by Da’Nelle Grier
Singers have a real creative way of sneaking in all types of interesting content into their music. Whether it’s that feel-good melody, the catchy lyrics, or the beat that gets you turnt every time, these artists will have you vibin’ to sad situations and you won’t even care. Here’s a short list of 5 triflin’ songs that bang:
1. “Creep” – TLC
What’s funny about “Creep” is that Left Eye knew it was triflin’ and did not want to be apart of it. She decided not to rap on the project because she didn’t want to offend anyone, and she even threatened to wear black tape over her mouth in the music video.
While Left Eye protested against the song, her bandmate, T-Boz, told Billboard exactly why she and Chilli believed it was necessary: “We thought that was a good relationship to talk about because a lot of people don’t admit that’s how they feel – that their man’s playing on them and they want to be with him so they seek attention elsewhere, but they really want to be with their guy.”
TLC ultimately came to a consensus and recorded “Creep,” an anthem for all women who creep around with other men “on the down low” due to lack of attention from their original boos. One of the funny realities about music like this is that they’re so well-produced, you can forget what the lyrics are actually saying. There I was at 10 years old, jammin’ to a song about infidelity and not even knowing it: “’cause heee doesn’t know what I do, and no attention goes to showww, ohhh.”
“Creep” became their first #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
2. “You’re the One” – SWV
“I know that you’re somebody else’s guy, but these feelings that I have for you I can’t deny…”
First of all, how is MY man the one for YOU? Secondly, I debated on conducting an in-depth lyrical analysis with this one, but figured the lyrics just speak for themselves. “You’re the One” has to be the thirstiest side chick anthem of all-time, and I love it. Don’t let the pretty faces, iconic style, and trendy choreography in this video fool you; the women of SWV are SAVAGES! Of course I don’t condone these SZA-esque lyrics, but could you really blame me for specifically requesting this song at a 90’s throwback party? Exactly.
3. “You Make Me Wanna…” – Usher
This jam is truly a guilty pleasure of mine. Here we have Usher, sexiness personified, telling me that I make him want to leave the one he’s with — awful, right? As a human being, I can’t help but to feel bad for his girlfriend, who probably doesn’t know that her man is falling for someone else and loving her at the same time. But as an Usher fan, I’m incredibly enticed and flattered that Usher, sexiness personified, wants to be with me (also sexiness personified).
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Usher spoke about what inspired him to write this song: “I was with one girl, but I had flown to Los Angeles and I fell in love with this other girl. And what was so odd about it is she started out as a friend, and was encouraging me to keep my relationship afloat. And then I’m like, ‘Well, sh*t, why don’t I be with you?’”
Usher, chile, get it together (but call me first!).
4. “Boyfriend #2” – Pleasure P
“Call me when your man ain’t around. I don’t mind being the dude on the side, ya dig.”
There’s no one on this planet who makes 2nd place sound as wonderful as Pleasure P. Too familiar are we with the narrative of “the other woman,” so it’s nice to be refreshed with a story about “the other man.” Here we have Pleasure P as the self-appointed boyfriend #2 to a woman who he claims isn’t being sexually fulfilled by boyfriend #1. I don’t know who she is or what she’s done to get him so sprung, but I do need to find out!
5. “What Would You Do?” – City High
On a real note, this song is just sad. It’s about a guy who’s at a party, and he notices one of the five or six strippers there is a former classmate of his. He pulls her out of the party to ask why she’s “up in there dancin’ for cash,” and she reveals all of her present hardships in the song’s chorus:
“What would you do if your son was at home
Crying all alone on the bedroom floor, ’cause he’s hungry
And the only way to feed him is ta sleep with a man
For a little bit of money, and his daddy’s gone
Somewhere smokin’ rock now, in and out of lock down
I ain’t gotta job now, so for you this is just a good time
But for me this is what I call life”
Heartbreaking, right? You’d think that no one in their right mind would ever consciously dance to something like this, but I’m here to tell you the harsh reality of it all. As ashamed as I am to say it, this track is a bop. I hate the way I snap to this. I can’t stand the way I sing and dance to this like it’s “Mo’ Money Mo’ Problems,” but I almost want to say it’s involuntary. I know, I’m a terrible person, but I truly blame City High for putting depressing lyrics on top of a hard beat. It consistently puts me in a morally awkward predicament and I lose every time.
Here’s a short list of other songs that we can’t help but vibe to, no matter how messed up they are:
Keep up with Da’Nelle via her Instagram: @nelliethesupastah, Twitter: @NellieGOnTheMic, and her website: danellelynise.com.