The way Janet Jackson and Busta Rhymes’ late ’90s single “What’s It Gonna Be?” is solidified in pop culture history, it’s hard to believe the pair never performed the hit onstage together — until now! More than two decades after the record-breaking track and music video was released, the duo finally got the chance to give fans the show of a lifetime.
Jackson, who is currently on her “Together Again Tour,” was in New York City last night (May 9) for her Madison Square Garden stop. Videos flooding social media show Busta walking onstage as the banger dropped. “You finally made a dream come true for me, queen. I waited 25 years to be able to share this stage with you and perform this song. And I am so grateful that I’m fighting tears of joy right now,” he said while still onstage after the track ended. Fans were shook. “They’ve never performed this? That’s crazy,” one person tweeted. Another wrote, “For the [first] time? [mind-blown emoji].”
They’ve never performed this? That’s crazy
— Shea W. (@ItsSheaButtah) May 10, 2023
When the “What’s It Gonna Be?” music video debuted, it was among the first of its kind. Both sensual and edgy, the futuristic recording featured the two artists in sleek costumes, morphing from liquids to solids, and reportedly cost a whopping $2.4 million to create. “To this day, our video is the most expensive hip hop video ever made in the history of hip hop culture. You cannot play with the royal empress. Please know that,” Busta said of his collab with Jackson during his lengthy onstage speech.
He also shared with the audience how the track came to be: “In 1998, 25 years ago, I’m on the Belt Parkway going from Long Island to Manhattan. I’m listening to Janet Jackson do an interview with Angie Martinez promoting The Velvet Rope album. Angie Martinez asked her, ‘What rapper have you never worked with before that you would like to work with?’ She said, ‘Busta Rhymes.’ Excuse my language, but I almost crashed my f**king car,” he recalled.
See additional reactions and clips below!
That show last night was so damn goooood! When Busta came out omggg my heart dropped. I loved that song so much when I was 12
— Khadijah James (@i_know_u_lyin) May 10, 2023
Awwww how sweet. You can tell they have genuine respect and affection for each other.
— Living + (@cquiller1) May 10, 2023
What’s It Gonna Be?!?
Busta Rhymes after his surprise performance with Janet Jackson at her second Madison Square Garden show. #TogetherAgainTour MSG
(📸 Busta Rhymes) pic.twitter.com/Yi0I9gw8gZ
— C H A M Ξ L Ξ O N (@Chameleon876) May 10, 2023
History made tonight at Madison Square Garden!! Busta Rhymes came on stage to perform “What’s It Gonna Be?” with Janet Jackson!! First time ever!! He brought her her flowers and a birthday cake. Amazing show. Janet Jackson is truly a legendary performer. pic.twitter.com/vXMl0N5XK7
— Dr. Trevon D Logan (@TrevonDLogan) May 10, 2023
For the 1st time.. 🤯tf
— jKHAHN🔊🔊🔊 nORf🏚 #215salute 🏴☠️ (@jk215pa) May 10, 2023
— FUSE TV (@fusetv) May 10, 2023
Clue The Kleenex Brigade Because Laaaaaaawd 😭😭😭😭
— Let Go Let GOD (@MyYear4Greater) May 10, 2023
What I would give to travel back in time to witness this firsthand 😩
— Rocío (@rocioslane) May 10, 2023
Omg I’m gagginnnn. One of my fav songs and videos 🔥😍🔥💃🏾
— aRAYawna (@just1_RAY) May 10, 2023
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
Below, our gift guide highlights some of our favorite Walmart finds for anyone in need of a home refresh.
“REVOLT Black News” correspondent Kennedy Rue counts down the top five moments from the 2023 Billboard Music Awards, including surprising wins, historic firsts, and dope performances. Sponsored by Amazon.
In this new episode of ‘Bet on Black,’ food and beverage take center stage as aspiring Black entrepreneurs from It’s Seasoned, Black Farmer Box, and Moors Brewing Co. present their business ideas to judges with mentorship from Melissa Butler. Watch here!
Take a look inside the Makers Studio presented by Walmart at REVOLT WORLD, a space where Black creators could hone in on their brand and see it come to life.
Walmart supports HBCU students and encourages them to be Black & Unlimited. Fly Guy DC talked to a few at REVOLT WORLD about how being an HBCU student has changed their lives.
Fly Guy DC taps in with REVOLT WORLD attendees to learn what the Opportunity Center, presented by Walmart, means to them and their futures.
REVOLT is continuing its impactful partnership with Walmart by teaming up to showcase Black creatives at HBCUs all-across America. The panel consisted of three experienced, accomplished Black HBCU alumni: Actor and media personality Terrence J, entertainment attorney John T. Rose, and actress and “REVOLT Black News” correspondent Kennedy-Rue McCullough.
In the season finale of “Bet on Black,” special guest judge Ray J joins as the finalists take the main stage to show they have what it takes to win the $200,000 grand prize; Melissa Butler and Eunique Jones Gibson mentor. Presented by Target.
The health of a community can often be traced to the health of the environment that surrounds it. In Atlanta, a woman named Dr. Jaqueline Echols has dedicated her life to helping ensure that people in economically underserved communities have clean rivers – for better health and for the joy of outdoor recreational space.
Join Kennedy Rue on “REVOLT Black News Weekly” as she dives into the world of Black entertainment in 2023. In this episode, we welcome the iconic Ludacris, celebrated producer Will Packer, and renowned director Tim Story. Together, they explore the cultural shifts in Hollywood, emphasizing the importance of Black representation in holiday films. The discussion highlights ‘Dashing Through the Snow,’ a Christmas movie that celebrates Black joy and tackles deeper themes of faith and childhood trauma. Watch!
Here’s a list of rappers who are named after food. Enjoy — or shall we say, “Bon appetit”?
In this exclusive interview, DDG opens up about his fashion inspiration, what drew him to girlfriend Halle Bailey, dealing with negative opinions about his relationship, and more. Read up!
The artist has remained remarkably consistent in her song lyrics about making money, telling off haters and feeling liberated since her debut.
Whether it be the triumphant “Not Afraid” or resilient “Soldier,” Eminem’s music has the power to inspire you to reach your goals.
The next time you’re looking for a caption for your perfectly curated Instagram, there’s a 95 percent chance that Drizzy’s got you!