Music/Features

Janet Jackson performed at the Super Bowl last night (in my dreams)

Spoiler: Justin Timberlake performed “Ms. Jackson.”

February 5, 2018

*Note: For legal reasons, I have to say this didn’t happen, I repeat this did not happen, but guess what, you can’t control my dreams… yet.*

The moment most of us are waiting for, besides the commercial breaks, is the Super Bowl halftime show. This year, in the deep trenches of my subconscious, Janet Jackson was chosen as the performer. The Super Bowl was continuing its routine of including powerful female artists to be showcased during the halftime show, and man, I’m digging it.

Completely accepting the possibility that artists of colour would protest against the NFL after Colin Kaepernick’s “essential blacklist from football” after he “took a knee” during the national anthem, the NFL’s actions clearly showed that it would be more important to allow artists to express themselves openly during a halftime show, than to strategically select performers that would avoid sparking a conversation about the many political issues that exist within American football. Between that, the internet and the entertainment industry’s incapability of handling the sight of a woman’s nipple (like they’ve never seen Game of Thrones before or haven’t been breastfed), it’s clear that this Super Bowl halftime show is one the NFL expects to be a powerful cultural moment.  

So, onto the show.

Yes, the moment we’d all been waiting for *squeals* it’s Janet Jackson.. and Colin Kaepernick! They, of course, were kneeling while Janet Jackson sang the first couple of lines of the national anthem. At “perilous fight,” she broke out into “Rhythm Nation,” with of course, a crowd of synchronized dancers dressed in black.

The medley then moved into a performance of “All ForYou”, “Feedback”, “What Have You Done For Me Lately”,  “Nasty”, “Runaway”, “The Pleasure Principle”, “Miss You Much”, “That’s The Way Love Goes”, “Because Of Love”, “Any Time, Any Place”, “Got ‘til It’s Gone”, “Doesn’t Really Matter”, “Someone To Call My Lover”, “Again”, “Escapade”, and eventually “BURNITUP!” when, yes, Missy Elliott was brought on stage for the first time since she guested for Left Shark in 2015. She performed “Work It” again and I cried. After the show, Pepsi confirmed that Missy will return to perform “Work It” as a guest at halftime every year until 2048.

This was followed by a roaring performance of “Together Again,” where she brought out Erykah Badu and Andre 3000 who held hands and looked deeply into each other’s eyes to do a short rendition of “Humble Mumble” as Erykah floated into the sky somehow. Andre then said “Y’all know why I’m really here” as he dragged a timid Justin Timberlake on stage. The stadium roared as the familiar reverse-snares of OutKast’s “Ms. Jackson” kicked in as Janet returned to the stage. Justin Timberlake began serenading Janet as the backing choir sang in unison, “I am fo reaaalllll.” The crowd roared with laughter and joy, with the performance medley ending with a duet to the crowd pleaser “Rock Your Body.” No item of clothing was removed during the entire performance.

The Eagles won, Janet Jackson’s bans across media platforms were lifted as if Nipplegate never really happened, and no one was (that) pissed off at Justin Timberlake. It was a happy ending and then we all wept and gabbed as we watched the heartbreaking new episode of This Is Us.

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