Although Janet Jackson is ludicrously successful in her own right (over 160 million records sold, owning multiple Grammy, Emmy, and Golden Globe Awards, nine number one singles in the USA, etc.), she is also a rare artist to have a devoted following in alternative and underground music circles, too: it's not hard to find everyone from the Night Slugs crew to How To Dress Well to Solange celebrating her futuristic R&B, notably the music she produced alongside Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis.
Basically, Jackson receives more critical attention today than she might have done, say, six years ago, when the (artifical) boundaries between 'mainstream' and 'underground' were more clearly defined. And, as it goes, six years ago was the last time that Janet Jackson released a new song – but that changes today with No Sleeep.
No Sleeep (that extra 'e' is intentional) once again sees Jackson teaming up with Jam & Lewis on a little number that doesn't really go for the jugular, instead hovering roughly around that airy, sexy 90bpm sweet spot. It's due out tomorrow on her own label, Rhythm Nation, and there's gonna be a new album out in the autumn alongside a 37-date world tour. It couldn't have come at a better time.
Rhythm Nation / BMG release No Sleeep on June 23rd 2015.