Son of a Gun (I Betcha Think This Song Is About You)

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"Son of a Gun (I Betcha Think This Song Is About You)"
Single by Janet Jackson featuring Carly Simon and Missy Elliott
from the album All for You
Released December 11, 2001 (2001-12-11)
Format CD single, 12" single
Recorded 2000–2001;
Flyte Tyme Studios
(Edina, Minnesota)
Record One
(Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles, California)
Genre R&B, hip hop
Length 5:56 (Album Version)
4:14 (Remix featuring Missy Elliott)
Label Virgin
Writer(s) Janet Jackson, James Harris III, Terry Lewis, Carly Simon
Producer(s) Janet Jackson, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis
Janet Jackson chronology
"Someone to Call My Lover"
(2001)
"Son of a Gun (I Betcha Think This Song Is About You)"
(2001)
"Feel It Boy"
(2002)
Carly Simon chronology
"Love of My Life"
(1992)
"Son of a Gun (I Betcha Think This Song Is About You)"
(2001)
"Let It Snow"
(2005)
Missy Elliott chronology
"Take Away"
(2001)
"Son of a Gun (I Betcha Think This Song Is About You)"
(2001)
"4 My People"
(2002)
P. Diddy chronology
"Diddy"
(2001)
"Son of a Gun (I Betcha Think This Song Is About You)"
(2001)
"Pass the Courvoisier Part II"
(2002)

"Son of a Gun (I Betcha Think This Song Is About You)" is a song by American singer-songwriter Janet Jackson, featuring Carly Simon, from Jackson's seventh studio album, All for You (2001). It was written and produced by Jackson, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, with additional lyrics by Simon. It is built around a sample of 1972's "You're So Vain" by Simon, who also added some new spoken parts into the song, and talks about an unknown man who attempted to extort money from Jackson. An official remix featuring Missy Elliott was released as the third single from the album on December 11, 2001 by Virgin Records.

"Son of a Gun (I Betcha Think This Song Is About You)" peaked at number 28 on the US Billboard Hot 100, becoming her lowest-charting single since 1983.[1]

Background and release[edit]

According to Jackson, she phoned American singer-songwriter Carly Simon, asking for permission to use parts of her old hit "You're So Vain", but Simon wanted to re-sing it with Jackson. She agreed, with Simon wanting to write new lines. Jackson's producer Jimmy Jam sent her the tracks they were already working on, and she went into a studio on Martha's Vineyard and recorded some material. She rapped, but thought Jackson and the producers would not use it, but they did like it. They decided to marry both tracks, as the singers thought it "worked perfectly", and it became a duet. Simon expressed that Jackson "could not have been sweeter or more appreciative".[2]

"Son of a Gun (I Betcha Think This Song Is About You)" generated speculation of who exactly the man described in the song was. Many believed the song is about Jackson's ex-husband René Elizondo, Jr.[3][4] Jackson responded: "Everybody says that. Actually, that song's about a few people, not one person in particular. Everyone likes to [say], 'Ah, I know that's about Rene.' It's about a few people that have entered and exited my life."[5] Simon created a similar controversy when she released "You're So Vain" after she wed James Taylor. It was speculated to be about Warren Beatty or Mick Jagger, both of which she denied.[6]

In 2000, Jackson called American rapper Missy Elliott to tell her that she loved her music. She asked Elliott to work with her on a remix of her song "Son of a Gun (I Betcha Think This Song Is About You)". Elliott then wrote and rapped for the remix, which also included P. Diddy, and became the third single from All for You on December 11, 2001.[7][8]

Composition[edit]

"Son of a Gun (I Betcha Think This Song Is About You)" features a "rap poem" from folk singer Carly Simon and interpolates Simon's hit "You're So Vain" Its composition excoriates an unfaithful lover for attempting to extort money, described as a "mean-spirited duet that rails against enemies."[9][10] Jackson unveils anger and deceit, saying "Thought you'd get the money too / Greedy motherfuckers try to have their cake and eat it too." She also offers a comeuppance to a "baby gigolo" who hollers at "everything that walks / No substance, just small talk."[11] Simon also cited the claims of sampled song "You're So Vain" to be written about Mick Jagger, singing "The apricot scarf was worn by Nick / There's nothing in the words that refer to Mick".[6] In response to critics regarding it about her divorce, Jackson explained it was directed towards several people, while Jimmy Jam revealed it to be written in regards to music executives and lawyers.[12]

Music video[edit]

For the single's music video, directed by Francis Lawrence and released in September 2001, The Original Flyte Tyme Remix of the song was used. Filmed at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles, the video includes themes of the undead and occult. Jackson is depicted in an angry manner, stalking a man (played by Project Runway season 5 contestant Jerell Scott)[13] in an abandoned hotel. She summons Missy Elliott and a legion of zombies (including one that was created from a toilet). Jackson is also seen eating a spider, smashing jugs of water with a baseball bat, and taunting the man using telekinetic powers. Simon does not appear at all in the music video; she is however shown on the video screens on Jackson's All for You Tour during the song's opening. The video appears on the 2004 video compilation From janet. to Damita Jo: The Videos. A video for the P. Diddy Remix also exists and it's the same of The Original Flyte Tyme Remix, with P. Diddy in some parts.

Britney Spears referenced and was inspired by Janet's "Son of a Gun (I Betcha Think This Song Is About You)" music video in her "Overprotected (Darkchild Remix)" video during the elevator scenes and scenes of Spears walking down the hotel lobby. Both videos also use the same hotel setting, filmed at Los Angeles' Millennium Biltmore Hotel.[14]

Track listings[edit]

Official remixes[edit]

The song's album version features Simon only, while the version released for radio was The Original Flyte Time Remix which cut Simon's and Jackson's parts significantly, censored explicit words, and also included a new rap from Missy Elliott (then she raps to all the house mixes). Other remixes such as the Route 80 Remix, the Rockwilder Remix, and the P. Diddy Remix were remixes of The Original Flyte Time Remix, not the album version. The remixes produced by P. Diddy completely eliminate the original song's chords and background music.

  • Album Version (Clean) – 5:56
  • Album Version (Dirty) – 5:56
  • Radio Edit (Clean) – 3:58 (also: Album Edit)
  • The Original Flyte Tyme Remix featuring Missy Elliott (Clean) – 4:14 (also: Video Version)
  • The Original Flyte Tyme Remix featuring Missy Elliott (Dirty) – 4:14
  • The Original Flyte Tyme Remix Instrumental – 4:04
  • P. Diddy Instrumental – 4:45
  • P. Diddy Remix featuring Missy Elliott and P. Diddy (Clean) – 5:07
  • P. Diddy Radio Remix featuring Missy Elliott and P. Diddy (Clean) – 4:26
  • P. Diddy Radio Remix w/o Intro featuring Missy Elliott and P. Diddy (Dirty) – 4:20
  • P. Diddy Super Extended Mix featuring Missy Elliott and P. Diddy (Clean) – 8:01
  • P. Diddy Super Extended Mix featuring Missy Elliott and P. Diddy (Dirty) – 8:01
  • P. Diddy Super Extended Mix Instrumental – 8:01
  • Cottonbelly Remix – 5:31
  • Cottonbelly Dub – 5:35
  • Cottonbelly Extended Dance Mix – 6:35
  • Al B. Rich Son of a Club Remix (Dirty) – 9:41
  • Al B. Rich Son of a Club Edit (Clean) – 7:01
  • Al B. Rich Radio Edit (Clean) – 4:00
  • Al B. Rich Tribeapella (Dirty) – 4:30
  • Al B. Rich Son of a Dub (Dirty) – 9:37
  • Route 80 Remix featuring Missy Elliott (Clean) – 4:09
  • Route 80 Remix featuring Missy Elliott (Dirty) – 4:09
  • Route 80 Instrumental – 4:10
  • Rock Remix featuring Missy Elliott (Clean) – 4:10
  • Rock Remix featuring Missy Elliott (Dirty) – 4:10
  • Rock Instrumental – 4:04
  • Neptunes Ruff Remix - 4:25

Charts[edit]

Chart (2001/2002) Peak
position
Australian Singles Chart[26] 20
Belgian Singles Chart (Flanders)[26] 20
Belgian Singles Chart (Wallonia)[26] 25
Danish Singles Chart[26] 19
German Singles Chart[27] 69
Dutch Top 40[28] 34
Irish Singles Chart[29] 21
Italian Singles Chart[30] 36
New Zealand Singles Chart[26] 49
Romanian Top 100[31] 54
Swedish Singles Chart[26] 48
Swiss Singles Chart[26] 56
UK Singles Chart[32] 13
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[33] 28
US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)[34] 20
U.S. Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs[33] 26
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play[33] 7

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://books.google.com.br/books?id=9Q8EAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA8&dq=janet+control+review+what+have+you+done+for+me+lately&hl=pt-BR&sa=X&ei=eri5U5rYC6LJsQSAkILwDQ&ved=0CDkQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=janet%20control%20review%20what%20have%20you%20done%20for%20me%20lately&f=false
  2. ^ Gelman, Jason (April 25, 2001). "Janet Jackson On Teaming Up With Carly Simon". Yahoo! Music. Retrieved 2008-03-19. 
  3. ^ http://www.jimdero.com/News2001/NewsApr24Janet.htm
  4. ^ http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/story?id=106881
  5. ^ http://www.mtv.com/bands/archive/j/jjackson01/index2.jhtml
  6. ^ a b http://www.carlysimon.com/You%27re_So_Vain.html
  7. ^ http://books.google.com.br/books?id=pbJp2yCZv4cC&pg=PA9&dq=son+of+a+gun+missy+elliott+remix&hl=pt-BR&sa=X&ei=p76yU-2pHNCnsASA7oHwDQ&ved=0CB0Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=son%20of%20a%20gun%20missy%20elliott%20remix&f=false
  8. ^ http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/77726/janet-heads-to-hawaii-for-hbo-live-special
  9. ^ http://www.slantmagazine.com/music/review/janet-jackson-all-for-you
  10. ^ "HER OWN RHYTHM NATION ; JANET JACKSON'S PERSONAL AND FIESTY LYRICS STRIKE A BEAT FOR WOMEN". Buffalo News. Seymour, Craig. 10-08-01. Retrieved 05-01-14. 
  11. ^ http://www.seattlepi.com/ae/music/article/Janet-Jackson-s-steamy-album-leaves-room-for-1058989.php
  12. ^ "Will the real Janet Jackson please stand up?". Entertainment Weekly (Gordinier, Jeff). 2001. 
  13. ^ [1]
  14. ^ "Britney Spears' 10 Best Music Videos: Readers' Poll Results". Billboard. February 19, 2011. Retrieved July 13, 2013. 
  15. ^ Janet Jackson With Carly Simon - Son Of A Gun (I Betcha Think This Song Is About You)
  16. ^ Janet* - Son Of A Gun (I Betcha Think This Song Is About You)
  17. ^ Janet Jackson - Son Of A Gun (R&B Remixes)
  18. ^ Janet Jackson - Son Of A Gun (I Betcha Think This Song Is About You)
  19. ^ Janet Jackson Son Of A Gun - I Betcha Think This Song Is About You UK Promo 5" CD SINGLE (201152)
  20. ^ Janet Jackson Collection Of 6 x CD Singles UK 5" CD SINGLE (425827)
  21. ^ Janet Jackson With Carly Simon Featuring Missy Elliott - Son Of A Gun (I Betcha Think This Song Is About You)
  22. ^ Janet Jackson With Carly Simon - Son Of A Gun (I Betcha Think This Song Is About You)
  23. ^ Janet Jackson With Carly Simon - Son Of A Gun (I Betcha Think This Song Is About You)
  24. ^ Janet Jackson - Son Of A Gun (I Betcha Think This Song Is About You)
  25. ^ Janet Jackson Son Of A Gun Japan Promo 5" CD SINGLE (276109)
  26. ^ a b c d e f g "Janet Jackson – Son Of A Gun (I Betcha Think This Song Is About You) – swisscharts.com". swisscharts.com. Retrieved April 3, 2008. 
  27. ^ "Musicline.de – Chartverfolgung – Janet Jackson – Son Of A Gun". Media Control (in German). Musicline.de. Retrieved October 24, 2008. 
  28. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 51 – 2001". Radio 538 (in Dutch). Top 40. Retrieved April 17, 2009. 
  29. ^ "Irish Top 50 Singles, Week Ending 10 January 2002". Irish Recorded Music Association. Chart-Track. Retrieved October 24, 2008. 
  30. ^ "Classifiche Mix e Singoli". Federation of the Italian Music Industry. Retrieved April 3, 2008. [dead link]
  31. ^ Romanian Top 100
  32. ^ "Chart Stats – Janet Jackson Featuring Carly Simon – Son Of A Gun (Betcha Think This Song Is About You)". The Official Charts Company. Chart Stats. Retrieved October 24, 2008. 
  33. ^ a b c "All for You > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Retrieved April 2, 2008. 
  34. ^ "Janet Jackson Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Pop Songs for Janet Jackson. Retrieved 2011-05-05.

External links[edit]