Am I a terrible person because I watched Janet Jackson announce her second tour delay due to family planning and thought, “But baby girl, what about these concert tickets?”
Before Beyoncé and her blond, freestyle braids took control of my life and thigh muscles, there was Janet Jackson, the patron saint of the butterfly, the master of the dookie braid, and the queen of the whisper. Janet Jackson has taught me many things throughout my life, so I was ecstatic about seeing her perform on the Unbreakable World Tour. That was supposed to happen in February, only she postponed the date until August because of surgery. Now Damita Jo is pulling out another doctor’s note to excuse herself from that tour date and all other dates.
I am so happy that Janet and her billionaire bae of a husband, Wissam Al Mana, are going to start a family—especially considering that Janet is 49. I have no idea how this is going to happen, but as NeNe Leakes once said, “They make ’em when you got the coin.” Still, this couldn’t have been the first time the two thought about this, so why touch me, tease me with a tour she seems to not really care all that much about?
The way she’s treated this tour is a lot like how she has treated her latest album, Unbreakable. It was an album seven years in the making and reunited Janet with longtime collaborators Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Moreover, there was a press release that went out touting Janet’s new label, Rhythm Nation Records, which touted her as “arguably the first female African-American recording artist to form her own record label.”
The album’s first single, “No Sleeep,” went on to become her longest-running No. 1 song on the adult R&B song chart—a reminder that the blacks will hold you down even after a white man pulls off part of your shirt, exposing your breast in front of a billion people and leaving your career and a nipple out in the cold. The album has the nerve to be pretty damn decent, too. Certainly better than the material she recorded with Jermaine Dupri.
And then what happened? The hell if I know. Janet gave us one video and not another peep. Legend has it she shot a video for my favorite track from the release, “Dammn Baby,” but where is it? Probably in the closet with the tour wardrobe she apparently won’t be putting back on anytime soon.
I completely understand why Janet Jackson would be over the music industry. She was wronged after her Super Bowl performance, and she struggled for a while to regain footing. If not for the support of her most loyal fans—a smooth millions of folks across the world—her legacy wouldn’t have endured as well as it has. However, it’s that support that helped launch her comeback—a comeback that now seems to end with, “Never mind. Bye, y’all.”
Maybe she will go back on tour, but at this rate, when might that be? Will she decide to do the butterfly on the third day of Kwanzaa? Do I have to wait until Cinco de Mayo 2017? How many hairstyles will her brother Jermaine try before she decides to finish out that lil’ world tour she wanted to launch?
I swear, I’m not complaining about her wanting a child. I hope she has a beautiful, healthy baby or three in whatever format Allah chooses for them. Kids are cute and stuff. But again, as a dedicated fan who has been waiting on Janet Jackson’s comeback for several years and has had tour tickets for quite some time now, how you just gon’ be like, “Oh well”?!
And if you think I’m wrong, at least I didn’t say, “It’s not like Janet didn’t have that secret baby Rebe raised.”
Michael Arceneaux hails from Houston, lives in Harlem and praises Beyoncé’s name wherever he goes. Follow him on Twitter.