New mother Janet Jackson kicked off her “State of the World Tour” in Lafayette, Louisiana on Thursday night and she began the show with a powerful video message. The clip started by naming unarmed black men who were all killed at the hands of police, including Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and Jonathan Ferrell.
The footage also featured commenting from various broadcasters and TV personalities addressing issues like white supremacy, white privilege, and racial inequality. One reporter says in the clip, “Between 2001 and now, we’ve seen three times more deaths caused by right-wing extremists than Islamic terrorists.”
Protesters could then be heard repeatedly chanting, “We want justice,” which then transitioned into Janet’s 1989 song, “The Knowledge.” The socially conscious record calls out prejudice, ignorance, and bigotry.
Following the impactful intro, the music icon went on to perform hits from her catalog including “Nasty,” “Alright,” “Control,” “When I Think of You,” “All for You,” and “Rhythm Nation.” The svelte figure singer also showed off some of her classic choreographed dance moves.
In addition, Jackson mashed-up Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow” instrumental into a remix of “What Have You Done for Me Lately,” adding another modern twist into a standout opening night moment.
“The State of the World Tour” continues on Saturday in Houston, Texas, and Jackson arrived early to lend a helping hand to the hurricane relief efforts.
Jackson had originally rescheduled the tour to concentrate on starting a family with her now estranged husband Wissam Al Mana, but announced her planned comeback following the birth of son Eissa in January.