So I (Proudly) Creep: 15 Of The Messiest R&B Songs
Many artists write songs with words that have double meanings to provoke thought, but these 15 songs proudly boasted about creeping on the down low. Check out our list of the messiest R&B songs around.
Piece Of My Love
Guy helped usher in a new era of music with a new jack swing feel in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Founded by Teddy Riley, the group became popular for its thumping, booty-shaking beats and lyrics. In “Piece Of My Love,” lead singer Aaron Hall promised to save some of his loving for one very special woman but cautioned she could only have a piece of him because he belonged to someone else. As one person on YouTube put it: “baaaaasically this song is saying you can have this d!ck, and that’s about it.”
No one sings about heartache and pain better than Mary J. Blige. The New York native tackled the issue of how hard it was to stay with a cheating boyfriend in her song “Your Child.” Still in love with her man, Blige crooned about the lovechild that was produced from his infidelity and how he refused to believe the child was his. Crowned the queen of hip-hop soul when she first came onto the music scene in the 90’s, Blige has had a very successful career because so many of her fans were able to relate to her music on a very personal level.
U Make Me Wanna
R&B singer Usher dropped his first album straight out of high school. Partnering with Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, a teenaged Usher saw his debut album receive a less than stellar reception. For his second album, the Atlanta native partnered with Jermaine Dupri and the duo released Usher’s first hit singe “U Make Me Wanna.” In the song, Usher professes his love for his girlfriend’s best friend and how everything she did made him “wanna leave the one I’m with and start a relationship with you.” Usher and Dupri would go on and create more hit songs together for years to come.
Back when the group still had its four original members, Destiny’s Child released their second album The Writing’s On The Wall in 1999 to much fanfare. Their record-breaking album contained the hit singles “Bills, Bills, Bills” and “Say My Name.” The album was also home to “Confessions,” a song about a girl coming clean to her boyfriend about a few things. By the end of the song, which also featured rapper and producer Missy Elliott, the girl told the truth about what went down with an old male friend and what happened to some money that mysteriously went missing. Destiny’s Child’s sophomore album was nominated for six Grammys and sold more than 16 million copies.
If Loving You Is Wrong
David Ruffin began his musical career singing background for the legendary Motown group The Temptations but soon he was singing lead. Some of the group’s biggest hits, including “My Girl” and “Since I Lost My Baby,” were songs with Ruffin singing the lead. After leaving the group to fly solo, the Mississippi native found success by recording his own version of the scandalous single “If Loving You Is Wrong.” Never truly reaching his full potential, Ruffin died from an overdose of coke in 1991 at the age of 50.
You’re The One
In the early 90’s, SWV dominated the airwaves with hits like “Weak” and “Human Nature.” After their platinum-selling debut album, the all-girl R&B group followed up with “You’re The One,” a song about a girl destined to be with this one particular guy, even though he is already spoken for. The song enjoyed huge crossover success and spawned several remixes. May we draw your attention to the line: “So, what’s my chance? (I’m willing to do anything to get) In your pants.”
Before they declared they didn’t want “No Scrubs,” TLC found their first number one hit single with the 1994 song “Creep.” In the song, a woman starts looking elsewhere for love and affection when she finds out that her boyfriend has been less than faithful. In a documentary about her life, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopez revealed how she was against releasing “Creep” as a single because she didn’t like the message it portrayed. Fortunately, Left Eye was outvoted because the song was nominated for two Grammys.
John Legend began his career by singing background vocals for other artists like Alicia Keys before grabbing the spotlight for himself. On his debut album Get Lifted, the piano singing Ohio native sang about the trials and tribulations of having to be extra careful and sneak around town so he wouldn’t been seen with a woman than wasn’t his in “She Don’t Have To Know.” Legend returned to the topic of infidelity once again in the song “Number One,” and promised that although he had strayed before, he had turned over a new leaf and was finally ready to settle down. Legend has settled down in real life and tied the knot to his longtime model girlfriend last week in Italy.
No one sang about creeping on the low around town with a married woman better than Billy Paul. In 1972, the R&B singer released “Me & Mrs. Jones,” a Hot, seductive, slow ballad that professes Paul’s love for Mrs. Jones, even though he knew it was wrong but the feeling is just too strong. The song proved to be Paul’s only number one hit and became so popular other artists such as Freddy Jackson and Michael Buble recorded their own versions.
Little Stevie Wonder burst onto the music scene at the tender ago of 11 armed with a harmonica. Throughout his long and illustrious career, Wonder has recorded hundreds of songs about love, being in love and making love. In one particular song, Wonder found himself creeping with another woman. In “Part-Time Lover” Wonder sang about his secret code he and his lover used to communicate with each other to signal when the coast was clear. Fellow R&B crooner Luther Vandross joined Wonder on the end of the song, which was released in 1985.
It’s no secret that Amy Winehouse loved an alcoholic beverage or two. The young and talented British singer frequently referenced about getting drunk or the effects of being drink in her songs. In “I Heard Love Is Blind,” Winehouse tried to convince her man her one night of indiscretion was a result of having too much alcohol and being alone. Pleading for forgiveness, Winehouse tried to reason that technically it wasn’t cheating because her boyfriend was always on her mind. Tragically, Winehouse passed away in 2011 at the age of 27.
R. Kelly has made his fame and fortune off of creating boot knocking, bedroom music. The Chicago native has been known to creep in the streets and between the sheets in his music. In “Be My #2,” the Pied Piper propositions a woman to be his main side chick because the position of “wife” has already been filled. In another song that advocated adultery, Kelly recruited The Isley Brothers for their hit collaboration “Down Low.” The accompanying video featured actress Garcielle Beauvais and was directed by Hype Williams.
The song may be about a taboo subject but the hit 1985 single “Saving All My Love For You” is an important song in Whitney Houston’s career. Originally released several years earlier by another artist, Houston made the song her own and sang about loving a married man and saving all of her good good just for him. “Saving All My Love For You” was Houston’s first of seven consecutive number one hit songs, a record the singer still holds today. Houston passed away the night before the 2012 Grammy Awards show in Los Angeles.
In 1996, R&B group Dru Hill hit pay dirt when they released the single “In My Bed.” The song was about a man finding out his girlfriend has been cheating on him. “In My bed” became an instant hit and steadily climbed the charts but its accompanying video received even more buzz. The video focused on Sisqo’s girlfriend who was sleeping around with several men including some of the other members in Dru Hill. However, Sisqo, and the rest of the viewers, were in for a shock at the end of the video when he walked in on his girlfriend in bed with another woman.
In 2000, Bad Boy artist Carl Thomas struck gold with his debut single “I Wish.” Thomas sang about having his heart broken by a woman who he knew belonged to someone else. No matter how much he wished she was his, unfortunately she would choose her man and her family over and over. “I Wish” was Thomas’ biggest hit but unfortunately he couldn’t make lightening strike twice. He released three more albums, the last one in 2011.