Keke Palmer has proven herself to be “that girl” once again. This week she set the internet ablaze with her appearance in Usher’s newest video, “Boyfriend,” which was filmed in Las Vegas. Her cameo in the video shocked and excited fans, as she is coming off the heels of a public falling out with the father of her child, Darius Jackson. A few weeks ago, Jackson took to social media to criticize Palmer’s outfit and harmless behavior (briefly twirling with the singer on stage) during one of Usher’s Las Vegas residency concerts.
While Palmer didn’t respond publicly to Jackson’s comments, Usher did to PEOPLE. He said the scenario was “a pop moment” and “worth talking about.” He continues, “I think everybody’s vision or a version of what they felt happened there just leads you back to just really having a good time in Las Vegas. And that’s what I hope came out of it. Rather, it was a conversation of what was going on with us having fun in front of the audience or conversation about that song.”
Usher adds, “Every night, I’m thinking about how the world now is going to react to this moment that I’ll have with whoever I’m choosing to sing to. But it was a pop moment, and it was fun to have at least conversation going and we just keep it light. I don’t see anything negative happening in Las Vegas.”
Jackson’s infamous words to Palmer via X (formerly known as Twitter), “It’s the outfit you a mom,” has been commodified into all sorts of videos, photos, and memes on social media by either staunch supporters of Palmer or mothers who took issue with his comments and opinions of what’s appropriate for them to wear and what isn’t. It seems that Jackson and Palmer are no longer an item, as a source told PEOPLE that “he’s moved on.” According to the source, he’s focused on an acting career and is trying to put the drama behind him, but the two are making it work when co-parenting their newborn son, Leodis Andrellton. “You don’t have to be in the same household to be good parents,” the source added.
While neither has addressed the status of their relationship publicly or its issues, spectators, including Palmer’s fans, are coming to their own conclusions.
After viewing Usher’s music video, people are saying Palmer got the last laugh, as the final scene in the video shows her waking up from a dream, answering a phone call from a friend, and responding to her concern about why she missed Usher’s show saying, “I’m a mother, after all,” coyly winking at the camera eerily reminiscent of the ending of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” music video.
The wink says it all and implies Palmer knows what she’s doing by semi-addressing the messy situation with her child’s father without verbally saying anything about it. I admit, it’s pretty clever.
Also, people are commending Palmer for not being Usher’s video vixen or leading lady. Instead, she shows up as the female version of the R&B sensation, an equal of sorts, imitating his exact dance moves from his iconic music video “U Don’t Have To Call” from 8701, Usher’s third studio album (which inspired the “Boyfriend” music video). She showcases her rhythmic prowess and historical music knowledge of the early aughts.
Of course, her fans and critics have all taken to the internet to air their grievances or show support. Most stances are split as some believe she’s rubbing her friendly relationship with Usher in her ex’s face and letting show business “break up” her family. Within this week, she’s been called corny, a loser, and accused of being opportunistic. In contrast, others feel she’s taken a challenging and embarrassing public situation and flipped it positively, as only a true Virgo queen can. However you slice it, though, you have to admit that the execution is strategic, and one may dare to say, deliciously petty.
I wondered when viewing the commentary on social media, Do people forget that she’s a seasoned entertainer? A strategic businesswoman? A millennial boss?
Why wouldn’t she capitalize on a public moment that probably caused her private embarrassment and pain, even if she decided not to address it head-on publicly? At the end of the day, Palmer is a trained entertainment professional. She should be able to stand in her truth, through performance, without having to delve into the depths of her personal life for the world to see and scrutinize.
It’s not our business, anyway. And yes, she’s still a mother.