12 Unapologetically Sex Positive Hip-Hop Classics
By Stereo Williams
Hip-Hop has an interesting and lengthy history with sex and sexual expression. Icons like Lil Kim and LL COOL J have given us all kinds of erotic rap hits. Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion premiered the racy (understatement?) video for their single "WAP" to praise from fans and some criticism from others who felt the rappers' latest was too explicitly sexual. Double standards aside, there's something to be said for empowering sexuality.
Sexy rap songs are obviously not new, but what about classic Hip-Hop songs that are actually sexually affirming? Here's a dirty dozen of classic Hip-Hop songs that are pretty sex-positive.
Salt-N-Pepa "None Of Your Business"
In 1995, Salt-N-Pepa took home the Grammy for Best Rap Performance By A Duo or Group for this ode to fucking whoever the hell you want. Salt, Pep and Spin are at their boldest on the track and in the video--making it clear that "if she wanna be a freak and sell it on the weekend" it's no one's concern but hers.
Best Lyric:"They told me to change, they called me namesAnd so I popped oneOpinions are like assholes and everybody's got oneI never put my nose where I'm not supposed toBelieve me, if he's something that I want, I'm steppin' closerI'm not one for playing high-postLike the high, sadiddy 90210-type of hoI treat a man like he treats meThe difference between a hooker and a ho ain't nothin' but a fee"
OutKast w/Gangsta Boo and Eco "I'll Call B4 I Cum"
This is a golden rule of hookups, fam. Preceded by the classic skit "Kim & Cookie," this ditty from Andre and Big Boi features guys doing something they're not known for: accepting the fact that the woman they're pursuing might be banging someone else. So don't just show up at bae's crib unannounced. Gangsta Boo and Eco come through with the ladies' perspective, and Boo delivers as only she can.
Best Lyric:"Let's see what you wanna do with the Gangsta BooLet's cut, nigga-nigga what! I'll cut you, tooComing through in a Escalade limo, tint with shadePurple haze in the ashtray ready to get a blazeWhat the biz nigga jump on in relax wit a ladyWit a reputation known for sexing niggas till they crazyWhat ya mean dog, telling a play like Boo to call before I comeYou a game I'm fucking you for funJoin the bandwagon nigga it's a Gangsta Boo partyEverybody wanna join come and freak wit somebody"
Queen Pen w/Meshell Ndegeocello "Girlfriend"
Queen Pen was riding a hot streak when she dropped her debut in late 1997. A star-making feature on Blackstreet's "No Diggy" and a smash single in "A Party Ain't A Party" didn't prep anyone for this underrated, sexually fluid collab with Meshell Ndegeocello. The song initially led to a brief feud with Foxy Brown, but Pen broke ground for bisexual expression in the rap game.
Best Lyric:"Now how you just gon' be playa hatin' on meCuz i got mad bitches just wanting meAnd I got mad niggas just checkin' for me seeI got more stock than you ever see, I be...The one that your main squeeze been digginPull you out your closet, sex on weekendsIt's my business of what i do, him or her, he or she, inside youSo while you be yappin' and talkin' to your friendsBeefin' 'bout that yellow chicken, the green BenzI'll be havin' all your people's info with the second part of my ???She slid the number, what you gettin mad at me forShe said she was single when she closed my car door"
Smooth "You've Been Played"
Brazen and brassy, the West Coast sex symbol formerly known as MC Smooth flaunted it all here. Proving that turnabout has always been fair play, she makes it clear that "The Female Mack" ain't trying to win your heart, she's got other things on her mind. And yeah, you might get your ego bruised. But, the game is the game. And women can play -- and win -- just like men.
Best Lyric:"I'm young, but baby I'm a tender My game is fresh I know what you don't remember You thinking you can 'get' but ya 'gotten' From the get-go Smooth was already out plotting So think twice before ya step The way I'mma come here is fo' my due respect And you can't stop me (Naw he can't stop me) I'm looking at my clock and I slowly see you clocking me When I was in the womb of mom before the birth of me I never aggravated or kick, I was a smooth baby So feel the wrath of Smooth as I start slashing No need for compassion, in a psychological fashion I beat ya for your mind and not for your money And now it's coming quick and baby looking kinda funny"
LL COOL J "Loungin" (remix) w/Total
Shout-out to Bernard Wright. Another steal-your-girl hit from Mr. Smith, this seductive slice of mid-90s radio rap makes it clear that you better make pleasing your significant other a priority. Because if your woman is unhappy, there may be a certain platinum-selling rap star ready to "lounge" with her. Money can't buy you love, though. And according to L, it can't buy you orgasms, either.
Best Lyric:"How you doin,' miss? My name is L, I'm from QueensI heard about your man he like to lace you wit creamDolce Gabbana, Mo-ski-no wit Donna jeansBut he slipped up, and threw his rock to a fiendHe be playin' like a Willie cause he dress ya doveNever knowin' that his woman is in need of loveYou got Versace gold link stomach chains wit rocksOfficial hair style but you stuck up in the spotMakin' love, Duke is weak, then he fallin' asleepYou on the phone wit your old peeps dyin' to creep 'tween my sheetsSo what you got Chanel on your feet?Hot sex on a platter makes the mission complete"
Oaktown's 357 "Honey"
No rap group ever did more for spandex shorts than Oaktown's 357. They got their start as MC Hammer's backup dancers before breaking out big with "Juicy Gotcha Krazy." Two years after that hit, Sweet L.D. and Terrible T returned with another ode to their...um..."juicy." This was the stickiest video on BET in the early 90s. The metaphor is that...well...you get it, right?
Best Lyric:"If my honey was on filmIt'd never be PGRated R, better yet--X, easilySticky and sweet, I never waste itI'm looking edibleYou wanna taste itI want it nowIs what you're urging meI gotta break you off slowLike a virgin, seeThis stuff is furiousAin't nothin' funnyCan't just anyone have the taste of my honey..."
Missy Elliott w/Trina and Ludacris"One Minute Man"
The great Missy Elliott hath spoken. There will be no one-hitter-quitters in the bedroom. You gotta put in the work. And Luda (more on him later) and Trina are there to provide some "amens" to Misdemeanor's sermon. Over a bouncy beat, Missy delivers one of her best singles and an ode to taking your time and making sure your lady cums, too, bro.
Best Lyric:"You know lil' mama ain't with that quick shitYou better break me off stiff tongue or stiff dickOne minute, two minutes, three minutesHell naw, to please me you gotta sleep in itI see you talk a good game and you play hardBut if I put this thing on ya, can you stay hard?If not, you better keep your day jobCause I'm looking for a man to make me say 'God'I'm off glass and you know thisI'll work your ass out like aerobicsSo baby stay focusedStart off slow and then speed it upBaby show me what you got, is you a G or what?If you can't beat it up then eat it upPut a cherry on top, whip cream it up. What?"
Nikki D "Daddy's Little Girl"
How real can a rap tune get? This is a woman claiming her own sexual agency, and being honest about all that can mean. Def Jam's first female star gets real about a woman coming of age. Is it a cautionary tale? Not exactly. More like a story about a young woman who likes sex and made some mistakes, but who is not apologizing.
Best Lyric:"Neighbors asked could he trust meYeah, Daddy loves meCause I can feel it in his arms Strong when he hugs meBut there comes a time when his angel must spread her wingsSo I bow my head And get deep into the swing of thingsSort of raunchy I must beCause Mama knewEvery time I skipped schoolMama sat home and sang the bluesNow I regret the dayThat Daddy let me out to playBut I'm a woman now, so let's keep it this way..."
Lil Kim "Crush On You" w/Lil Cease and The Notorious B.I.G.
Arguably The Queen Bee's best single, this classic didn't even feature Kim on the original album version. But the Queen Bee takes center stage here, with a verse demanding she get served while assuring her boo she doesn't want anything but a good time. She even acknowledges she kinda wants to bang his friend.
Best Lyric:"Aye-yo, shorty, won't you go getA bag of the lethal I'll be undressed in the bra all see-through While you count your jewelsThinkin' I'ma cheat you The only one thing I wanna do is freak you Keep your stone sets, I got my own baguettes And I'll be doin things that you won't regret Lil Kim the Queen Bee, so you best take heed Shall I proceed? (Yes indeed!) I'ma throw shade, if I can't get paid Blow you up to your girl like the Army grenade You can slide on my ice like the Escapade And 'eetchie, geetchie,' ya-ya with the marmalade Who me? Not you, oh yes, who's he? I even dig yo' man's style, but I love yo' profile Whisper in your ear and get you all shook up But don't blush, just keep this on the hush..."
Ludacris w/Shawnna "What's Your Fantasy?"
Let's both get it good. That's the theme here, as Luda and St. Louis firebrand Shawnna both give as good as they get. Yeah, this is what I want to do to you, but tell me -- what's your fantasy? It's an important act of mutual, reciprocal satisfaction and a celebration of consent. Or it's just a fun, freaky party record. You decide.
Best Lyric:"I wanna get you in the bath tubWith the candles lit you give it up till they go outOr we can do it on stage of the Ludacris concert'Cause you know I got sold outOr red carpet dick could just roll outGo 'head and scream you can't hold outWe can do it in the pouring rainRunning the train when it's hot or when cold outHow 'bout in the library on top of booksBut you can't be too loudYou wanna make a brother beg for itGive me TLC 'cause you know I be too proudWe can do it in the White HouseTry to make them turn the lights outChampagne with my campaign let me do the damn thingWhat's my name? What's my name? What's my name?"
Khia "My Neck, My Back"
It's legendary. It's infamous. It's a song that even your grandma knows. After years of "Slob On My Knobs" and "She Swallow Its," an outspoken shit-talker from the Sunshine State decided to give the rap game its greatest ode to Colonel Angus. Khia demands that her lover gets her off the right way.
Don't just do it. Do it good. Like you should.
Best Lyric:"You might roll dubs, you might have G'sBut fuck that, nigga -- get on yo' kneesA bitch like me moans and screams'Thug Misses' know what I meanAt the club so fresh, so cleanHoes hate and niggas watchin' meSo hot in the line, on creamWith a unit on my face, so meanI got to pick which nigga I needTo suck a thug, nigga satisfy meYou try me, I'll make you seeYou bitches ain't got shit on me"
The Sequence "Simon Says"
Hip-Hop's first female rap group was also one of the first to brazenly approach the subject of sex from a decidedly female perspective. The First Ladies of Sugar Hill Records go in here, offering some advice on how to fuck but not get preggo ("Before we get pumped, we'll take the pill") and calling out men who get the ass and disappear. It's a great reminder that Hip-Hop has always had women who weren't afraid to tell it like it is. And call men on their sexual double standards.
Best Lyric: "With the Fred Flintstone singin' 'Yabba-Dabba-Do'Can you hear me rappin' baby-bubbaComin' straight to youSaid a three, six, nine, start the monkey on the lineWhen the line don't, the monkey got chokeBut he did not die 'cause he thought he was flyThen he turned around and hit his own self in the eyeSo we went to the Apple, and freaked it hardAnd all the freaks were freakin' it hardLike Bugs Bunny and Santa ClauseWe're gonna rock your body 'til you drop your drawsLike salt and pepper, pepper and saltIf you don't get down, it's not our faultLike George Washington, Abe-ham LincolnBaby, don't you like the way we're thinkin'?"
* HEADER CREDIT: Outkast Performing At Brixton Academy, London, Britain - 2001, Outkast - Andre '3000' Benjamin (Photo by Brian Rasic/Getty Images).