2022 Essence Festival headliner Janet Jackson graces the cover of Essence magazine’s June/July “Essence Festival of Culture” issue. The icon, who will take to the stage when Essence Fest hits New Orleans in July, opens up about her truth-baring documentary, motherhood, new music, and reflects on her iconic and pioneering career.
Janet covers the Yu Tsai shot cover rocking a beenie hat, long textured tresses, and a cheeky smile. In the cover story interview, she reflects on her many musical accolades, including storing her awards in a warehouse. She revealed, that while she was Jermaine Dupri, she sent for her Grammy awards. “I remember when Jermaine and I were together, he said to me, “Where are your Grammys? Why don’t you have your Grammys?” So I had them brought over, because he wanted them out, so that’s what I did. Just the Grammys, nothing else. After we went our separate ways, they went back in the warehouse and haven’t come out since.”
Janet references her old flame multiple times in the interview, including a fun game with the interviewer where she randomly reflected on her discography. When she arrives at Discipline, she described it as “a hot mess.” “I’m joking, but truly, what really comes to mind when I look at that is Jermaine [Dupri].”
She also revealed, that she felt Velvet Rope is an underrated album of hers. “With The Velvet Rope, a lot of people were expecting something that was more up. Fun and happy. I remember driving on the freeway and this car honked. It was a girl, and I looked over and she pulled up her CD and it was The Velvet Rope. I just smiled and said, ‘Thank you.’ I appreciated her acknowledging the fact that she had it—and feeling that she understood it, she got it and it spoke to her.”
As for potential new music. Janet said, “Sometimes things happen that you don’t expect to happen, and you have to figure things out—or you’re in a space in your life when you have to take a step back and take a break for a minute. Even though it’s something that I absolutely love, it still is my work, my job. There will be music at some point. Exactly when? I can’t say just yet, but there will be. I love it too much not to do it. This is all I know. There’s so much that I want to do—but my number one job is being a mama.”
Read the full interview, here.