This week’s track is the 1997 hit ”Got Til’ It’s Gone” by Janet Jackson from the album The Velvet Rope.
This song is built around a sample of Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi.” While Mitchell’s song deals with the desecration of Hawaii, Jackson uses the line “Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone” to describe a relationship.
The former A Tribe Called Quest rapper Q-Tip performs on this with Jackson. He mentions Mitchell a few times, saying, “Joni Mitchell never lies.”
The promo won the 1997 Grammy award for Best Music Video – Short Form. -SongFacts
There is contention over who wrote and produced this track, some sources say it was Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis and others are adamant that the hip hop collective The Ummah (composed of Q-Tip, J Dilla, and Ali Shaheed Muhammad) are the actual producers of the track.
J Dilla made a remix of the song titled “Got Til’ Its Gone (Jay Dee’s Revenge Remix)” where Patrin claims J Dilla was the actual producer saying “The revenge in question, then, is simply a matter of cranking up those aforementioned trademarks until the source is unmistakable.
This funky track resonates with me for a number of reasons, ya know you don’t know what you’ve got til’ it’s gone…
It takes place during the time of apartheid in South Africa and Jackson portrays a lounge singer. Inspired by a blend of ’60s and ’70s African and African American cultures, the video depicts people free and having a good time living life. If you watch closely you can see supermodel Alek Wek in the video.
This is a beautiful video and song and is one of my favourite Janet tracks (from my favourite album) to date and I wish I had went to The Velvet Rope Tour back in the day, but I am so grateful that I got to see her in November this year check my review HERE.
Check out the music video for “Got Til’ It’s Gone” below: