Virtual ‘Realities’ in The Velvet Rope

Janet Jackson records image

Ayanna Dozier on Janet Jackson, cyber culture, and more. Technophilia and Technophobia were the rage in the late 1990s. As the approaching new millennia loomed on the horizon, society was facing a technological expansion hitherto experienced before. The internet transformed not only our communicative habits but our awareness of space and time itself, producing what scholar John B. Thompson writes as a space-time distanciation (Thompson 1995). This concept refers to how time, regardless of geographic location, now feels as if it operates on a global simultaneity; we feel like we…

Quite the Scandal: The Velvet Rope Tour Poster

Ayanna Dozier on a tour poster that sparked sexist backlash During early press for The Velvet Rope, Janet emphasized that a tour would follow the album, leaving the public to anticipate a cornucopia of images and media text that would extend the listener’s experience with the album. While the press were on alert for the tour dates and the promotional images to follow, nothing could have prepared them for the official poster to announce the Spring 1998 tour. The image was shot by her then husband, René Elizondo Jr. for…

Sex Before and After The Velvet Rope on janet. and All for You

Ayanna Dozier on Janet Jackson and Black women’s sexuality In the infamous Rolling Stone interview that accompanied the promotion of 1993 album, janet., Janet got “real” about sex. In conversation with interviewer David Ritz, Janet discussed the confusion that some of her fans might have about the way in which she addresses her sexual liberation on that album, especially as this was the same woman who infamously suggested “to wait awhile, before we go too far.” She states in that interview that at the age of twenty-seven the album was…

Why I Wrote About Janet Jackson’s The Velvet Rope

Ayanna Dozier on what The Velvet Rope says about power, sexual fluidity, and respectability politics The Velvet Rope has been with me since its release nearly twenty-three years ago in October of 1997. For most of that time, I had no intention to write about my admiration for the album. It was simply a record that I would fervently remind colleagues and friends of as time passed. But as time passed, I bore witness to the changes in Janet’s career. In the 1990s through the early 2000s, Janet was the…

Announcement: New 33 1/3 books + upcoming author take-over!

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Grab your headphones and your reading glasses and settle into your favorite cushy chair, because today marks the publication of 3 new 33 1/3 titles—Suicides’s Suicide, Janet Jackson’s The Velvet Rope, and Various Artists’ I’m Your Fan: The Songs of Leonard Cohen.