Somethings just stay with you forever. Anytime I’m in my “after work-at home-chillax-bottle of red wine” mood, or when I am preparing to host friends for an impromptu get together, Janet Jackson’s “Got ‘Til It’s Gone” pops in my head. Visually, its the party that myths are made of…you have Janet Jackson, as the lounge singer, a sharply dressed Q-Tip on the lyrical verse (I guess he is the host?) and a slew of beautiful brown people just having a great time in Apartheid-era South Africa and shattering segregation with every bottle of beer that (presumably) fell to the ground during the course of this shindig.
Released on her Velvet Rope album and filmed in LA in 1997, director Mark Romanek truly made me a fan with this clip. Imagine a Malik SidibÃ© or Seydou Keita image that has come to life, complete with a bangin’ baseline (courtesy of producer Jay Dilla, RIP) and the Ummah crew, with some of the hottest styling and art direction to come out of the art-form of the music video. Everyone is Afro casual-glamorous (Janet was in her curly-hair Afrique phase I guess), with a sheen that implies some hard partying is underway. Actually, aside from Control, The Velvet Rope is still, arguably, Janet’s best album to date by many.
On the flip-side of “Got ‘Til It’s Gone”, you have “Together Again’, which was the late-nineties house club anthem (especially with all of the boys) and “I Get Lonely” which was probably the last music video that inspired me to get up off my ass and learn the dance stepsâ€“don’t act like you don’t remember that move with the knee and arm-roll.
Some may argue that Janet isn’t a throwback, seeing as she just released a new album, Discipline. True, but just as I will probably never buy a new Madonna album, I will always love “Material Girl.” There is nothing like the memories of yesterday that get you through today, right?
I Get Lonely