I just *hate* to nitpick but this jawnita piece on Rhythm Nation 1814 is kind of bullshit. For starters, nobody was trying to dress like militant Janet unless it was Halloween; they were emulating high fashion Jody instead. And, however hard to believe now but Janet would only become a sex symbol after the tour pushed her past the point of exhaustion. She was actually seen as a frump before Herb Ritts would reintroduce her to the world in the “Love Will Never Do (Without You)” video. Then there’s variations of this corny, ahistorical line you see repeated frequently turning up again here: “With it, Jackson demanded multiplicity in both image and genre, in a time when black women pop singers of her oeuvre weren’t often given it.” Vanessa Williams and Regina Belle had two major crossover A/C hits in 1989; Karyn White accomplished the same feat with the classic “Superwoman.” And White’s “Secret Rendezvous” was not only a new jack touchstone but the biggest club record of the year (bigger than even Lil Louis’ “French Kiss”). Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis also lent their industrial sound to longtime collaborator Cherrelle on Affair. Jody Watley continued her multidexterous hit streak during the Larger Than Life era, soon with her own adult contemporary hit, “Everything,” and gave Rakim a top ten record with “Friends.” There’s Neneh Cherry who nobody could put in a box and put out an equally exceptional record with Raw Like Sushi. Caron Wheeler did amazing work with Soul II Soul that transcended genre and still dominated the charts on both sides of the Atlantic. Paris Grey helped bridge Chicago & Detroit to introduce Inner City to R&B and pop audiences. That’s just off the top of my head. This serves as a reminder that Beyonce acolytes in music journalism don’t ever know what they’re talking about which leads them to vanquish modern R&B history in order to establish Janet Jackson as her sole forebearer. Enough already.