Whatchu Know About That?! 10 Songs I Shouldn’t Have Been Singing As A Kid

June 19, 2013  |  

what chu know feat

We love to complain about the state of today’s music. And while it’s true that today’s lyrics are a bit more graphic, it doesn’t mean the music of the past wasn’t graphic in its own way. As a child who was born on the cusp of the ’90’s, I know from experience that things were a little risque back in the day. The older I got, the more I realized just how dirty those songs I used to love really were. If you don’t know what I mean, check out the songs I eventually realized were a bit on the raunch side.

This is How It Works- TLC

(1995- 8 years old)

Touch me slow, watch it grow
Kiss the tip, gently blow, be my ho and tape the show
We can watch it in slo mo, when the sweet & lo drips
Don’t forget to let me wet my finger tips
Write love letters back & forth across your lips
Spread my hips, count to eighty, eighty ways, eighty trips
Make it smooth, take you time
One time for you mind, two times if ya tense baby let it unwind
Make it groove, in, out, in…

In the early ’90’s, my mom was into everything even mildly associated with Waiting to Exhale. The book, the movie and especially the soundtrack. It was the one component you could take with you and that’s exactly what my mom did. When we were riding in the car with her, 9 times out of 10, the soundtrack was playing. Which is how I discovered “This is How It Works.” I barely knew the words and would just sing the chorus and the “ah ah aaaah ah” part, not realizing what I was singing about. It wasn’t until my dad got in the car one day and had a fit about the lyrics. Once he flipped out and turned it off, I really started listening on my own, in the house. I was able to surmise it was about sex. And the older I got the more I understood. Very graphic.

Too Close- Next

(1998- 11 years old)

I wonder if she could tell I’m hard right now

Baby, when we’re grindin’, I get so excited
How I like it, I try but I can’t fight it
Oh, you’re dancin’ real close, ‘plus it’s real, real slow
You’re makin’ it hard for me

From the very first line of this song, you already know this song is about the raunch. In case you were distracted by the beat, this song is essentially about a man’s erection poking a girl while they’re dancing. But the way the music and the vocal is set up, you would think it’s just an innocent dance track. But if you know anything about the group Next, you know most of their music is on the edge.

I Get Around- Tupac

(1993- 6 years old)

You don’t know me, you just met me, you won’t let me
Well if I couldn’t have it, why you sweating me?
It’s a lot of real Gs doing time
‘Cause a groupy bit the truth and told a lie
You picked the wrong guy baby, if you’re too fly
You need to hit the door, search for a new guy
‘Cause I only got one night in town
Break out or be clown, baby doll are you down? I get around

Growing up I didn’t know anything about East coast rappers, with the exception of Biggie. In our house, my dad only played Tupac. And though a majority of his songs were completely inappropriate for a child under 10, that’s what I knew. And the mid-tempoed groove with the “Computer Love” sample sounded like such a fun song, it lured me in. Something about the “bah bah” ad libs in the back gave the track a fun vibe. But what I didn’t realize, until I got much older was that Tupac was talking about his sexual conquests, even explaining to the women he meets that if they aren’t willing to have sex with him on the first night, he can’t be bothered. Great message for the kiddies. 

Love Scene – Joe

(1997- 10 years old)

Girl, I’m down to take a sip from your cup (No, no, no, no, no, no, no)
If you drink from my fountain of love (Oh, ho)
Girl I’m down to take a sip from your cup (From your cup)
If you drink from my fountain of love (Ooh…ooh…oh…ho…)

’69 was a very good year (Do you remember, girl)
If you know what I mean, my dear (Ooh, baby)
’69 was a very good year (I could remember)
If you know what I mean, my dear (Let’s do it over and over again)

Of all the songs on this list, “Love Scene” is one of the tamest. It’s clearly about sex, but the lyrics are masked in a classy way. They’re masked right until you get to the end of the song. From there, Joe very explicitly starts talking about oral. I’ll always remember this song as being inappropriate for a 10 year old because Joe piqued my curiosity when he said “69 was a very good year, if you know what I mean my dear.” Well, at 10 I didn’t know what he meant. So I asked my dad. He said he didn’t know a little too quickly and I knew he was lying. So I asked my mom and she gave me the real.


You’re The One- SWV

(1996- 9 Years old)

What your girl don’t know won’t hurt her
(Hurt her)
Anything to make this love go further…


So, what’s my chance?
(I’m willing to do anything to get)
In your pants
(You don’t have to worry I won’t)
Say a thing
(And if she finds out I don’t)
Know nothing, Oh no

A while ago, we posted a story about the worst side chick anthems of all time and you already know “You’re the One” was at the top of the list. The women of SWV readily acknowledge that though homeboy is in a committed relationship, she’s still “willing to do anything to get in [his] pants.” Messy, messy! And at 9 I was just singing away not really comprehending what those scandalous women were talking about. Not exactly a role model moment for the group.

O.P.P.- Naughty by Nature

(1991- 4 years old)

The last P…well…that’s not that simple
It’s sorta like another way to call a cat a kitten
It’s five little letters that are missin’ here
You get on occassion at the other party
As a game ‘n it seems I gotta start to explainin’

As for the ladies, OPP means something gifted
The first two letters are the same but the last is something different
It’s the longest, loveliest, lean- I call it the leanest
It’s another five letter word rhymin’ with cleanest and meanest

Naughty By Nature were some sneaky dudes. The confused a really raunchy song behind an almost kiddie, fun Hip Hop beat. At 4 and 5 years old, I swore I was down with O.P.P. Screaming, “yeah you know me.” Little did I know the song was about genitalia. Thing is, by the time I learned the true meaning of the song, I didn’t even care. I was already invested.

Shoop -Salt N Pepa

(1993- 6 years old)

Felt it in my hips so I dipped back to my bag of tricks
Then I flipped for a tip, make me wanna do tricks for him
Lick him like a lollipop should be licked
Came to my senses and I chilled for a bit
Don’t know how you do the voodoo that you do
So well it’s a spell, hell, makes me wanna shoop shoop shoop

“Shoop” may seem like a relatively innocent song when you compare it to the rest of Salt N Pepa’s repertoire. But even though it’s just about a woman seeing a man she finds attractive for the first time, the thoughts she has about this man are not so G rated. Luckily, at 6 they were rapping too fast for me to understand and I was just pretending to know the words.  

Pony- Ginuwine

(1996- 9 Years old)

Just once if I have the chance 
The things I would do to you
You and your body
Every single portion
Send chills up and down your spine
Juices flowing down your thigh

If you’re horny lets do it, ride it, my pony
My saddle’s waiting, come and jump on it
If you’re horny lets do it, ride it, my pony
My saddle’s waiting, come and jump on it

I was so distracted by Timbaland’s beat and Ginuwine’s fineness and dance moves that I didn’t really think about the message of the song.  Though I knew he was talking about sex, I didn’t comprehend the graphic nature of the song until…today actually. I never knew he said juices flowing down your thigh. Good gosh!

Tell Me – Dru Hill

(1996- 9 Years old)

Listen baby 
Anything is possible 
Anytime you want it girl let me know 
I won’t ask why just let it flow 
Do your thing baby, take control 
On my knees just say the word 
No request is gonna go unheard 
I’ll take my time when I’m loving you 
4play at one won’t end till two 

This is another mild one but again I include it on the list because apparently, parents were just really free back in the day. I wouldn’t have been thinking about how risque this song was had Dru Hill not appeared on Nickelodeon’s “All That” hopping around singing about 4play. Tres inappropriate.

Profyle – Nasty from Omarion on Vimeo.

Nasty- Profyle

(2000- 13 Years Old)

I like the way you put it on me, girl
(You like that?)
You make me wanna ride
(I make you wanna ride, baby)
The way we’re touching
It feels like we’re f**king
I wanna get up inside, yeah

And I can tell you’re hard
I know, ’cause I can feel it
Up and down my thighs
I know what you’re thinking

I include this song because, from the title, there was no getting around how…nasty this song is. You may not be familiar, considering Profyle is most known for their song “Liar,” but if you don’t know “Nasty” featuring Monifah, you’re missing out in a major way. The song, through super freaky, is hot fire. If you listen, you can’t help but to bounce.

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  • linda m.

    the artists then are still better than the ones now. they all have the same content but what people complain of today is the fact that nowadays, the words are thrown in your face. back then, there was some poetry. children could sing a song without knowing the actual meaning of the words (most of us did). but today, they are so raw, even a 4-year old knows what they are talking about *yikes. i like joe songs – “love scene”, “and then”, “more n more”. he talked about sex but in a skilful and decent manner. kuddos to the 90s artists. they made good music without being explicit

  • whitmc

    OMG I was around the same age as the author and I was running around the house singing most of these songs. My mom was a big Tupac fan so I knew all of those songs, and being from the South I heard all the stripper music. 2 Live Crew was always on the radio and we knew all the dances. Almost all the songs I liked I look back on now and think what were my parents thinking letting me listen to that music, but those are still some of my favorite songs.

  • Hot Damn!

    Mmmmm! Ginufine! I thought so many dirty things when I watched his videos. He was like a televised stripper with talent.

  • chanela

    “girl i know you felt it!” *points * LMAOOOOOOO

  • Jessica Soro

    The funniest thing about this is even now when I listen to songs I was singing as a little kid I still can’t believe my parents let me hear them. Songs like Tell Me You’re That Somebody by Aaliyah snuck up on you, and I can admit to asking my uncle what the line “he’s got me open like 7-11” from Watta Man meant….. lol I can still remember him stuttering as he tried to make up some lie and my young self didn’t get it. Ooo and Nobody by Keith Sweat lord knows why an 8 year old knew all the words smh

  • keesha

    I was a little baby when most of these songs came out. Can’t believe my parents let me dance around to O.P.P. and Shoop lol.

  • mdeborah827

    There was a song back in the late 70’s that went “push push in the bush”. We had no idea what we were singing. My 6th grade teacher was MORTIFIED.

  • caramelblessed

    As a parent, I can tell you I was guilty of singing songs along with my son and not really paying attention to the words until I heard him sing Darling Nikki from Prince’s Purple Rain soundtrack. I almost crashed my car when I realized what the song was about and it was so obvious.
    I knew a girl named nikki
    I guess u could say she was a sex fiend
    I met her in a hotel lobby
    Masturbating with a magazine
    She said howd u like 2 waste some time
    And I could not resist when I saw little nikki grind
    This came out in 1984 when my son was 11 and knowing how Prince was I should have known better. Trust and believe that just like you might not have been paying attention to what you were singing, more than likely your parents weren’t really paying attention either.

    • What?

      Darling Nikki was so so so so dirty. My mom use to fast forward that song in the movie and the sex scenes back in the day but I had already heard the song when we went to see it at the theater. LOL

  • peachesncream

    Lmao! The title is hilarious.

  • toyasg

    How old are the people who run this site. In1990 I was just graduating from Belleville East. I was 17

    • keesha

      The lady who wrote this article was more than likely born in ’87, so she’s either 25 or 26 now. I can’t say for the other people who post articles on this site.

  • Edith Shakur

    Great music but it was always like that! Including Marvin Gaye’s Sexual Healing, Shirley Murdock’s As We Lay (which reminds me of SWV’s You’re the One, & countless others Juicy Fruit from Mtume. Then there are the songs that were about smoking weed, but as a kid did you know? Puff the Magic Dragon comes to anyone’s mind?

  • Unsheltered childhoods for the win!

  • sammi_lu

    I got jacked up for singing Adina Howard’s “Freak Like Me” and almost DDT’d for knowing every last word of “Freaks of the Industry” Digital Underground as a tween.

    • JerzeeGurl

      DDT’d??? #Dead

    • What?

      I listened to DU all the time but I made sure my mom didn’t hear me listen to the dirty songs. I was a senior in high school when freak like me came out so I knew what she was talking about. I actually had her CD in 95′. She had a song called, “You can be my n*gga”. My best friend and I use to blast it all day laughing our butts off at the lyrics.

  • realadulttalk

    I think Akinele was VERY clear in the meaning of his song….VERY!! “put it in your mouth, in your m’fin mouth…and you can eat me out” no hidden meaning there.

  • Caress

    This was a good list. I remember one time I was singing, well rapping Salt N Pepa what a man song and when Salt said she wanted to have his baby I said it too and in a blink of a eye my momma slapped me. She was like dont you ever let me hear you say that again. I was lost. I was shocked when I learned the meaning to alot of songs. SWV song You’re the one pissed me off.

  • VanityAmazon

    Wow I am only 32 and y’all make me feel old there is only one song on this list that came out when I was in the 6 grade everything else I was either in Jr high or high school and i knew what they meant lol and love them all. SWV was my group and I was in love with Ginuwine and pac !!

    • Yep

      I feel the same way I’m 31 LOL! I’m like dang am I that old lol

  • TraceFace

    Every generation of music has sexual, risque songs. But if you look at the words today…..It went from baby to b+#ch, and then thighs to p^@@y. Songs, especially rap songs are more derogative than ever before.

  • MsTighteyesisbackb!tches

    OMFG TOO CLOSE BY NEXT Was my favorite song as a kindergardener lol it reminded me of goin on vacation cause it would always play when we were on long trips no wonder my mom use to turn it down when it came on lmao

  • britchick91

    My Mom was a Tupac fanatic so I grew up knowing every lyric to every song. I knew not to utter any of the swear words in her presence though lol

  • shocked

    Okay, OPP was definitely played in Sister Act 2 (one of the greatest movies of all time), in the middle of Joyful Joyful! I can’t believe I was singing that all through my childhood…juxtaposed with a gospel song…ouch. Wow…

    • Caress

      Your statement made me laugh so hard because I know this movie like the back of my hand and just realized that OPP was sampled in it. I laughed at myself for a good 5 minutes that I have tears running down my face.

  • prettyredbone

    Omg brings back so many memories… I remember when i was like 5 or 6 years old getting in trouble by my dad for watching janet jackson and busta rhymes video “whats it gonna be”.. still love that song lol

  • Guest360

    This article just shattered my entire childhood. WHAT was I singing and why did my mom not saying anything?!! I’m especially shocked by Next’s “Too close” and Joe’s “Love scene”. I knew they were talking about sex. Just didn’t know they were so….explicit with it muffled under very beautiful melodies. I’m in shock right now lol.

  • Roni

    Girl you so young, its some stuff now that you shouldn’t listen to. Too cute!

  • candi619

    Might as well throw R Kelly’s whole 12 Play album on the list

  • Suchalady

    Hahahaha!

    This list just made me extremely sad because music used to be so good 🙁

  • Jessica2248

    “Ring My Bell” by Anita Ward. I was 8 when it came out and had no idea what it meant to “ring someone’s bell”. I was 6 when “Disco Lady” by Johnnie Taylor came out. Too young to be singing either, lol!

  • Bunnij

    man I remember getting in trouble with my dad over singing Srcubs by TLC which I didnt think wasn’t that bad but the song I was told my dad ” Gurl dont chu ever say that again in this house !” was Sylk-E Fyne feat. Chill – Romeo & Juliet however I knew the course at age 6.

    • What?

      LOL @ Romeo and Juliet. I forgot all about that song. I hated it to the core but the lyrics are hilarious.

  • Alecia Murphy

    Apparently when I was 5 I’d run around singing, “All I wanna do is zooma, zoom, zoom and a boom boom” with a straight face and my parents did nothing about it. It’s still my jam.
    But some of these songs I can’t even listen to without feeling funny- especially Next- they just put it all on front street with that.
    Another one I thought of was TLC’s Red Light Special. That’s a definite PG-13 jam.

  • Chanda

    Singers/groups have always made freaky songs since forever I’m sure. Def Lepard “Pour some Sugar on me”, Warrant’s “Cherry Pie” and one of my favorites “Tonight” by Ready for the World” the whole song is a freak fest: “You’re so wet you can hardly wait, girl but it’s alright (honey it’s alright). It’s so dark but I don’t even care, girl. I know where to go, I know what to do…”

  • JerzeeGurl

    I may be showing my age but I ALWAYS got into trouble from singing “Juicyfruit” by Mtume. For those of you who don’t know it was sampled by Biggie in his song “Juicy”

    • Nia

      I know the song, but why is it bad?

      • thegoodluckpig

        Candy rain
        Coming down
        Taste you in my mind
        And spread you all around

        you better ask somebody

        • Nia

          ROFL! I have that in my itunes! I’m so special!

          • caramelblessed

            LMAO! The name Juicyfruit wasn’t clue enough?!?!?! Ha!Ha!Ha!

            • XD

              *dead*

      • JerzeeGurl

        Do what you want
        I don’t care
        I’ll be your lollipop
        You can lick me everywhere

    • thegoodluckpig

      i’ll be your lollipop you can lick me everywhere 😡

  • NeverAFlaw

    Nas- “Oochie Wally”(I also couldn’t watch the video. Everytime the video came on BET I had to turn it).
    112- “Anywhere”.

  • &.

    I remember when “What’s Your Fantasy” by Ludacris came on the radio and my dad was in the car, he shut it off real quick and told me if he heard me singing that song, I’d be in trouble. That song and :”Splash Waterfalls” by Ludacris.

  • TXMom

    Haha this list made me laugh. I remember listening to most of the songs as a kid. A couple that didnt make the list is Twista Get it wet and preesha splackavelli. I was over 18 before I heard these songs again and was ASTONISHED!

  • Me

    H Town- Knockin the Boots. Adina Howard- Freak Like Me. LSG- My Body, Silk- Freak Me

    • Realityh03$Anonymous….ohwait

      YES 2 all of em!

  • DaisyDuke

    My world shattered when I was 15 and learned what “O.P.P.” meant. I went to my mom and was like “YOU LET ME SING THIS AS A CHILD????” & she laughed at me & said “you didn’t know what it meant.”

    I can think of about 10+ more songs that can be added to this list. Adina Howard’s “Freak Like Me”, Rick James’ “Mary Jane”, 112’s “Peaches & Cream” man the list goes on! It goes to show how words can completely fly over a child’s head lol

    • Realityh03$Anonymous….ohwait

      Peaches n cream was my song, when I thought it was about my favorite fruit 8^| {— my face when learned the TRUE meaning!

      • jferjfer

        I found the true meaning last year smh

        • Realityh03$Anonymous….ohwait

          no worries its a BUNCH i listen 2 now n get the 8vO face cause of the durty content of the songs… like spindrella’s verse in shoop… i made that face when i understood what she meant about spreading it on like lotion…

  • kickash

    hahaha i love this! this reminds me of when i was around 7 or 8 and me and my friends made a dance to the thong song by sisqo and then showed it to our moms! at the time i didn’t really know what the song was about but thinking back there were so many things wrong with that situation….

    • Jessica Soro

      lol you sound like me…. me and my girls had a dance to the song I was like in the 4th grade and my good girl safe didn’t even know what the hell a thong was lmao