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The Meaning Behind The Song: State of the World (State of the House 12″) by Janet Jackson

The Meaning Behind The Song: State of the World (State of the House 12″) by Janet Jackson


I have always been a fan of Janet Jackson, and one of her songs that has always resonated with me is “State of the World (State of the House 12”). This powerful song, released in 1991 as a remix, tackles the pressing issues of drugs, crime, poverty, and homelessness. Through thought-provoking lyrics and a captivating melody, Janet Jackson sheds light on the state of the world, urging us to come together and create a better future.

The Lyrics

In the first verse of the song, Janet Jackson sings about a young mother who is struggling to make ends meet, having to sell her body to ensure her child’s survival. The lyrics paint a vivid picture of the hardships faced by many individuals who are forced into desperate situations due to poverty and the lack of opportunities.

The pre-chorus expresses the singer’s concern about the deteriorating state of the world, both in our homes and in other lands. It poses the question, “What is happening to this world we live in?” This line serves as a wake-up call, urging listeners to reflect on the issues plaguing society.

The chorus reinforces the message of the song, highlighting the problems of drugs and crime spreading on the streets, people struggling to find enough food to eat, and children unable to play freely. It emphasizes the current state of the world, which demands attention and action to bring about positive change.

The second verse tells the story of Lil’ Johnny, a young and homeless boy who faces daily ridicule and loneliness. His struggles are heart-wrenching, and the lyrics convey his feelings of worthlessness. However, instead of resorting to suicide, he finds solace in crying himself to sleep, symbolizing the resilience and inner strength that can arise even in the most challenging circumstances.

The bridge of the song features an empowering call to action, reminding us not to give up hope and to weather the storm together. It serves as a rallying cry, encouraging unity and persistence in the face of adversity.

The chorus is repeated multiple times throughout the song, underscoring the urgency of the issues discussed. Janet Jackson’s powerful vocals drive home the message, leaving a lasting impact on the listener.

Personal Connection

As a listener, this song struck a chord with me because it sheds light on the harsh realities faced by marginalized communities. It served as a reminder that there is still much work to be done to address the social issues that plague our society.

Growing up in a low-income neighborhood, I witnessed firsthand the effects of poverty, drugs, and crime on individuals and their families. This song resonated with my personal experiences and those of people I knew. It amplified the voices of those who are often overlooked and gave them a platform to be heard.

Moreover, “State of the World (State of the House 12″)” inspired me to take action and contribute to positive change in my community. It motivated me to support local initiatives aimed at addressing poverty and providing resources for vulnerable populations. Janet Jackson’s powerful lyrics and meaningful message continue to serve as a reminder of the importance of striving for equality and justice.


“State of the World (State of the House 12″)” by Janet Jackson is a thought-provoking and impactful song that sheds light on the pressing issues we face as a society. Through her powerful lyrics and captivating vocals, Janet Jackson urges us to confront the problems of drugs, crime, poverty, and homelessness. The song serves as a call to action, encouraging unity, resilience, and hope for a better future. By highlighting these issues, this song reminds us of the importance of understanding, empathy, and working together to create a positive change in the world.

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