The Velvet Rope, Janet Jackson’s sixth studio album was released in 1997.
I fell hard and fast in love with music in 1995.
When the realization that I’ve been in love with music for this long left me feeling all sorts of things. Shocked, awed, appreciative, and loved are the main things running through my heart. Folks have come and gone, I now have a few regrets, some gray hair strands, and have begun to travel the world.
But the one constant in my life has been music. For over 20 years now!
Making it the longest relationship that I have ever been in to date.
Of course, I had to write about that, because I am proud of that fact. It tells folks so much about me, in a weird way. What I was like growing up, my political stance, my pride in being a woman, my ‘sexually awaking’ moments, and how I like to be silly and dance half naked in my bedroom….
And I flove how Janet Jackson is still apart of my life’s playlist. The first song I remember hearing from her is ‘Pleasure Principle’. I remember being home alone and seeing that video of her just dancing and singing her heart out. The feeling that I felt watching her was new to me and I didn’t know what to call it until much later. It was happiness.
I was fascinated with her then, and that fascination only grew when The Velvet Rope came out. The video ‘If‘ aired on MTV and I was glued to the screen! Then came ‘Together Again’, ‘Go Deep’, and ‘I Get Lonely’ and I was head over heels for Ms. Jackson then. There was no going back after I finally heard the full album that December!
Up until this point in my life (at the tender age of 13 or 14 – seriously, someone should have been monitoring what music I listened to back then! LOL), I had not seen many black women express themselves in such a way and it captivated me. Seeing her with her curly hair, septum, and natural roots style – I knew that would be my look when I grew up.
Even though I didn’t get my septum piercing until 2015 🙂
Other artists and songs have come along since, but Janet Jackson is still one of my all-time favorites. Her gentle voice, honest lyrics, and boldness in always experimenting and allowing herself to be as free as possible through her music are almost unrivaled to any other.
So, allow me to thank her and celebrate the anniversary of one of her best albums within this post. As I celebrate the beautiful anniversary of my first love – music.