Janet Jackson has a new single. It’s the first time we’ve heard her voice since Kendrick Lamar sampled “Any Time, Any Place” for 2012’s “Poetic Justice” and her first new music since the 2008 album Discipline. The song is called “No Sleeep,” and yes, that spelling is correct, as she routinely adds an extra syllable to the word “sleep” (pronounced “sle’eep”) to give it more of a Janet punch.
The single isn’t wholly out of the blue, as it was announced that Ms. Jackson will be going on tour in 2015. This is spectacular news from a great artist with absolutely nothing left to prove (see: years 1986–1997; the last name “Jackson”). Thankfully, “No Sleeep” is a welcome addition to the catalogue, and not simply a cry for attention, some glitch in the perfection matrix that we pretend never happened. Some thoughts, while listening to the song for 22 straight minutes:
Bearskin rug. Pudding. Mink underwear. Oh wow, I love Janet. Especially because she’s doing that Janet thing where you can’t really make out any of the words she’s saying, but you know they’re probably about sex and not the bad kind. Hot tub. Topless Tuesdays. Taco Tuesdays. Fetish Fridays.
This is classic Janet. Pool hall Janet. Dark, smoky room Janet. After-hours Janet. Grab a butt Janet. You, go make out with him, I’ll record it and then delete it and then we’ll all eat this gigantic cake as the sun rises Janet. The only thing it’s missing is the trademark Janet Giggle. But this is just one song from a soon-to-be-named album, so I’m sure we’ll get our fair share of trademarked Janet Giggle. More thoughts:
Rosé. White wine. Rosé. White wine. Rosé. White wine. Rosé. White wine. Rosé. White wine. Rosé. White wine. Rosé. White wine.
Because of the musical universe we live in, there’s this anticipation with any chill R&B song that eventually there will be a buildup to some up-tempo climax. Maybe it’s electronic. Maybe it’s heavy synth. Maybe it’s a rap verse. Whatever the answer, it’s typically something. With “No Sleeep,” the only climax is calm Janet building up to semi-belting, sense-of-urgency Janet. They tease the moment, with a slight pregnant pause, and my thought was, Who’s about to hop in? Fabolous? Probably Fabolous. Definitely Fabolous. But no. Just Janet. Additional thoughts:
“My body all over your body, baby. Your body all over my body, baby. My body all over your body, baby. It’s your body, baby.” —LSG
Apparently, the song is about Janet anxiously waiting for some quality time with a lover. The Internet had to tell me that, for I could not stop thinking about rolling around in a field. Another thought, as I was transported to said field while listening to “No Sleeep” on my Beats Pill:
This is a jam, because it sounds like it could have been the first song left on the cutting-room floor from The Velvet Rope. It’s also a jam because it’s a Jimmy Jam–Terry Lewis production. Furthermore, it’s a jam because I have ears and have listened to it over 75 times and it’s still a jam. One final thought:
Yes, Janet is back. I can only hope that means something to you. Because Janet doesn’t need us. We need Janet. Embrace this gift. Hold it tight. Never let it go. Habari Gani, you ask?