What Was That? Singers & Rappers We Can Never Understand In Songs

August 2, 2013  |  
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Source: Marco Piraccini/WENN.com

Whether they’re rapping too fast or singing too low, we can never understand what these entertainers are saying once they get behind the mic. We still love them, of course, but we’d just like to know what exactly they’re saying on a track every once in a while .

Source: WENN

Janet Jackson

Janet Jackson doesn’t sing, she whispers. It’s a nice whisper, but it’s still a whisper. $5 to the first person who knows what comes after “In the thunder and rain…” on “Anytime Anyplace.”


Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey’s voice is flawless, especially with her 8 octave pitch. Too bad, we never know all of the words she’s saying once she gets in that range. Most times we assume she’s just making general ad lib sounds then all of a sudden we see the lyrics and are like, wait a minute, she was singing words?!

Credit: WENN


Ciara and Janet Jackson’s voices are very similar and that’s why Ci Ci is on this list too. I know Cici can sing but we really wouldn’t know because she uses the same tone for every song.  We’d like to have a body party too, we just don’t know what exactly happens in one because the lyrics aren’t the easiest to decipher.

Source: WENN

Michael Jackson

The King Of Pop had the moves but some of the words of his songs are questionable. What was Mike saying in his songs, especially in, “Human Nature”? He says some words so clearly and the others leave you wondering. And then he had the nerve to just make stuff up! Remember “Wanna Be Starting Something?”

Help Me Sing It, Ma Ma Se,
Ma Ma Sa, Ma Ma Coo Sa
Ma Ma Se, Ma Ma Sa,
Ma Ma Coo Sa

We’d like to help you sing, Michael, but we can’t.

Photo Credit: WENN


Twista is just a fast talking rapper. You may be lucky if you catch a word or two in his songs. Thank God someone is always singing on the hook, that’s the part where we join in.

Source: WENN

Toni Braxton

Toni Braxton’s deep voice made her famous. However, she mumbles her words. Matter of fact, we’re giving her too much credit. She’s not even saying the words, she’s making the sounds of the words to make the song just flow. It was hilarious when Tamar reenacted Toni on an episode of “The Braxtons,” when she started,”And I can’t stop thinking about…” Don’t even get us started on “I love me some him.”

Source: WENN

Bone Thugs N’ Harmony

Bone Thugs has always been known to be a fast rapping group. We don’t even try to figure out what they’re saying. As long as we understand the chorus, they will always have a fan base.

Source: WENN

Robin Thicke

Robin Thicke has the Maxwell syndrome. You understand some of his words. However, when he’s singing in a high pitch voice mixed with some whisper, we can hardly understand him. Who knows any line other than “You the hottest b**** in this place” on “Blurred Lines.”

Aaron D. Settipane/WENN.com

Erykah Badu

The soulful Erykah Badu has been a favorite from the beginning of time. Her voice has a very squeaky pitch that sometimes we have a hard time understanding. Thank God for the soothing beat that gets us grooving because most days we have no clue what she’s saying.

Photo Credit: WENN.com


As much as we love us some Maxwell, we can hardly understand what this man is talking about. Maybe it’s his looks that are distracting us but that high pitch on “This Woman’s Work”? We don’t know what’s happening there, but we like the sound of it.

Source: vibe.com


This smooth singing brother is probably one of the best artist when it comes to just making noise. In his song, “How does It Feel,” no one had a clue what he said besides, that one line. We’re going to need you to enunciate your words D’angelo. Not that we’re complaining (too much) though.

Source: WENN

Anita Baker

“What have you done to me? I can’t eat. I cannot sleep. And -”  Yeah that’s as far as we’ve ever gotten through “Body and Soul.”

Source: WENN

Busta Rymes

Despite being a highly respected lyricist, not many know Busta’s actual lyrics And we’re not even talking about his Jamaican accident in “Twerk,” ever since the “Woo Ha” days we’ve been confused. “Yawww, yawww, yawww, yawwww, yawww.”

Source: WENN


To this very day, we have no idea what Juvenile said in his song “Ha,” let alone, “Back That A** Up”.  The only thing we knew was the beat was hot and it had us dropping like it’s hot.

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  • Jay

    I don’t want to brag but I feel like I have a gift with decoding what people are saying in songs, I mean, I know what most of these people in this list say in their songs and my mom asks me all the time to tell her what the words are to certain songs because (typical mother thing) she can’t really hear them and usually murders them when singing along. It’s easy to understand certain singers if you just pay attention and listen carefully. But considering most people have ADD now it might be hard for a lot of people. Human Nature is one of my favorite MJ songs and I know all the words, plus I can understand most of MJ’s song too, I love Smooth Criminal (Annie are you okay? Will you tell us, that you’re okay Annie?). All it takes is patience!

  • Januckey

    I too was interested in what that phrase meant in Mike’s song so I did a little research. Turns out that the end of the song comes directly from Cameroonian saxophonist Manu Dibango’s 1972 disco song “Soul Makossa”. The coda of the song is “Mama-say mama-sah ma-ma-coo-sah”. Makossa is a Cameroonian music genre and dance. Dibango sued Jackson and settled out of court for one million French francs, agreeing thereby to waive future rights to this recording but not future use of the material. The same phrase is used in one of Rihanna’s songs. THe more questionable lyrics in Wanna be Starting Something is when Mike says “You’re a vegetable, and I hate you, cause you’re a vegetable. You’re a buffet…” Really? WTF does THAT mean. The “Mama say mama sah” part was the least of the confusion in that song.

    • Jay

      A vegetable could be a really dumb/lazy/useless person. Maybe he’s dissing the person who started something?

  • shauna


  • Michael Stanton

    y’all totally forgot about yvette marie stevens a.k.a. ms. chaka khan. as much as i adore ms. chaka, sometimes i’m left scratching my head going “what in the HELL did she just say?” lol

  • Chelsea NatDis Mims

    “…Stare into my eyes.” 5 dollars please…

  • shopkins0220

    I don’t care if I can’t understand their word because I love, MJ, Toni & Janet, in that order.

  • Cord Palmer

    In the thundering rain, you stare into my eyes
    I can feel your hand movin’ up my thighs
    Skirt around my waist, wall against my face
    I can feel your lips


  • Reese

    I thought I was the only who didn’t know what the heck was being said in some of these songs. For years when I was singing the chorus to You’ve Got Me by The Roots & Erykah Badu all wrong and eff’d up.

  • On_Point

    Robin thicke’s new song pressure… don’t know what he is talking about in the chorus.
    Someone of Toni’s 2000+ year songs are barely audible.

  • dfsf

    Michael Jackson doesnt make up the “Ma ma se….” He was inspired by a Cameroonian song.

  • Candace E. Tyndall

    How about Soul Brother #1 James Brown?
    I am in agreement about Michael Jackson.
    God bless both of their souls, but I could not make out what they were saying in a lot of their songs.
    Almost needed a Cliff Notes or Translation Dictionary.

  • Purple

    Maybe its just me but I always have a hard time understanding wtf Ceelo Green is singing

  • deeloves__youu

    Janet Jackson anytime anyplace in the thundering rain stare into my eyes I can feel your hands moving up my body

  • Aaliyah Noelle

    Um where the f is gucci mane?!

    • Momma Dee Tha Q.U.E.E.N

      I boo gabbo danama dabba goobagh BURR! That’s the hook to his upcoming single

  • Aaliyah Noelle

    Um where the f is gucci mane?!

  • jackie

    Bossip y’all need y’all hearing checked Beyonce should not be on here at all, Rhianna should definitely be on here

  • 123

    “in the thundering rain, you stare into my eyes, i can feel your hands moving up my thighs”

  • 49er pride

    In the thunder and rain. Stare into my eyes. I can feel your hands. Moving up my thighs. Lol where is my money???

  • Cazeliah

    Toni Braxton has gotten better about that. Her song “He Wasn’t Man Enough” is a good example of how hard it was to understand her. Really hard to comprehend then you have to make out your own words based on the context of what’s being sung. Luhs me some Toni though.

    • Jamaican Hello Kitty

      Toni’s sisters (Towanda, Traci, && Trina, I believe) actually brought the lyrics to that particular song up when they were practicing to sing background for her. After all these years, they had no idea what the lyrics to the chorus of that song were. Too funny.

  • Digital 9.2

    Janet Jackson is the worst. I can’t understand A DAMN than she is singing only that’s the way love go’s and that the background how she ever sell music is beyond me. How can I forget Janet and Mj singing together, WHO BAD NOT YOU 2.

    • Trail

      IF you cant understand then your not listening. Its not hard to hear what shes saying. And both MJ and JJ has waayyy more than you. Just saying!

  • Sky

    In the thunder and rain
    You stare into my eyes
    I can feel your hand
    Movin’ up my thighs

    Now where’s my $5?

    • Andrani

      lol how do we know you didn’t look that up?

    • ..

      yea…I don’t get how that was hard to understand at all.

    • Bullheadedtaurus

      Skirt around my waist
      Wall against my face
      I can feel you lips….

      But alas, MJ does sing jibberish (yet I know most of his songs) as well as Anita. Love ’em both but….

  • Rasharne

    And these people get paid for this?! I’m in the wrong business lol

  • anony

    What about K-Ci? I will never know what he says in “Come and Talk To Me” after “I’m a single man I hope that you are single too…”
    I can’t even find it on the internet.

    • kiki

      lol i just mumble some words after that too.

    • Vanessa

      “Why do I seek, something to set my mind free. Cause curiosity is burning the hell outta me”

    • iReezy

      Lolol I’ve never paid attention to the fact that I have no idea what that line is either!

  • WeekzTC

    How could you forget the King of Indecipherability: Chief Keef?

    • FamuRattler85

      Lol I know right

  • TraceFace

    You forgot Mystikal! His song “Danger” says it all! LOL!

  • Kenedy

    Lol @ this list. Ciara and that Promise song…the heck is she saying? “Bita bata peata , pita patat youu youuu youuu you, youu youuu”

    • chanela


  • NeaJ

    I don’t think Michael Jackson or Anita Baker should be on this list. I agree with all the others though. And since when can Ciara sing?! Lol. P.S. I’m sure y’all could’ve found a better pic for Anita. Ha!!

    • Maria

      u crazy ma ever listen to Annie are u ok…? lol This was right on point especially Maxwell’s woman woman’s work LOOOOOVe this song but lawd have mercy!!!!!lol

      • Chey


      • Andrani

        Annie are you walkin?? Annie chi chi wokay?? In Billiie Jean it almost sounds like he’s saying ‘a bit of cheese is not my lover’. Only MJ.

        • princess courtenay

          oh gawd!!!! i cant breathe!!!! lmaoooooooooooooooooo

        • KeKe

          A bit of cheese tho BAHAHAHAHAHAHA I jus flat lined

        • rainydaze80

          I still don’t know what he’s saying on “Jam”. I just know “I asked my brother” and after that it’s just jibberish.

          • Andrani

            how could i forget jam. classic example. heres another one: in the closet. the verses are total gibberish. the only comprehensible part is the chorus. if you ever hope to understand him you’d have to look up the lyrics. even parts of heal the world and man in the mirror are gibberish. and those are damn slow songs. lmao

        • ThaTruthful1

          You ain’t right, LOL!!!

        • Fab40

          Hilarious….i cant stop laughing.

    • Andrani

      MJ is not only the king of pop. He’s the king of gibberish. Billie Jean is gibberish, Another Part Of Me, Bad, Smooth Criminal, Stranger In Moscow, and on and on. Part of it, I think is his country accent. But then again we always understood him in the J5. He’s the first person that came to mind when i read the headline. Lmao!! I love MJ.

      • jennellabella2

        Lol, imma have to disagree with Another part of me, but everything else:)

        • Andrani

          I thought it was Another Quartaneen. lmao

          • jennellabella2

            Lmao yeah I can see that

      • alex

        stranger in moscow is my song though…lol

        • ThaTruthful1

          Mine too.

      • Andrani

        I think we understood him as a child because they most likely forced him to sing a certain way, without his accent. annunciation is very important when you’re starting out as an artist. but as he got older and more famous he had control over how he sounded and it really didn’t matter if ppl could understand him or not.

    • 124

      I LOVE me some Anita, but I must admit there are some songs that I have to pull up the lyrics. I have been singing some of her songs wrong for years