Listen to This: DJ Brainchild’s Janet Jackson Mix

by Samantha Vincenty

Janet Jackson turned 46 on Wednesday, and this mix by DJ Brainchild showcases some of the brightest gems in her catalogue. Highly recommended! It may or may not make you do a weird shoulder-jerking dance while you’re sitting on the train by yourself! Thanks to Gawker for the link.

It makes me sad to think that some people’s main association with Janet is the Nipplegate incident at the Super Bowl back in 2004. I can’t think of a stronger representation of America’s conflicted “oooh look, a booby/eeek, a booby, don’t look at it, it’s dirty!” relationship with exposed breasts. Well, except for last week’s Time Magazine cover. This mix is a great reminder of what she is: One of the few female pop stars that have managed to stay relevant for twenty-plus years.  

My favorite Janet album is Control from 1986. The first three tracks, “Control,” “Nasty,” and “What Have You Done for Me Lately” are my holy trinity of empowerment jams. In the video for “Nasty” she is sassing male harassers with her buddy Paula Abdul AND looking great in a boxy blazer, which is no small feat in itself. Do you have songs you play that always take you out of a bad mood? “When I Think of You” is one of mine. Thirty seconds in and I’m bopping my head side to side like a happy Muppet.

Bonus throwback: Janet also played percussion on her brother’s “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough” demo, which I vastly prefer to the album version. There should be more bottles-banging in songs. 

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