“What have you done for me lately?” Another way of saying what have you done for me, period. Where have you been. It’s one of those things that people say when someone who isn’t very close with them suddenly appears out of nowhere and asks for help. And someone might say, “why should I even care and help you, where were you when I needed you, what have you done for me lately?” Janet Jackson is a very good communicator and app at using her music to communicate a broader message. Her 1989-90 album Rhythm Nation was about race relations in America and is a perfect example of that. This is not one of my favorite songs, but it’s a great song in the sense that the message is clear. And is about someone perhaps in Janet’s life who perhaps hasn’t been there for her lately and perhaps that person was once close with her and what’s she saying in this song about that person is essentially where have you been. And “What Have You Done For Me Lately” I believe is her way of delivering that message.