“Made For Now” is Janet Jackson’s latest single featuring Daddy Yankee. The infectious tune could also serve as the soundtrack to the resurgence Miss Jackson is having.
Janet, first of her name, is everywhere these days getting her shine, praise and things. I’m not complaining since it wasn’t that long ago that too many took her legacy for granted; taking an etch a sketch to the icon’s body of work which includes Control, Rhythm Nation, Janet and The Velvet Rope.
You’ve got to be an incredible talent to not only stand among other greats but get out of the shadow of the GOATS, Michael Jackson. Janet affirmed herself as more than just Michael’s little sister or cute Penny from Good Times but a force to be reckoned with in her own musical right. She’s a pioneer, especially for female entertainers. Janet may not be a powerhouse with the vocals but her artistry created a definitive blueprint; an assertive woman who highlights issues such as race, sexuality, feminism and domestic abuse.
Janet’s ministry was and is a tapestry of weaving grooves with social issues but the past decade saw her cast aside. Certain folks were acting like she didn’t have songs that slapped all because of Nipplegate. Janet’s career was derailed while Justin Timberlake’s took off to heights that rivaled her prime. It was long suspected that there were forces at play that hastened Janet’s downfall from her Iron Throne and a report by Yashar Ali of The Huffington Post confirmed those rumors.
Anyone with a working brain knew that she was blackballed. Janet knew. Still, it’s enraging that an entitled white man sabotaged the career of a living legend because she would not bow down before him. The level of racism, sexism and sheer arrogance it takes for a man to make it his decade long mission to ruin a woman who was already down is something else but not surprising. Neither was Timberlake’s decision to kneel before Moonves and leave Janet hanging.
Since the petty life chose me, Timberlake and Moonves are now both being paid a visit by karma. Timberlake had the lowest rated Super Bowl halftime performance and Man of the Woods crashed and burned on the charts. Moonves has been accused of sexual harassment. It does not escape my attention that his actions towards Jackson were probably leaked to further dirty his name. Still, the moment of reckoning both are having comes in contrast to Janet’s increased profile.
There’s a tendency to only wait until someone has gone up to yonder to give them their flowers. I’m happy to see that Janet is getting hers now. I’ve loved, admired and wanted to be just like her since I was a kid. My upcoming novel, Control, has its title lifted from her anthem. I’ve still never learned the If and Rhythm Nation moves because I want to have working hips. I’d break one trying to do what only Janet can but smiling through it all is a lesson we can take from her.
Janet Jackson has been through it and it did not change her for the worse. She’s still got that smile we love. After all these years, she shared to InStyle she’s learned to love it too.
I would look in the mirror and start crying. I didn’t like that I was not attractive. I didn’t like anything about me. But I wound up falling in love with the small of my back. And then from there I found more things. And then finally realizing my smile isn’t that bad after all. I thought I looked like the Joker because it was so big.
Keep smiling, Janet. Big and proud. It’s a mood made for you.