Album: janet. (1993)
Charted: 14 4

Songfacts®:

  • Written and produced by Janet Jackson, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, this explicit fantasy narrative was released as the second single from the singer's janet. album in July 1993. It peaked at #4 on the Hot 100 and also topped the Hot Dance Club Play chart. The song also reached the #3 position on the Canadian singles chart.
  • Jackson told Q magazine the song is "about a girl who goes to a club and fantasizes about this guy: serious fantasies about the things she'd do to him if she was his girl - the positions and things like that. But she's not, so she can't, so she gets pretty frustrated in the second verse - without it being too much. It's still within good taste."
  • The song is built on a heavy metal guitar riff that is heard throughout and contains a sample of Diana Ross & The Supremes' "Someday We'll Be Together."
  • The song's music video was directed by Dominic Sena, who previously worked with Jackson on visuals for Rhythm Nation 1814. The clip was staged as a futuristic Asian nightclub. The spy cameras monitoring the intimate interactions of patrons within their private boudoirs acted as a metaphor for the single's message of sexual fantasy, desire and voyeurism. It was choreographed by Tina Landon, who previously danced for the singer during the Control and Rhythm Nation era. Looking back at the video in a 2013 interview with Billboard magazine, she said: "I don't think people really realize what we were showing in that video that wasn't available with technology then. The video featured futuristic technology, specifically high definition touch screens. I wanted the actors in the video to use these screens to communicate, and relate with each other in the clubs. Similar to what we all do with our smart phones and tablets today. As I look at our lives now, it seems that life is imitating art. I have seen different elements from all of these videos in lots of artists work and it's a great feeling to know that you have inspired them in such a way."
  • Jackson also made her big screen acting debut in 1993 in John Singleton's Poetic Justice. She credits the role with giving her the confidence to embrace her sexier side on the janet album, particularly on this song. "I knew that I wanted for the album to be about love and all of that, but I don't think I would've taken it to this extent except for the film," she told Us Weekly. "Like the song 'If' - I probably would have never talked about it before the film." (Jackson also earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song for "Again," which was used in the closing credits of the movie.)

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