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LA Times: The ‘Hustlers’ music: How Janet Jackson, Lorde and that perfect club cameo came to be


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I love how the director of the Hustlers movie is clearly a big Janet fan. 🙌


Janet Jackson

The film opens on a long tracking shot following newbie dancer Destiny (Wu) as she navigates a night of work at a strip club set to Jackson’s 1986 single “Control,” one of two early Jackson tunes that give voice to what she’s feeling.

The song was written into the script “as a Janet Jackson voice-over,” said Scafaria, and it establishes the theme of the film: Even as Destiny is learning the ropes and smiling for customers who shout at her, “Hey, Lucy Liu,” she’s constantly negotiating her own control over her life and future.

Wu sees the sequence as an early instance of Destiny wielding her own power: She knows instantly who these men are. “In that beginning scene, I am scanning the room; I am looking for money,” said Wu. “And the Lucy Liu thing is like a cash register ding in my head.”

“The Janet cues were the start of it,” said Scafaria, who wrote many of the songs heard in the film into her script and played them on set for her cast. She closes “Hustlers” out with another Jackson tune, “Miss You Much,” which takes on bittersweet meaning with the fate of Destiny and Ramona’s fractured friendship.

“‘Miss You Much’ was always the bookend for me in that it represented everything ... about the relationships that we have that maybe don’t last our whole lives but are really meaningful,” said Scafaria.






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Another article https://www.vulture.com/2019/09/hustlers-soundtrack-fiona-apple-janet-jackson-britney.html

"Writer-director Lorene Scafaria says that Jackson’s “Control” was so essential to the opening scene that she’s not sure what she would’ve done had Jackson said no to licensing the song. “I said out of the gate, ‘If we don’t get this, I don’t know what this movie is.’ There’s a theme of control that runs throughout the movie, and I didn’t want to make any bones about it — I wanted that to be very clear,” Scafaria says. “When we have it, when we don’t. Even when we’re empowered, it doesn’t mean we’re in control. I wanted to start the movie on Destiny and follow her from the locker room onto the floor, and use that song as part of the storytelling to not just put us in her shoes but to ask us some questions while we’re with her in real time.”


According to music supervisor Jason Markey, the licensing for “Control” came down to the wire. When I spoke to him a few weeks before the film’s premiere, he told me he was “sweating, to be honest.” Though Universal, who owns Jackson’s masters, had given the film the go-ahead to use the song, they told Markey they couldn’t get ahold of Jackson while she was on tour to get the final approvals. “I said, ‘There’s no backing out. This is in the movie. We can’t take it out at this point, so we need this approved,’” says Markey. “I always have anxiety, but this was beyond anxiety. I doubled the Xanax.”

It wasn’t until Markey and his team sent actual footage of the opening scene to Jackson that she finally gave her blessing. “After she saw the clip, she loved it,” he says with palpable relief. “It’s like giving birth. I was walking in circles all day long, pacing, anxiety, bad dreams, you name it. Let’s just say we pulled off a miracle, okay?”


So I guess that answers the question of who own the A&M(Universal) masters

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  • 2 weeks later...
4 hours ago, Twenty4play said:

I thought she owned her master's .......nevermind

Yeah I learned this when I really thought about it. Universal probably bought out her contact with Virgin and in exchange Janet gave them her masters. But she still has her publishing, so Universal doesn't have complete control over her work (no pun intended). Smart woman. Even if Janet doesn't own her masters, labels still have to get clearance from her for her work to be licensed. 

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