Janet Jackson’s The Velvet Rope album is one of my favorite albums. It played a big role in my childhood because my mother loves Janet Jackson and we had a copy of the HBO special plus the CD. Both the HBO special and the CD helped me with cultivating my soundscape and visual artistry. The Velvet Rope was sonically ahead of its time and the performances received many accolades but, the most important part of the album is the creative process that Janet went through. This was how Janet freed herself. Through recording this album, Janet was healing from her past.
This album was pivotal to the black community. It inspired many conversations such as domestic violence, STIs, sexual identity and being creatively free. As a young black woman who is very creative, I cherish this album. I want to heal and put myself in my art because of this album. The story behind this album teaches us to work on ourselves rather than try and be someone else, to heal and not care what people think.
Janet didn’t allow herself to be caged as a black sex icon and feeding the stereotype of black women being sexual objects. Through this album, she showed the humanity of black people and what we go through, specifically black women. Like she said, we are invited behind the velvet rope.
Janet also showed us that we didn’t need to be the best or perfect to get something accomplished. Janet is not the best singer but she utilized what she had and it was amazing.
In her HBO special she created an entire universe on stage. The costumes and set designs instantly transported you to another world. She didn’t let anyone stop her from giving birth to something unique.
Through creating something that was authentic she cemented herself as a legend. She was just being herself and standing in her truth.
After thinking in depth about her journey, I am reminded about “seek first the kingdom of God and then all things will be added unto you”. What that means to me is, when we focus on our spiritual health and stop trying to live up to standards of the world or even to ourselves then and only then we will be free and realize the power is within us. No wonder God wants us to turn away from the world.
Let me know your thoughts on this topic and if you heard The Velvet Rope album. I also encourage you to watch the HBO special for the concert.
I may do a stream of the HBO special but you will need to check my Patreon for more details.
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