Keke Palmer has a cheeky response to Darius Jackson drama in 'Boyfriend' song with Usher

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Surprise! Keke Palmer is starring in the music video for Usher's new song "Boyfriend," which dropped Aug. 16. In it, she makes a cheeky reference to the recent drama with her child's father, Darius Jackson, which made headlines.

The day before the release, Palmer and Usher also shared a sneak preview of the music video.

“Somebody said that your boyfriend’s looking for me, oh that’s cool, that’s cool,” Usher sings in the chorus. “Well he should know I’m pretty easy to find, just look for me wherever he sees you.”

Fans were quick to react to the music video teaser, which includes scenes of Palmer sipping champagne, Usher standing in a room shirtless, and lots of sultry walking down hallways.

Even before the full video came out, many fans speculated that it was a reference to the internet drama surrounding Palmer, 29, and her recent appearance at an Usher concert this summer.

Last month, Palmer’s fans defended her after her partner, Darius Jackson, publicly criticized a sheer outfit she wore to Usher’s Las Vegas residency, saying he felt "the mother to his kids" shouldn't dress provocatively.

And once the full video came out, fans were all but certain that "Boyfriend" was a playful reference to Jackson's comments.

At the very end of the video, Palmer is on the phone and says, "I'm so tired."

"I'm a mother ... after all," she adds with a knowing wink.

For anyone in need of a refresher, here’s what to know about the recent drama surrounding Palmer, Jackson and Usher.

What did Darius Jackson tweet about Keke Palmer's outfit?

On July 5, Jackson caused a stir when he criticized the outfit Palmer wore to an Usher concert. She donned a black bodysuit with a sheer covering.

After a video of Palmer onstage with Usher went viral, Jackson took to Twitter to criticize her look.

“It’s the outfit tho.. you a mom,” he wrote in his since-deleted tweet, which quote tweeted the widely shared fan video of Usher serenading Palmer.

After receiving criticism online for shaming Palmer’s clothing choice, he doubled down in a follow-up post.

“We live in a generation where a man of the family doesn’t want the wife & mother to his kids to showcase booty cheeks to please others & he gets told how much of a hater he is,” he wrote. “This is my family & my representation. I have standards & morals to what I believe. I rest my case.”

Many fans defended Palmer on social media.

"Sorry to this man, because sis is gonna KEEP glowing & showing," one fan commented on Palmer's Instagram post showing photos of her outfit.

"She’s a grown woman and not his child. He doesn’t get to tell a woman what to wear," another person wrote.

"A baddie, a queen, an icon," another fan commented. "Love to see it."

Three days later, Palmer seemed to reference Jackson's tweet in the caption of an Instagram post of her and her son.

“One thing is certain and one thing is true, IM A MOTHA, through and through!” she captioned the post with a heart-eyed emoji.

What has Usher said about the viral video?

Usher referred to the controversy involving Palmer and Jackson in a recent People interview, saying he and Palmer were just having fun on stage.

“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,” he said. “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.”

“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,” he added. “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.”

How did Keke Palmer react to Darius Jackson’s tweets?

Palmer has not directly commented on Jackson’s reaction to her outfit at the Usher concert last month.

After Jackson’s tweet went viral, however, Palmer shared more photos of her outfit from that night on Instagram, which some fans took as an indirect acknowledgment of the controversy.

“I wish I had taken more pictures but we were running late! I am telling y’all right now, if you haven’t seen @usher YOU MUST GO!! HE WAS SO FABULOUS!!” she wrote in the caption.

Usher responded to her in the comments, writing, ‘“The Big Boss!!’ Thank U for coming.”

A couple days after Jackson’s tweets went viral, Palmer also took to Instagram to promote a line of sweatshirts emblazoned with the message, “IM A MOTHA," which some fans read as a reference to Jackson's criticism of her attire as a mom.

“One thing is certain and one thing is true, IM A MOTHA, through and through!” she captioned the July 7 post.

Are Keke Palmer and Darius Jackson still together?

Darius Jackson and Keke Palmer have been linked since at least 2021, when Palmer opened up about going Instagram official with their relationship.

In February 2023, they welcomed a baby boy, Leodis Andrellton Jackson.

Last month, Jackson scrubbed any posts featuring Palmer from his Instagram account, and the pair no longer follows each other on the platform, according to People.

This led fans to question whether they are still together. As of August 2023, Jackson and Palmer have neither confirmed nor denied whether they are still in a relationship.

How are people reacting to the 'Boyfriend' music video?

It’s safe to say the internet was not ready for this Keke Palmer-Usher collab.

Fans calling it "next level petty hilariousness," a "checkmate" and "mess." Some were simply "screaming."

The disbelief was palpable: “Did usher just say what I think he said?” another person wrote.

“They had the opportunity to do the funniest thing ever,” another wrote. “And they did it.”

Once the video dropped, the fan reactions were just as enthusiastic.

"Well played, y’all. Well played!!" one person commented on the official YouTube video, while another fan called it "a vibe."

Darius Jackson has not responded to the controversy.

What have Usher and Keke Palmer said about the 'Boyfriend' music video?After the full video dropped on Aug. 16, Palmer shared a message of appreciation for Usher on Twitter.

"Usher! I remember when I was 12 and auditioned for 'In The Mix' You have been killing it all my life," she wrote. "As a true lover of the arts, your talent and craftsmanship are a rare combination that I aspire to achieve as a performer.

She also called Usher a "living legend who is worthy of awe."

"Thank you for encouraging me and seeing me as the entertainer I am," she wrote.

Palmer also seemed to explain why she and Usher danced in outfits in parts of the video.

"I know I’m a gUrL but when I watched your videos, I never wanted to be the girl in them, I wanted to be YOU," she wrote. "Thank you for making a dream come true."

Usher also shared the video on Twitter, keeping his comments short and sweet — while also seeming to playfully reference the moment in Las Vegas where this all (apparently) began.

"Nothing that happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.... 'Boyfriend' starring the BIG BOSS herself @KekePalmer OUT NOW," he wrote, adding the hashtag, #usherxkeke.

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