It seems that one of Janet Jackson’s biggest hits was written after catcallers left a nasty taste in her mouth.
On Monday, Jackson told Jimmy Fallon the “crazy” story behind her 1986 hit “Nasty” while appearing on “The Tonight Show.”
Jackson explained to Fallon that at the time she was a “very sheltered” teenager and was in Minneapolis working on her breakout third album “Control” with the producing/songwriting duo Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, who’d eventually become her longtime collaborators.
Jackson said that one day she and a friend were leaving their hotel to take a dance class when “five or six older guys standing up against the wall … basically started messing with us,” she said. “And I didn’t like it very much. And I was pretty embarrassed. Actually, pretty upset.”
Jackson said that after getting harassed, she went to the studio that night and told Jam and Lewis about the experience.
“And it turned into the song ‘Nasty,’” she explained.
Jam and Lewis, who would work with Jackson all the way up to 2015’s “Unbreakable,” told Entertainment Weekly in 2019 that when they began working on “Control,” their whole goal was to bring out Jackson’s sassiness.
“For Janet, we wanted to bring back the attitude in her,” Jam told the outlet.
Jam and Lewis’ objective seems to check out considering the other story Jackson told Fallon about the iconic music team, who she said loved to bring out her wild side.
“The drinking age I think [was] 18, 19 in Minneapolis,” Jackson recalled to Fallon. “So we went out one night and they gave me some ice cream, I think it’s called Brandy Alexander ice cream … well, it had a lot of brandy in it … and I got messed up.”
Now would this ice cream be the “nasty food” mentioned in “Nasty”? We’re just curious.