Review: No Sleeep (feat. J Cole) by Janet Jackson
The sultry songstress is back and smooth as ever.
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The mighty surname which has literally ruled music for decades. Finally the leading lady of the family; Janet, has returned after a timely absence from music. This time with a partner. Pioneer in the rap world J Cole pairs with the icon for Janet’s comeback track. Entitled ‘No Sleeep’ is it enough to reinforce Janet’s legacy?
Listeners are first treated to waves and other sounds of the sea before Janet enters. “You missing me, I’m missing you” the legend whispers before a soft backing track buffers Janet’s vocal and the first verse begins. The laid back number definitely strays away from the current music scene of loud and faster productions.
Janet keeps it calm and collected as she speaks the truth to her lover/friend. “You better get ready my King. ‘Cos I’m a be the Queen of insomnia”, Janet reminds the music-sphere that she is still royalty in her own right, while commanding her lover to get ready for her night time desires.
The mellowed down sultry verse of “You Missing Me...” Continues, before Janet goes for round 2. This yearns for seeing her lover are intensified through her slightly stronger but still relaxed vocal. “Show me how much you are missing me, I’ll read between the lines”, she shares before suddenly, the track changes direction. Janet ushers in her feature, “Cole World” is all we need to hear before J Cole himself takes centre stage.
The Roc Nation rapper quickly stops Janet’s fantasy. “I go my way, you go yours.” Clearly this meeting has a deadline as Cole’s not into the long term but he’s sure up for ‘No Sleeep’ before getting back to his own endeavours. “Too much sugar is bad for your smile”, Cole’s all about the wisdom and realness as his verse ignites many home truths about relationships and the trials and tribulations of labels. The verse sounds very reminiscent of 90s love tracks and highlights J Cole’s diversity as a lyricist. Ultimately Cole delivers one more dose of honesty “Maybe we’d be better off friends - with benefits”, before he wraps things up.
Janet and Cole then combine for a series of “Just a little more” cries and the infamous “We ain’t gonna get no sleep” line plays on repeat as the song fades out almost evoking an image of an incense stick finishing.
Janet Jackson ticks all the right boxes on ‘No Sleeep’ and combined with J Cole for a collaboration which is definitely special. Janet at this stage of her career has nothing to prove so creatively has delivered a timely and quality track without the pressures of labels (now signed to her own), and demands from management.
The laid back sexy production reminds the world of Janet’s signature sultry but classy music catalogue. The simple, mellow soundscape is exactly what allows Janet to stand out from contemporary music styles and definitely isolates Janet in a good way from the generic songs being churned out right now. J Cole adds the finishing touches and creates audio dynamite. His refreshing and frank verse definitely hints at the “wise old uncle” keeping it all the way real, but he does it in a soft and relaxed manner almost cushioning Janet’s vocals.
Perfect song, perfect collaboration. Strong comeback for Janet Jackson, but then who would expect anything less?