1. R. Kelly, “Sweet Tooth”
I’m all up in your middle
Ooh it taste like Skittles
I’m just keepin’ it real with you
Girl I got a sweet tooth
Gotta open things up with R. Kelly, whose hobbies include writing 96-volume hip hoperas and peeing on schoolchildren. And he does not disappoint with one of his more vividly metaphorical songs, in which every single lyric is a reference to oral sex cloaked in desserts. Imagine if Willy Wonka was posting in the “Casual Encounters” section of Craigslist. When will men stop comparing a woman’s distinct flavor to candy/ sweets? We do not taste like Skittles, Swiss Cake Rolls, Hershey’s Kisses, Twizzlers, Milk Duds, Nerds Ropes, Rice Krispie Treats, or Three Musketeers. Just say “vaguely umami and sometimes more pleasant than others” and get it over with.
2. Janet Jackson, “Feedback”
Flyer than a pelican find another chick better than, I don’t see her
‘Cause my swag is serious
Something heavy like a first-day period
This song may lean the most towards pop of the list, but I contest that the lyrics are up there with the big boys. I may be in the minority amongst my colleagues here in not so vividly enjoying everything menstrual, but I refuse to concede that, under any circumstance, bleeding out of your vagina is an acceptable representation of how cool/ attractive/ appealing you are. These lyrics are gross, Janet Jackson, and I want you to apologize for them.
3. Trey Songz, “Love Faces”
Making love faces, making love faces
Shadows on the wall while the candles burnin’
Messin’ up the bed while you sweatin’ out your perm and
Making love faces, making love faces
Trey Songz has made a career out of telling women, in no uncertain terms, just how God-like his sexual prowess is, and occasionally sculpting his facial hair. His hands are made entirely out of orgasms, and he ejaculates unicorns, according to his first two albums. This song, however, puts a spotlight on the more unfortunate aspects of lovemaking. Sweating out your perm? Making love faces? I don’t know what image “love faces” conjures up in your mind, but it makes me think of the most unfortunate, contorted movements of coitus that we all pretend we don’t actually see each other make. Trey, however, treasures them. And will pay for a replacement perm.
4. Young Money, “Bedrock”
Okay, I get it, let me think — I guess it’s my turn
Maybe it’s time to put this pussy on your sideburns
He say I’m bad, he probably right
He pressing me like button downs on a Friday night
Nicki Minaj definitely graduated from the Khia school of “Look At How Sexy I Am. LOOK AT IT.” Her come-ons are more threats than anything else, usually. “You WILL please Queen Minaj, little man, and you will not enjoy it. You will fulfill your duties, you will obey.” I just picture her conquests being thrown into some kind of giant volcano, one after the other. Here, she’s going to put her genitals on the side of your face/ ear, and it will be the most glorious day of your life.
5. Pretty Ricky, “Playhouse”
I’ll be your Jamaican lover, strokin’ in ya patois
I’ll be your Mexican lover, bangin’ up your pinata
I’ll be your French lover, got oui oui for your C-double-O chi
Pretty Ricky is refreshing proof that for every Pussycat Dolls we have, there are some men out there willing to degrade themselves just as hard. The shame may be deep, but at least it is mutual between the sexes. And this song, with its ominous beat and intensely unsexy hook, may be their masterpiece. And these lyrics — what are these lyrics? A patois is a language, so I’m going to leave that one alone. He’s going to hit my vagina with a baseball bat until it breaks open and candy goes flying everywhere? Sounds chill. He’s got oui oui for my… he’s got… wee wee? He’s got wee wee for my coochie? Is he five?
6. Silk, “Freak Me”
Baby don’t you understand
I wanna be your nasty man
I wanna make your body scream
And you will know just what I
(You know what I mean)
To warm the nights when you get cold
I wanna lick you up and down
And then I wanna lay you down
Perhaps one just has to see these people in order to fully appreciate this song. It came at the period when R&B groups made videos all singing in matching silk pajamas and gold chains, and made no bones about how very sexy they thought it all was. These lyrics get points for how explicit and straightforward they are — there is no room for error here. They will, in chronological order, make your body scream, warm you when you get cold, lick you up and down, and lay you down. And, hey, they promise some gold. I hope, can only hope, it comes in chain form.
7. H-Town, “Knockin the Boots”
Aww yea… right about now, we’re in the intermission tip
So all you ladies, go get your towels, you know what I’m saying…
Hah… cause it’s laid out like that, you know?
But wait a minute, we ain’t through. Kick the amp.
I’m gonna start by saying I have absolutely no idea what is going on in this verse. The intermission “tip”? Uh, gross. Go get my towel? Why? Why would I get my towel? What am I cleaning off during this intermission? It’s laid out like what? What is laid out? And oh, okay, forget the towel, and plug in the amp? I’m guessing at H-Town’s Creative Writing MFA program, he missed the section on keeping one’s metaphors consistent. Or sexy.
8. Next, “Too Close”
Step back you’re dancing kinda close
I feel a little poke coming through
Now girl I know you felt it
But boo, you know I can’t help it
You know what I wanna do
I just need to know that everyone had an equal moment of horror when they realized that their beloved middle school dance song was talking about a man poking a woman in the back with his erection. Like, I can’t be the only one on that.
9. Robin Thicke, “Sex Therapy”
I’ll lick you down and make you feel like you ’bout it ’bout it
Ha ha ha ha ha ha, the doctor’s here for you
Take you like Twilight, I’ll bite your neck
You don’t have to stay in the rain, I’ll get you wet, yeah”
Robin Thicke, token white guy of R&B, not wanting to be left out, makes it in the running with a Twilight reference. And the thing is, Robin usually stays relatively classy, and even somewhat endearing. (The man put his wife in the video for his most romantic song as his love interest as he said he “Couldn’t imagine singing it for anyone else.” I’ll give you a moment to swoon.) But I feel like, here, he just turned to the guy next to him on the bus and was like, “What are the ladies into these days? Twilight? That vampire bullshit? Yeah, okay, whatever moves albums.” I can just hear the record scratch as he tells some unsuspecting woman (okay, his wife) that he’s going to “go Twilight on her” during sex. No.
10. R. Kelly, “Feelin’ On Your Booty”
Now your body’s got me feeling like spending
With a back room I could come to live in
And your hair weave’s lookin kinda purty
The way you back it up on me, Gawd have mercy
And where could we end this illustrious list other than back on the glowing shoulders of one R. Kelly? I just want to appreciate the song for its title, the crescendo of falsetto “Bo-Oo-OO-Oo-ty”s he sings at the end, and these lyrics. He at once tells her he is going to live in her ass, that her weave (not her actual hair) is lookin “kinda” purty, and he enjoys the way she walks backwards into his crotch. If that isn’t romance, well, I don’t know what is.