn’t realize that until this week.

Janet went introspective (and a little dark) for The Velvet Rope and she gave a lot of interviews in the run-up to the release. One was about “Got ’til It’s Gone” where she said she knew she wanted a rapper somewhere on the album, and when “GTIG” came together, Q-Tip’s voice fit perfectly. In the same interview she talked about being a fan of Joni Mitchell and how rap and folk were both poetry set to music, and that’s how two very disparate artists ended up on the same Janet Jackson song. (Janet actually called Joni Mitchell personally and sent a copy of the song to get permission for the sample, after being told Mitchell would never approve it.)

For the music video, Janet went with Mark Romanek (who has more Grammys for Short Form Music Video than anybody else), and she portrays a lounge singer in South Africa during Apartheid. Joni Mitchell — on a television screen — is the only white face in this video. Whiteness only exists in this space as a target of Black revolution, as the last scene ends with bottles being thrown at a Europeans Only sign. With Beyonce set to release Black Is King in a couple of days and all of the press and petulant backlash from Saltine America taking offense at her pro-Blackness, one can only imagine how “GTIG” would be received in this political climate.

Twenty years after The Velvet Rope, people (including me) made note of Janet Jackson’s love letter to the African diaspora with “Made For Now” through the sound and the fashion and the dance sprinkled throughout the video. But really, Janet has always been that girl. We just pay more attention these days.

 

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Watch: Megan Thee Stallion “Thot Shit”

Who is doing it like Megan?

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Music videos don’t surprise me anymore…but Megan just surprised me. The Nightmare on Elm Street throwback? These costumes? The political commentary? Cheyenne Escada from Legendary making a cameo?
 
And Megan’s flow is just so smooth. Who is doing it like her?
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90s R&B Girl Groups Playlist

Every song I like from every R&B girl group of the 90s.

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The Xscape / SWV Verzuz prompted me to make a playlist of all the songs I like from R&B girl groups of the 90s. It’s in chronological order, so it’s a good progression of sounds and trends, from En Vogue “Hold On” to En Vogue “Riddle”

If your jam is missing, it might not be on Spotify (Pure Soul “We Must Be In Love” Brownstone “5 Miles to Empty” etc.) but lemme know if I skipped some groups!

(Also, I think I might expand into the 2000s a bit? Cherish and ISYSS and groups like that fit right in, and I want more Destiny’s Child.)

((AlsoAlso, the Spotify embed stops at 100 songs, but there are over twice that many on it. It’s an extensive overview!))

 

 

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Ultimate Christmas Party

Bops ONLY! No ballads!

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I love Christmas music!

No sarcasm either. I worked retail for the better part of a decade and it didn’t make me hate holiday season at all — but it gave me a lot of Christmas Bops! The thing that I don’t like about most Christmas playlists is when you’re at a party and you have a good vibe going and then somebody’s overly ad-libbed version of “Silent Night” or “O Come Emmanuel” comes on and drags the mood down.

So this is a Christmas Party Playlist — bops only, no ballads. I tried to group the songs together by genre so you could skip a section if that’s not your sound, but it roughly goes from Gospel to R&B to Pop to Rock to Country and I feel like you should just put it on shuffle for your Ugly Christmas Party and have a ball.

And! For the heathens who like some secular music sprinkled in, there’s a Deluxe version that has a non-holiday bop for every Christmas song.

Happy Holidays!

(For those who are asking, I didn’t make a Christmas Wishlist this year because I’ll be moving in a few months and I don’t need anything until we see what our space is like. Send good vibes and do something nice for somebody!)

 

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