Eddie Murphy’s highly-anticipated movie Coming 2 America includes a stand-out moment where Teyana Taylor performs the classic Prince track “Gett Off” as part of royal ritual.

Her performance of the 1991 Diamonds and Pearls song wasn’t originally part of the script, as the singer-songwriter, dancer and model explained recently.

Taylor, 30, plays Bopoto Izzi in the sequel to Murphy’s 1988 hit Coming To America. In the scene, Bopoto uses the song to seduce Lavelle, the newly discovered son of Murphy's Prince Akeem, in an attempt to become the future queen of Zamunda. Jermaine Fowler, who plays Lavelle, also handles a verse on the song, as does singer Brandon Rogers. Their collaboration is available on the movie's soundtrack.

Taylor's character is similar to that of the Imani in the original movie, played by Vanessa Bell. “That was some big shoes to fill,” Taylor told The Grio. “I actually got to meet her and I was so nervous. I want to be perfect for her and for everybody.”

She added that it was “crazy” to end up having a queen-in-waiting scene of her own, complete with the “Gett Off” cover, since the matching moment from 1988 was one of her favorites. “[O]riginally the performance wasn’t in there when I read the script,” she said. Once we started getting into fittings and really sort of locking everything in is when they added the performance. I was like, ‘Okay, I’m gonna be dancing?’ … I remember I picked this bomb outfit. It was so good – the shoes, everything. They was like, ‘Okay, cool. You’re gonna be performing in this.’ I was like, ‘Oh, my God, I’m gonna be dancing in heels–I picked the wrong heels!’ But it all worked out and I’m excited to see how it came out.”

Taylor received acclaim for her third LP, The Album, released in 2020 – but there’s a chance it could be her final record. In a situation that appears similar to Prince’s battle with his label in the ‘90s, she announced her retirement from music in December, saying she’d been trying to escape her contract for a decade. She later clarified: “I gotta do it for my mental health. I have to do it for my emotional health. I have to do it for my kids, so I can stay alive for my kids. Until I'm free, until I can get them to release me, yes I want to retire.”

Prince - ‘Gett Off’

‘Coming 2 America’ Trailer

 

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