90s Songs That Are Perpetually Stuck In My Head (And Their Bizarre Triggers)

This is a public confession. I want to apologize in advance, because a functioning adult should not be inwardly hearing these jams while outwardly doing responsible tasks. It’s honestly out of my control. Most of these are not songs I am in the habit of listening to now, but I have heard them due to phases in my life, accidents, poor judgment, middle school dances, or car rides. For reasoning beyond my understanding, they haunt my mind like a very persistent, dickish ghost.

They’re not always playing. They are triggered by daily events. My brain has apparently made some pretty unorthodox associations. When I interact with something and my brain-linking prompts me to think of a lyric (or a word from a lyric), the entire song unleashes like white water rapids — if white water rapids sounded like the 1990s. Now “River of Dreams” is in my head. This is upsetting.

“Mouth” by Merril Bainbridge

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YIIM1EVDqg&w=584&h=390 align=’center’]

Yup, this was a song. This gem pops into my brain area when I check the weather on my iPhone. How could the song “Mouth” possibly relate to the weather? Good question, normal person. Well, it just so happens that the opening lyric in this song is “I feel like I’ve been blown apart.” And when I check the temperature my app tells me it is 83 degrees, but it feels like 89. Feels like. That’s all it takes for Merril Bainbridge to climb into my ear and transform me into a creep singing about salty lips in the elevator.

“It’s All Good” by DMX

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_Xa0gaWscs&w=584&h=390%5D

While lazily meandering through the farmer’s market I see some free-range chicken for sale. Then, for reasons not entirely clear to me, I think to myself “Chickens is good for plucking,” which is a lyric from “It’s All Good.” There is no ‘why’ really. I guess it’s like they always say, there’s nothing like DMX on a Sunday morning.

“What’s up with That” by Kenan Thompson as DeAndre Cole in the famous SNL skit

This one isn’t from the 1990s. It just feels like that’s how long I’ve been watching this skit on SNL. Psychologically experiencing this song most commonly occurs when utilizing the “WhatsApp” free texting application on my iPhone. However, any app can bring it on. Clearly, my brain is pretty indiscriminate in general. A mental episode of this song is generated as easily as me looking for Microsoft Word or ordering Ruby Tuesday’s potato skins.

“Red Red Wine” cover by UB40

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXt56MB-3vc&w=584&h=390%5D

I don’t even drink red wine. I drink white wine. Maybe if enough people learn this fact, no one will ever ask me “red wine or white wine?” That’s what lets this total a-hole of a cover loose on me. Do you know how difficult it is to shut off this song once it’s playing in the VIP room of the club that I used to call my brain? Pretty sure the band name is also the answer to the question “How old will I be when I finally get this song out of my head?”

“Send Me on My Way” by Rusted Root

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGMabBGydC0&w=584&h=390%5D

It’s my burden to bear that I am amazing at impersonating Michael Glabicki. The trigger for this one? Clicking “send” on an email message. This song is in my head 97% of the time.

“Girl’s Best Friend” by Jay-Z

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QsjmazX0E30&w=584&h=390%5D

Like any ghoul, this song creeps up when I’m going to bed at night. Sometimes I read to wind down. Sometimes my girlfriend does also. When I’m ready to sleep I lean over and turn out my bedside lamp. As the darkness cascades over me, so does the voice of Jay-Z shouting “Lights out ladies!”

“It’s Not Right, But It’s Okay” by Whitney Houston

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6J538b-OLRU&w=584&h=390%5D

Nobody realizes how often they use this song title as a phrase in regular conversation. Or how, within me, it detonates a cerebral Whitney Houston medley from “Whitney: The Greatest,” her greatest hits compilation released in the year 2000. The album I’m referencing has both a red “Throw Down” CD and a blue “Cool Down” CD. For the record, my mind medley is definitely a throw down. However, if I’m in the right mood this one doesn’t really bother me.

“Puerto Rico” by Frankie Cutlass

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rpeXsUR53g&w=584&h=390%5D

Whenever I am at a sporting event, or really anywhere with an air horn, this one is bound to surface. It’s not because of the song itself. It’s because this song was played on Hot 97. DJ Funk Flex would blast his signature air horn over this anthem like he was a ferry captain trying to warn the world about Reggaeton.

“Bring Your Whole Crew” by DMX

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbcyhHRTAXo&w=584&h=390%5D

This song happens to me the very second I see a drink list on a brunch menu, which is always replete with Bloody Marys. The line “Got blood on my dick ’cause I f-cked a corpse” flashes in my mind like a terrifying strobe light. I know!!! This lyric is horrible and I’m a monster. And DMX again? I am profoundly alarmed by this trend. In fact, I’m so alarmed that even though I technically could write in at least one of the curses in this lyric, I refuse because it’s filthy.

The only thing more disturbing than this line is how easily it pops into my head. It’s completely unwarranted. I promise you I don’t even have any DMX on my iPhone. I am no rap aficionado. If I had a rapper name, it’d be “Sucka Emcee.” Some people are just more suggestible, or perhaps need to build a wall around their brains and have it patrolled according to laws passed in the Arizona legislature.

Sometimes mental music events like these just happen. Like I said, it’s out of my control. The mind works in mysterious ways. I don’t decide what lets the genie out of the bottle. Oh no. It’s already too late, Aguilera, no!!! Thought Catalog Logo Mark

image – LeStudio1

More From Thought Catalog