Janet Jackson’s ‘Rhythm Nation’ Can Crash Some Older Laptop Computers, Apparently

·2 min read

Janet Jackson’s wardrobe isn’t the only thing that can cause a malfunction.

According to a Microsoft development blogger, “a major computer manufacturer” has discovered that playing “Rhythm Nation” has crashed certain older-model laptop hard drives.

“A colleague of mine shared a story from Windows XP product support. A major computer manufacturer discovered that playing the music video for Janet Jackson’s ‘Rhythm Nation’ would crash certain models of laptops. I would not have wanted to be in the laboratory that they must have set up to investigate this problem. Not an artistic judgement,” joked Raymond Chen in a Microsoft blog post.

Wait, there’s more: Upon further investigation, they discovered it also crashed competitors’ laptops.

“Playing the music video on one laptop caused a laptop sitting nearby to crash,” he wrote.

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So, what’s the deal? Is Jackson’s electrifying talent too much for some devices?

Chen explained: “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.”

“Rhythm Nation” was the second single released in 1989 from Jackson’s fourth studio album, “Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814.” She came up with the concept in response to current events at the time and wanting to speak out with a socially conscious theme set to dance music.

It made it to No. 1 on Billboard’s Dance Club Songs and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs List and No. 2 on its Hot 100. Jackson also earned a Grammy nomination as Producer of the Year.

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Feeling lucky? Or maybe just wanting to find out if it’s time to buy a new computer? Check out Janet Jackson’s “Rhythm Nation” video below.