05 Sep Throwback Thursday: Janet Jackson – “Son of a Gun (I Bet You Think This Song Is About You)” [Remix] [featuring Missy Elliott & Carly Simon]
The day after the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards, where Missy Elliott received the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, Janet Jackson made an Instagram post congratulating Missy and talking about what a great person she is.
In the video, we find out that Janet’s nickname for Missy is “Jack,” which makes no damn sense. However, what was truly special about the video is that it showed us how close Missy and Janet have remained through the years.
The two icons first collaborated on the first remix of “Son of a Gun (I Bet You Think This Song Is About You),” the third single from Janet’s All for You. The album version was a duet between Janet and Carly Simon, with the latter contributing a spoken performance that is equal parts awkward and amazing. And if you’re wondering why Carly Simon was called, it’s because “Son of a Gun” samples the chorus of Carly’s 1972 hit, “You’re So Vain,” a song that is legendary because it is about three famous exes that remained nameless until 2015, when Ms. Simon confirmed that the second verse is about Warren Beatty.
Similarly, “Son of a Gun” is rumored to be about one of Janet’s exes, namely René Elizondo Jr., who she had just divorced months before the song was recorded. She has never confirmed this publicly, but given that he sued her for spousal support and she talks about a greedy motherfucker in the song, I’d bet money on it.
On the remix, which is about two minutes shorter than the original, we get two verses from Missy and a lot less Carly. There’s a second remix with Diddy, but it doesn’t quite knock like the first one.
Janet co-wrote and co-produced “Son of a Gun” with Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis (along with the featured performers). Unlike most of their other collaborations, this track is not so melodic, but the result is the same: magic.
The song’s video features Janet, Missy and a gang of sexy lady ghouls haunting a man as he runs through the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. You love to see it.