13 February 2023

13 February 2023 - Rebbie Jackson - Centipede

Growing up, I was a big fan of music videos.  Thankfully, I didn't just digest these videos from MTV (although this particular one got a little airplay there).  I watched a lot of BET, which, back then, was openly calling itself Black Entertainment Television.  They had a lot of shows that played R&B and hip hop videos.  

Thus, I discovered what was a minor pop hit - but a huge R&B hit that didn't cross over hard.  

Rebbie is the oldest of the Jackson siblings. She has not had as many hits as her brothers or even her sister Janet, and she doesn't have the psychic network of LaToya - but she had "Centipede", her 1984 hit and best known song - a top 30 pop hit that reached the top 5 on the R&B charts.  Written and produced by her kid brother Michael - yes, that's him on background vocals, along with Izora Rhodes and Martha Wash (who are better known as the Weather Girls).  

For Rebbie, family came first - the album of the same name and this single were not released until her children were old enough and she had spent time with them while they were young.   Despite that focus on family, she didn't initially want to use her maiden name (Jackson) as an artist - but relented because, well, it's her name and it carries power.  If you look at the album and single for this song, you'll notice "Rebbie" is big and "Jackson" is small.

I don't make these things up.

 Anyway, it was BET that introduced me to this song, and I am grateful.  I hope you enjoy it.

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