From The Vault: Janet Jackson – ‘If’

Published: Sunday 8th Mar 2015 by Joe

As much as their respective fan-bases would like to state otherwise the female Pop throne is dually occupied by two powerful divas: Madonna and Janet Jackson.
This week From The Vault salutes the Queen of the Jackson dynasty and what we deem one of her most iconic songs and videos to date, 1993’s ‘If’.

After the phenomenal chart performance of ‘That’s The Way Love Goes’ – which was a significant change of pace, theme as well as style for the singer – the pressure was on for Janet to deliver something as exciting as the launching single of her eponymous fifth effort. All doubts were silenced when ‘If’ was selected as the follow-up single.
Another Janet, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis concoction, the Rock-infused track skilfully fused the the sound of the star’s preceding album ‘Rhythm Nation‘ with her newfound sexy.

Chart wise, it was another Billboard Top 5 for the artist, reached the 4th position of the Canadian charts and peaked at #14 in the UK.

What undoubtedly etched ‘If’ in the Pop Culture history book is its iconic music video – most especially the sickening choreography it showcases courtesy of the legendary Tina Landon. Directed by frequent collaborator Dominic Sena, the visual is set in a kinky Japanese nightclub where Janet performs seductively for a captivated crowd.

Oh…and did we mentioned “that” dance-break? Beyond being a visual exclamation mark for the song, video and MTV era, it’s widely regarded as one of the most groundbreaking pieces in the world of dance. And for reasons it simply justifies itself.

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What better day than International Women’s Day to highlight how much this artist and video have been influential for Women in Pop. Indeed, by being herself – fearless and fly, by not being afraid to express her fantasies, and by exhibiting precision in her dancing and the conviction she puts in her craft, Jackson managed to change the Pop landscape for the better. She became an ambassador for female empowerment and birthed a whole new generation of performers – both female and male.

While we wait for the Queen to return to the charts, we urge you to press play and reminiscence with us about this classy classic which is still as sexy, innovative and edgy today as it was 23 years ago.

Your thoughts?

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  1. Quinton251 aka Lil Wayne Stan March 8, 2015

    Beyonce and Rihanna owe their careers to the true QUEEN OF POP

    • #JACKIE March 8, 2015

      Janet slays those bum b****** easily 🙁

      • Sherry March 8, 2015

        Oh my god will y’all just shut the f*** up?

    • Ciara The Great March 8, 2015

      Beyonce owed her career to Janet, Tina, Vanessa, Ciara, Mariah, Toni, Mary, Whitney, Shakira, Britney, Rihanna, Brandy, Millie, Diana and so many others. The world, minus the uneducated BeyHIVe, is still wondering who Bey is as an artist besides a caricature.

      • Tyler March 8, 2015

        Who is Ciara…a knock off of Aaliyah or Janet? Because we’re all still curious to know.

      • #JACKIE March 8, 2015

        Who is Ciara you ask? Ciara is a beautiful, talented humble and most of all, ORIGINAL entertainer. Who the f*** are you fagget?

      • Tyler March 8, 2015

        Original? Ciara’s sound is a knock off of Janets…her style is a knock off of Aaliyahs…and she is the spitting image of DMX’s son. Whats so original about that?

      • #JACKIE March 8, 2015

        You should know all about ripoffs seeing as though your fav is the Queen of stealing?

      • Tyler March 8, 2015

        Lets not talk about stealing when your on damn fave was SERVED PAPERS ON STAGE, DURING HER OWN PERFORMANCE.
        Ciara will never be more respected than Beyonce as an entertainer. So stay in your lane.

      • #JACKIE March 8, 2015

        B**** please beyonce has more lawsuits then she has wigs. Gtfoh with your bum ass. Your so pressed typical f****** HIVe

      • Tyler March 8, 2015

        You’re just mad because Beyonce is the highest paid black entertainer since MJ and Ciara is a baby mama for a living.

      • IOWNTHEWORLD March 9, 2015

        Where does Ciara fit into the equation? Right. Nowhere. Britney either. You’re delusional.

  2. #TeamTinashe Stan (Supporting New Artists On The Horizon)) March 8, 2015

    People always try to find a way to add Beyonce and Rihanna in the mix for a STAN WAR smh and it’s mostly g@y men that are doing it… *sigh*

    Anyways, there was no one that was in Janet’s way in the 90’s, she murdered that whole decade of greatness (When it comes to female singers/dancers). She was on top!
    I miss the days when record labels didn’t pressure artists to work with a thousand of KNOWN producers on their albums. Janet had her housed producers, Madonna had hers, Michael had his, Brandy had hers and Aaliyah had hers.
    “If” to me will always be remembered for the teasing lyrics, the choreography that flowed well for the song and scenery and for being ground breaking for upcoming female singers that followed the direction in being Original, Contriving and not Conformity.

    • Uh… March 8, 2015

      Quincy Jones is very well know, but I agree

    • Ciara The Great March 8, 2015

      Says the hasbeen whose career became hasbeen status on site after desperately trying to be the new Janet.

  3. Sherry March 8, 2015

    Janet is indeed MY QUEEN (along with Mariah). Her discography is flawless. This isn’t really one of my fav Janet songs, but I love the video!

  4. Royalkev March 8, 2015

    There’s nothing like Janet! If you look up a simple word like special, you’ll find that JJ epitomize this like no other. Her sensuality in ‘If’ is so out of this world!

    • tits mcgee March 8, 2015

      Hey hun! I agree Jan is special. Often imitated but never duplicated.

      She also, has a natural sensual quality, when most performers are tryhards at being sensual..

      • Royalkev March 8, 2015

        So true Mcgee! JJ’s s** appeal comes so naturally and it’s few that truly have that quality about them. I have yet to get the Janet fix I needed in the last 7 years of her absence. 🙁 Ciara does come close, but Janet is one hell of an artist to fill the shoes of!

  5. tits mcgee March 8, 2015

    The Queen is poetry in motion! There will never be another. Queen Janet slays!!

  6. TheElusiveLamb March 8, 2015

    I agree with my sister, Sherry, above. Janet Jackson is one of the few artists that truly has a phenomenal discography. She’s one of the ten female artists who I hold to the Goddess level. If the rumors of her really creating new material are true, I can’t wait to hear it.

    • Sherry March 8, 2015

      Yessss sis I can listen to Janet all day and night and never get tired.

  7. ~The Arcade~ March 8, 2015

    Talk about it TGJ!!! I’ve been recycling this song (as well as many other songs from Janet’s discography) for months now 🙂

  8. Monica Fan March 8, 2015

    Classic!!!

  9. Ciara The Great March 8, 2015

    Legendary artist. Legendary single. Legendary video. Legendary choreography. Legendary album. Legendary era.

  10. Ciara The Great March 8, 2015

    That right there is REAL choreography, not some swing your head and hips then pat your a** brothel choreography that the BeyHIVe can learn in four five seconds.

    • Tyler March 8, 2015

      Umm, dont you also stand for Rihanna? Beyonce actually displays real foot work. What has Rihanna brought to the table besides the p**** pat, that weak ass dutty whine, and stupid finger guns??????

    • Royalkev March 8, 2015

      Oh stop! Run the World, Single Ladies, Love on Top and Grown Woman (to name a few) all happened. The choreo was much more intricate.

      • Uh… March 8, 2015

        No, they weren’t. that repetitive BS.

    • #JACKIE March 8, 2015

      Kii

      • Tyler March 8, 2015

        Were you kiing when Ciara was struggling to sing “Speechless” in that bathroom stall…or when her last release barely managed to sell 57k?????

      • #JACKIE March 8, 2015

        B**** you are so pressed over me OMG you crave my attention so bad. F*** off FAGler! Ciara slays your life and your mad about it!

  11. Tyler March 8, 2015

    Janet’s a bad ass entertainer. She and MJ are the King and Queen in my eyes #Legends.

  12. Navy Nick March 8, 2015

    Amen amen amen!!! She’s the best; QUEEN!!!

  13. king z March 8, 2015

    only on tgj r they dually occupied. to the rest of the world madonna is the sole occupant

  14. coolness March 8, 2015

    I didn’t grow up on Janet but five years ago, I was introduced to her by my cousin and I haven’t looked back ever since! I LOVE me some Janet Jackson and she is one artist from her era that I wished I actually got the chance to fully experience. For 1993, this video was truly ahead of it’s time with the voyeuristic theme of the video (it ties in with today’s social media age). This video was so s*xy without being smarmy because Janet was a tease. Can we just talk about her body? She had the most iconic set of abdominal muscles in music and wasn’t afraid to show it off. The track is a bit noisy to listen to at times but I will always get my life from the dance break. It was FIRE!

  15. Suicide Blonde March 8, 2015

    ‘If’ is one of her best videos, she looked so hot.

  16. Mark111 March 8, 2015

    She became an ambassador for female empowerment and birthed a whole new generation of performers – both female and male.
    .
    and that’s why Janet’s the Queen of Pop. This video is legendary. That dance break! And she killed the final performance at the VMAs that year as well.
    .
    and for the wicked witch of pop fans out there, I’ll end with this. “It’s dance music, I’ll say that. But I like to think what I do… have class to it.” -Janet on the Madonna comparison.

  17. #JackieFlop March 8, 2015

    My nickname for Solange is, Sponge.

  18. Rosebud (Natalie La Rose Stan) March 8, 2015

    This video is iconic! Janet slayed tf outta the choreography and fashion. Everything was just on point. This is my favorite song and video from Janet! She no doubt raised the bar for artist in the 90s with this and laid forth the blueprint for out favs to follow

  19. MC! March 8, 2015

    “If i was girl…oh the things i’d do to you”

  20. welp March 8, 2015

    Why do certain people keep trying to give Janet that title? Madonna is the queen of pop and a bunch of bickering online won’t change that.From album and record sales,to tours and impact they can’t even be compared.Queens of Pop tit’s dont ruin their careers.
    Bey and Rih may not have the sells but they both have had tours to outdo Janet’s biggest.Every popular artist is overrated to some degree,but the delusion is real here!

    • Stephy. March 9, 2015

      Girl STFU! We talking about talent & music quality. Ain’t nobody talking about sales & s***!

    • Shady81 March 9, 2015

      Welp shut up no ones talking about sales and by the way Janet is to called the Queen of Pop her and Madonna both shared that title it’s about impact,and what you put in that caused that impact And before Madonna was even called Queen of Pop Janet was it she reinvented herself with herControl album after her first two albums failed and after her Control album she hit everyone with Rhythmn Nation 1814 and that solidified her into that status relm,and if you want to talk about tour sales Janet is still that top touring Diva so don’t get it twisted her debut tour Rhythm Nation still holds that title as highest top grossing tour for a debut artist of all time so you brag so tough on Rhianna and Beyonce doing so called better than Janet touring wise think again, because they could never touch what Janet has set in stone remember Beyonce and Rhianna live and thrive in the house that Janet built from ground on up not the other way around.

    • Royalkev March 9, 2015

      Janet’s debut tour saw over 2 million fans in attendance. Her numbers aren’t going to be as high as today’s tour grosses because of the ticket pricing. Before 2004, her tours rivaled anyone’s! As for Janet’s sales, just about all of her 140 million record sales (which is still under certified) came from only 5 eras (and 1 greatest hits compilation). She’s still very close to divas that did twice as much work. People like yourself can pretend that she fell off or lost public interest, but we all know that is false. The reasons why Janet’s career took a hit are obvious and too many to list. She’s at fault for none of it.

  21. RihYonce March 8, 2015

    Iconic video ! My favorite song & Era from Janet she is indeed the Queen! I loved her VMA performance to this song ! But Beyoncé is obviously the queen of today so don’t try to downplay her record breaking success

  22. Stephy. March 9, 2015

    I just love Michael & Janet Jackson! Amazing Musical Family

  23. Indie March 9, 2015

    QUEEN JANET!!!!

  24. Roger That March 9, 2015

    She had the industry at her feet until she showed her bejeweled pasty during the Halftime Show. Talk about a career misstep. Probably one of the biggest of all time. She’s never recovered since then. But also times have changed, so it’s not really her fault. People are more interested in Khloe vs. Amber Rose than an actual talent like JJ. It makes me sad to think we live in a world where we don’t see any Jacksons on stage anymore, besides a hologram.

  25. JOHNVIDAL March 9, 2015

    You people need to be honest here. Janet is great and quality wise you may think she´s better than Madonna. I have no problem. But she never was bigger than her or the other big girls, not in the 90s, not in any other era. Only Janet song you can hear on radio stations which play old songs in Spain is “Together Again”. I´m sure it happens in most of Europe. It´s nothing compared to the number of classics you can hear from Madonna, Mariah, Whitney or Celine. All of them were bigger than Janet worldwide, now and then.

    Apart from that comment of mine which shouldn´t be needed if TGJ wouldn´t be wanting to change history all the time, Janet Jackson was amazing, did her own thing facing a certain backlash from people who insisted in saying she was famous thanks to her brother and all that. And did it evolving a lot and releasing great videos and great conceptual eras. Kudos to her.

  26. Stoney-Brie March 9, 2015

    Janet Jackson ladies and gentlemen. this is one of my fav songs from one of the best pop r&b albums ‘Janet’ I miss her so much!

  27. DeanD March 9, 2015

    The song and video for “If” are iconic. But a small correction, Tina Landon did the choreography for the entire song except the breakdown which was choreographed by Omar Lopez, Janet’s dance partner in the video. I remember that year two different dance troops did the breakdown for the talent show.

  28. Red boy March 10, 2015

    BEST.SONG/VIDEO.EVER! Sorry anybody who’s an artist, IF just trumps everything else. And lets not get started on the live performances of this either *bows down*

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