Janet Jackson is one of the hottest topics in the world right now. The music icon is experiencing a resurgence thanks to her Lifetime documentary that has everyone revisiting her catalog and projects from over her 50-year career. One of her biggest roles was in Poetic Justice. Jackson starred alongside Q-Tip, Regina King, and Tupac Shakur in the cult classic. Both Q-tip and Tupac played her love interests in the John Singleton movie. Pac’s brother Mopreme spoke about how Pac and Tip were treated a little differently on set. In light of the documentary, many are revisiting the Vlad TV clip.
Poetic Justice was a 1993 romantic drama film. It was Janet’s first foray back into acting after her music career had taken off. Written and directed by John Singleton and featuring poetry from Maya Angelou, the movie centers around Janet and Tupac’s characters falling in love while on a road trip. The film scored Janet Jackson a Golden Globe “Best Song” nomination for her single “Again” off of its accompanied soundtrack.
Q-Tip plays her love interest at the top of the film, where the two share a passionate kiss before his character is murdered. This sends Janet’s character Justice into a deep depression. She eventually agrees to join Regina King’s Iesha on a road trip where Tupac’s Lucky and Joe Torry’s Chicago join. According to Tupac’s brother Mopreme, Jackson caught a cold shortly after kissing Q-Tip in the film and had become apprehensive about her love scenes later in the movie.
When it came time for her to share a kiss with Tupac Shakur, Janet seemed more cautious this time and demanded the late rapper take an HIV/AIDS test. According to Mopreme, Pac joked that if he was taking a test, then he wanted to be intimate with her. Tupac and director John Singelton fought over this testing request, and Mopreme recalls that his brother was very upset. Eventually, Preme says they “worked it out” but does not specify if Tupac actually took the test.
Vlad had some inside knowledge on the filming of Poetic Justice as well. According to him, he had done some work with music journalist Sway several years ago while compiling features for a Tupac-centered mixtape. During their discussion, Sway recalls interviewing Tupac while on the set of Poetic Justice. When he entered Pac’s trailer, Sway saw it was littered with ‘protection’ wrappers everywhere. While Mopreme laughs this off, recalling that his brother was “the black James Dean” and a ladies man, Vlad asked if maybe this was the reason for Janet’s request and not the cold she got from kissing Q-Tip. Mopreme says he was not sure but it is possible.
Co-star Regina King tells a very different story about Janet and Tupac during Janet’s Lifetime documentary. King makes no reference to any issues and instead declared that Janet and Pac had an undeniable chemistry. “I don’t know if Janet will ever admit to it, but there was a bit of that chemistry going on,” she recalled. “You could cut the air in the room at times. But she was in a relationship with René; make no mistake about it,” referring to Jackson’s then husband Rene Elizondo Jr.
Pac seemed to confirm both accounts before passing. While talking about the film with Areseno Hall, he gushed about his and Jackson’s dynamic and kissing her in front of her husband. In later interviews, he also admitted to being upset with Jackson after she cut him off following the movie and changed her number. He had felt that he made a friend and was heartbroken to find out this was not true.
While Pac and Jackson’s onscreen chemistry seemed to be the most apparent, her and Q-Tip’s bond would be the one to actually flourish off-screen. She and Tip would go on to collaborate on her single “Got Til Its Gone” off the 1997 album Velvet Rope. Q-Tip confessed in an interview from last October that things quickly escalated from there confirming that they became a couple. “We started dating after that,” Q-Tip recalled. He remembered the time fondly joking about “Penny from Good Times” making him eggs.
While her divorce from Rene was not finalized till 2000, she did confirm in the documentary that things soured during the recording of Velvet Rope so it would make sense that they were separated at the time she dated Q-Tip.