For Keke Palmer, dancing at Usher’s Las Vegas residence — and hitting on ex-boyfriend Darius Jackson — was just the beginning of a dream come true.
In the plot twist of the summer, Palmer teamed up with Usher to release a new song titled “Boyfriend” on Wednesday. This is absolutely not a reference to Jackson and his controversial views on Palmer, is it? The duo also released one associated music video.
News of the unexpected collaboration broke Tuesday when both Palmer and Usher shared clips of the “Boyfriend” video on social media.
“Somebody said your boyfriend was looking for me / Oh that’s cool, that’s cool,” Usher sings over a playful, bass-heavy track. “Well, he should know that I’m pretty easy to find. Just look for me wherever he sees you.”
It’s no secret that Palmer is a fan of her “Hustlers” co-star, so of course she plays one in the music video, too. She dubs his lyrics and dances with her friends as she prepares for a night out. In an elevator, Palmer sees a vision of her idol – and this leads to a rousing dance number.
Palmer and Usher don matching outfits – baggy jeans, aviator sunglasses, white tees and navy-style jackets – and show off some fancy footwork at a Vegas casino.
“I go where you go,” Usher sings. The dance number ends abruptly when Palmer wakes up in her hotel room. It turned out that she overslept and missed his concert.
“I was so tired and after all I’m a mom,” she says, before looking at the camera and blinking. Sound familiar?
How exactly does Jackson play a role in this? It all started with a video of Palmer being serenaded by Usher during one of his residency shows quickly became known in July. The singers hugged and sang Usher’s “There Goes My Baby.” Shortly thereafter, Jackson – who gave birth to a baby, Leodis Andrellton, with Palmer in February – responded to the clip by criticizing the “Nope” star’s sheer, polka-dot dress.
“It’s the outfit even though you’re a mom,” Jackson said in a now-deleted tweet. Palmer’s Twitter fans didn’t take well to his criticism, accusing him of shaming his girlfriend.
The backlash didn’t seem to upset Jackson, who reiterated his opinion a follow-up tweet.
“We live in a generation where a man of the family does not want the wife and mother of his children to show their butts to please others and is told how much he hates,” Jackson wrote. “This is my family and my representation. I have standards and morals for what I believe in. I am letting my case rest.”
This reaction sparked even more resentment, and Jackson ended up protecting his Twitter account. Jackson’s Twitter (now X) has been public again since Wednesday. He deleted his social media accounts with photos of Palmer and the two no longer follow each other on Instagram.
Amid the Twitter controversy surrounding her ex, Palmer didn’t seem bothered when she screwed up moves in a TikTok video.
“You won’t let what’s wrong with me stop you, honey,” Palmer lip-synced. link bouta.”
Well, if Boyfriend proves anything, it’s that Palmer has stayed true to her word and teamed up — with eight-time Grammy winner Usher.
“You’ve been killing it my whole life. As a true art lover, your talent and craftsmanship is a rare combination that I aspire to achieve as an artist,” she said of the musician in an interview Instagram post Wednesday. “You are a living legend worthy of awe! Thank you for encouraging me and seeing me for the entertainer that I am.”
She continued, “I know I’m a girl but when I saw your videos I never wanted to be the girl in them, I wanted to be YOU. Thank you for making a dream come true.”