1. Naughty By Nature, “O.P.P.” (1991)
This one, I can’t blame you for. It used an acronym, first of all, to make the song’s content a little more subtle, and it borrowed a singsongy sample from The Jackson 5’s “ABC.” It’s practically made for kids to memorize! But some things aren’t meant to be shared.
2. Hi-Five, “I Like The Way (Kissing Game)” (1991)
This one, also, not the worst offender. But it can be hard enough to find someone to play the kissing game with now, let alone when you were 5!
3. Marcy Playground, “Sex and Candy” (1997)
So, middle school you: What exactly does this combo of sex and candy smell like? Logistically, what is going on in this scene? It’s confusing, clearly, but also just one more thing you shouldn’t sing about because you probably haven’t yet had sex ed class.
4. Snoop Doggy Dogg, “Gin and Juice” (1994)
Sure, the house party video looked hella fun. But this was a party you couldn’t join for many years, my friend. This oft-repeated line is classic: “I got some freaks in the living room gettin’ it on / And they ain’t leavin’ till 6 in the mornin’.” But you really loved the catchy chorus, about smoking indo — which you still can’t do legally in many states — and sipping gin and juice, an activity you probably couldn’t partake in for, like, another 10 years.
5. H-Town, “Knockin’ Da Boots” (1993)
Chances are, if you were in elementary school when this ditty dropped, boots, you likely thought, were the cool black combat footwear you saw in all the ’90s music videos. But youngster, you were wrong. Did you ask yourself why the boots were rocking, knocking?
6. Color Me Badd, “I Wanna Sex You Up” (1991)
No one should ever use “sex” as a verb. And I’m willing to bet that however old you were in 1991, you DEFINITELY should not have been using “sex” as a verb. Nonetheless, hit play right now and tell me you don’t want to dance! I dare you.
7. Boyz II Men, “I’ll Make Love to You” (1994)
I’m sure you know every line of this slow jam and can passionately sing, “I’ll make love to you / Like you want me to / And I’ll hold you tight / Baby, all through the night.” But when this song was hot, you were probably still holding a teddy bear and blankie all through the night.
8. Alanis Morissette, “You Oughta Know” (1995)
Whatever Uncle Joey from Full House did, it had Alanis seriously distraught. Some of the more vivid lyrics include: “An older version of me / Is she perverted like me? / Would she go down on you in a theater?” These really aren’t questions kids should have been asking.
9. Janet Jackson, “Any Time, Any Place” (1993)
A song so iconic that rapper Kendrick Lamar took just the opening line — “In the thundering rain” — and looped it into an entire song. Janet’s 1993 ode to getting it on in public could get you arrested, but at least now you’re old enough to know what she meant by “I don’t wanna stop just because / People walkin’ by are watchin’ us.”
10. Akinyele, “Put It in Your Mouth” (1996)
This one is a bit lesser known, but I bet you’ll remember the chorus when you hear it. A woman, in a happy-go-lucky tone, sings, “Put in my mouth / My motherfuckin’ mouth.” Easy to sing along to. Horrifically blunt.
11. Ginuwine, “Pony” (1996)
In a video that now looks very bizarre, Ginuwine grinds, winds, and thrusts with an open shirt at a rodeo bar full of cowboys…but this was your song! Did your parents stop you from singing, “If you’re horny / Let’s do it / Ride it, my pony / My saddle’s waiting / Come and jump on it”? They should have.
12. Jodeci, “Freek’N You” (1995)
Those ’90s songs, they got right to the point! Take the opening line of this tune from the kings of Freak-&-B: “Every time I close my eyes / I wake up feelin’ so horny.” Every time? Damn, Jodeci! Your young ears should never have heard more than that.
13. 2Pac feat. Digital Underground, “I Get Around” (1993)
Say it with me: “I’m Shock G: The one who put the satin on your panties.” If you were wearing satin panties in ‘93, you were ahead of us all, girlfriend! The song was all about how girls should not be surprised by men’s escapades, but at the same time, Pac doled out the sage advice, “Hate to sound sleazy, but tease me / I don’t want it if it’s that easy.” You know, to keep in mind down the road.
14. TLC, “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” (1992)
Word?! Did you really know what T-Boz, Left Eye, and Chili weren’t too proud to beg for? “If I need it in the morning or the middle of the night … If the lovin’ is strong then he got it goin’ on … 2 inches or a yard rock hard or if it’s saggin…’” Now that you are old enough to know…are you too proud?
15. Ace of Base, “All That She Wants” (1993)
Ladies and gentlemen, listen carefully. Every verse ends with: “She’s going to get you,” and the chorus says, “All that she wants is another baby.” This is the story of a woman who had no time for work; no, she was on the prowl. And she wants “another” baby, so, like, girlfriend was a pro at schemin’ on the low.
16. LL Cool J, “Doin’ It” (1995)
In 1995, you were young enough to have to take a mandatory recess. WHAT EXACTLY WERE YOU DOING, YOUNG MAN, AND HOW, PRAY TELL, DID YOU DO IT “WELL”? The peep show music video you shall never forget, and the beat was bangin’. But these lyrics are more suited for phone sex than a playground sing-along.
17. Salt-N-Pepa, “Shoop” (1993)
Listen, the homegirls saw a good-looking man, and they let. him. know. Before we even get to the rapping, Pep says, “Ooo, how you doin’, baby? No, not you… You, the bow-legged one, yeah. What’s your name? Damn, that sounds sexy.” Today, women making the first move is empowering. But as a little kid, you probably thought someone making you want to shoop meant, like, playing basketball or something.
18. R. Kelly, 12 Play (1993)
Your parents had the cassette tape. Or maybe the cool high school kids you wanted to be like had it. Either way, NOTHING on R. Kelly’s entire debut solo album was suitable for you to listen to. Yet, you probably went around singing about how you saw nothing wrong with a little bump and grind, or how your mind was telling you Nooooo, but your body, your body’s telling you Yesssssss!
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