Folks slept (Haha no pun intended. Seriously, I just noticed it as I was proofreading this!) when “No Sleeep” first dropped but it seems like more people are getting on board now that the “don’t call it a remix” version with J. Cole and its accompanying video has been released. I, however, was Team No Sleeep from Day 1 and was fine without the rapper but… whatever you gotta do to sell records and get YouTube hits I guess.
Those who were disappointed that Janet was kicking off this new album project with a decidedly low key track aimed more at the bedroom than at a club’s big room are sure to be let down again with the video. La Doublé J spends most of “No Sleeep” lounging in her mansion as a wall of rain casts shadows against her face, one which suggests that absolutely no time has passed since she shot “That’s The Way Love Goes”—- which was over 20 years ago, by the way. There is a minor, very minor, dance moment on a flight of stairs but Miss Jackson occupies the rest of her time preparing tea, lighting candles, sharing old family photos, modeling Stevie Nicks hoodies and basically waiting for J. Cole to show up.
I’m still torn about the addition of Cole to the track. If you have to shoehorn a rapper du jour into the song, J. Cole makes the most sense—- and he’s a little less obvious than Drake—- as J. brings a grown man flow that would not have worked if Jan had reached out to say, Lil’ Wayne. However, while I appreciate the interplay between the two—- the new JJ vocals mean that they didn’t just add a rap verse and call it a day—- I’m still not completely convinced that the “Ay yo, lemme get on that track” approach was needed. I do, though, like that he’s in the video as a way to introduce something new into a concept that is basically “Jan chillin’ at the crib.”
There’s a cloning moment with Cole and a trippy magnifying class effect at one point but essentially the “No Sleeep” video is a super chill, low key sexy affair that isn’t trying too hard which makes it a great companion visual. The only downside to all of this laid back, minimal effort business is that it only heightens the anticipation for the brain-melting, uber crazy dance video that everyone is expecting so I’m fine with the quiet storm vibe for now… but I’m waiting Miss Janet.
SIDENOTE: I hate how the YouTube thumb catches Jan looking like she’s up to something shady… like she ain’t gettin’ no sleep cuz she’s busy hiding bodies in the pool house. She looks great throughout the entire clip and this is the first image folks see when they pull up the video?... ugh!
And with absolutely no shame in self promotion, here is my take on Janet’s “Sleeep” situation….
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