Damita Jo is the middle name of Janet ‘Damita Jo’ Jackson. In many ways, we can compare her eighth studio album to her breakthrough album. In the same way that Control was the biggest turning point in her career, Damita Jo and its process of creation presented many changes. It was the first time that Janet opened up completely to new producers. Despite having flirted with “infidelity”, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis had produced the vast majority of her albums. The producers invited were, sometimes, former colleagues of Jam and Lewis on the band The Time or mere co-producers. This time, in contrast, Janet had on board names like Kanye West, John Legend, Dallas Austin, Babyface and Scott Storch. It was, by far, the album that took the most time to be completed.
In contrast to the short three months producing Control, Damita Jo took 18 months to be made. It was the beginning of Janet’s commercial decline – as opposed to Control, that was the beginning of her stardom as a singer. Due to the unfortunate episode of the Super Bowl, in which Janet’s breast was exposed by Justin Timberlake for a split second on national television, Jackson was punished by the economic and political consequences of the incident, which meant that her music and music videos would be boycotted by large corporations. It is not known what the commercial performance of the album would have been in normal conditions, but we know that the first single ‘Just A Little While’ was in a growing fiercely on radio prior to the boycott.
The legacy of the album, however, was the influence of its concept. Janet wanted to deal with the different personalities that live within her. Many singers have followed this concept, such as: the emancipation of Mimi, Baby Jane’s going back to basics; Beyoncé, who tells us that She is … Sasha Fierce; Britney releasing Britney Jean, whose concept and name bring heavy references to Jackson’s album.