Give Me a Beat! Janet Jackson's 'Rhythm Nation' Is Making Computers Crash
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Janet Jackson’s ‘Rhythm Nation’ Is Reaching Into the Soul of Computers and Causing Them to Crash

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - JULY 02: Janet Jackson (C) performs onstage during the 2022 Essence Festival of Culture at the Louisiana Superdome on July 2, 2022 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Essence)

Janet Jackson and her catalog of songs have done things to our hearts and minds for years. Apparently, the rhythm in her nation does things to laptops too.

Raymond Chen, a Microsoft employee, has been with the company for more than 25 years. In a blog for Microsoft, he pens that playing one particular song causes certain laptops to crash. Here’s a hint — “we are a part of the rhythm nation.”

A major computer manufacturer found that “Rhythm Nation” caused certain models of laptops to crash. Not only did the popular title song of her 1989 album crash laptops, but the music video also crashed competitors’ portable computers. Here’s the issue: When the music video played on one laptop it would cause laptops nearby to crash too!

People say music is powerful, but no one anticipated Jackson’s hit reaching inside the soul of computers causing them to crash down.

Chen wrote, “It turns out that the song contained one of the natural resonant frequencies for the model of 5400 rpm laptop hard drives that they and other manufacturers used.”

“The manufacturer worked around the problem by adding a custom filter in the audio pipeline that detected and removed the offending frequencies during audio playback.”

Luckily, Jackson’s popularity didn’t short circuit the crowd at her New Orleans performance at Essence Fest last month.

According to local news outlet, NOLA, the festival’s most popular night brought the music icon on stage, resulting in one of the “highest grosses in Essence Fest’s entire 27-year history.”

In late 2021, Hulu and the New York Times launched a documentary titled Malfunction: The Dressing Down of Janet Jackson. In early 2022, A&E and Lifetime launched a four-hour self-titled docuseries for the woman who also played Penny in the 70s sitcom, Good Times.

The 56-year-old songstress is gearing up to release her 11th studio album, “Black Diamond,” which is set for sometime this year.


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