Oh, the innocence of childhood. When you’re a kid (well, at least way back when), you’re not worrying about who or what is messing up the economy, you’re not jaded into dressing or trying to look a certain way (especially since moms wouldn’t allow it anyway), nor did you have a real understanding about sex and foreplay. Or at least, you really shouldn’t have. You may have been filled in about what sex was, but when you heard songs about it, you were pretty much listening for the basics. As a kid, if you turned on a good beat with a catchy chorus, I was going to sing along. Now that I’m older, I can only laugh at my young self for singing these songs out loud not knowing how ahead of my years and knowledge they were.
*NOTE: I’m not THAT old so just keep that in mind with some of these picks (smile).
“I Wanna Sex You Up” – Color Me Badd
“Tick tock you don’t stop!” When the song opens with that “Ooooooooo,” I’m always hooked. And I was especially hooked as a kid, jumping around like a fool during outdoor barbecues as the radio (sitting inside the kitchen but next to the screen door for gatherings) would play this cut by Color Me Badd. My pops even had their CD! The song is extremely clear, “I Wanna Sex You Up.” Hello!? But I wasn’t paying attention WHATSOEVER as a pre-teen. Nowadays, I wish I would try and sing this mess in front of my parents. I can barely sit through an R-rated movie with sex around them without totally freaking out.
“Red Light Special” – TLC
This song was posted as an evening jam yesterday, and folks had me walking down memory lane when they discussed how confused they were to what this song had to do with back in the day. I was singing this like it was nobody’s business in elementary school, and it wasn’t until damn near high school that the little “red light” turned on in my head. I guess you could say I was distracted by the guitar and keyboards to even pay attention. And the video was even more confusing. Was that someone’s home, or a male brothel??? Oh, the questions…
“Freek’N You” – Jodeci
Without fail, this song used to come on when my mom would pick me up from basketball practice. To this day, it is my jam, but I saw nothing freaky or Hot about it back then. I just loved the beat and K-Ci and JoJo’s voices (like butter!). But now that I know what they were singing about, I can only give the side eye to my younger self. But I’m definitely jamming now!
Anything By Lil’ Kim…
Just like there are huge Nicki Minaj stans nowadays, Lil Kim, before all the plastic surgery, was too cool for school to me back in the day. I didn’t have her entire album (or else I would have looked at the cover and recognized the ratchetness), but from videos like “No Time,” “Ladies Night” and “Crush on You,” I thought homegirl was the beez-neez. I can’t remember when it hit me that she was all sex, all the time; perhaps after I heard “Big Momma Thang.” Or how about when I was rhyming the lyrics to “No Time,” looked up the lyrics a few years later and found that she was saying, stuff like, “Can’t work the middle, plus his thing too little,” which was the complete opposite of what I had been saying! She’s scandalous, and I get that now, but I was too surprised back in the day.
“All About U” – 2Pac featuring Nate Dogg, Snoop Dogg & YDG (Sorry, I couldn’t find the clean for this one)
There’s something about the way Nate Dogg sings that can cover up even the most trife of lyrics. Am I lying? I was singing “All About U” like it was the theme song to the show Zoom knowing they were saying “ho” and not realizing how off and degrading it was. I was just a-jamming: “Every other city we go, every other video…no matter where I go, I see the same…” You get it. The song was just so cheerful in its approach with its Cameo-esque bass guitar and the whistling noise in the background, I was easily fooled. Shame…
“I’m Lovin’ You Tonight” – Notorious B.I.G. featuring R.Kelly
Ever heard one version of a song and then been exposed to the REAL real version and had your jaw drop? Well, the clean version of “I’m Lovin’ You Tonight” was a lot more smooth and a lot less harsh than it’s original version, which we all know dropped the “lovin” for the hardcore F-word. All that talk about playing in between people’s limbs and other random things was totally blocked out as a kid so that I could sing the chorus. Or what I at least thought was the chorus. It’s amazing the amount of editing tools out there and how the radio can have you fooled.
“Bump N’ Grind” – R.Kelly
Before my we started connecting R Kelly’s songs to relations with young girls, and the overt sexuality got ten times more graphic (“Sex in the Kitchen” anyone?), I really, really didn’t see anything wrong with “Bump N’ Grind.” For one, as a kid, I obviously didn’t know what “Bump N’ Grind” was (I’m thinking I may have thought it to be a dance???). But hey, that was THE JAM back in the day so when the chorus dropped, everyone was singing. Mind you, I sang a lot of these songs when my parents weren’t around or paying attention, so hey…maybe I did know what was going on…Okay, just don’t tell my parents…
What scandalous songs were you singing as a kid?
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