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.
"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.
"They told me to change, they called me names
And so I popped one
Opinions are like assholes and everybody's got one
I never put my nose where I'm not supposed to
Believe me, if he's something that I want, I'm steppin' closer
I'm not one for playing high-post
Like the high, sadiddy 90210-type of ho
I treat a man like he treats me
The 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.
"Let's see what you wanna do with the Gangsta Boo
Let's cut, nigga-nigga what! I'll cut you, too
Coming through in a Escalade limo, tint with shade
Purple haze in the ashtray ready to get a blaze
What the biz nigga jump on in relax wit a lady
Wit a reputation known for sexing niggas till they crazy
What ya mean dog, telling a play like Boo to call before I come
You a game I'm fucking you for fun
Join the bandwagon nigga it's a Gangsta Boo party
Everybody wanna join come and freak wit somebody"
Queen Pen w/Meshell Ndegeocello
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.
"Now how you just gon' be playa hatin' on me
Cuz i got mad bitches just wanting me
And I got mad niggas just checkin' for me see
I got more stock than you ever see, I be...
The one that your main squeeze been diggin
Pull you out your closet, sex on weekends
It's my business of what i do, him or her, he or she, inside you
So while you be yappin' and talkin' to your friends
Beefin' 'bout that yellow chicken, the green Benz
I'll be havin' all your people's info with the second part of my ???
She slid the number, what you gettin mad at me for
She said she was single when she closed my car door"
"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.
"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.
"How you doin,' miss? My name is L, I'm from Queens
I heard about your man he like to lace you wit cream
Dolce Gabbana, Mo-ski-no wit Donna jeans
But he slipped up, and threw his rock to a fiend
He be playin' like a Willie cause he dress ya dove
Never knowin' that his woman is in need of love
You got Versace gold link stomach chains wit rocks
Official hair style but you stuck up in the spot
Makin' love, Duke is weak, then he fallin' asleep
You on the phone wit your old peeps dyin' to creep 'tween my sheets
So what you got Chanel on your feet?
Hot sex on a platter makes the mission complete"
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?
"If my honey was on film
It'd never be PG
Rated R, better yet--X, easily
Sticky and sweet, I never waste it
I'm looking edible
You wanna taste it
I want it now
Is what you're urging me
I gotta break you off slow
Like a virgin, see
This stuff is furious
Ain't nothin' funny
Can'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.
"You know lil' mama ain't with that quick shit
You better break me off stiff tongue or stiff dick
One minute, two minutes, three minutes
Hell naw, to please me you gotta sleep in it
I see you talk a good game and you play hard
But if I put this thing on ya, can you stay hard?
If not, you better keep your day job
Cause I'm looking for a man to make me say 'God'
I'm off glass and you know this
I'll work your ass out like aerobics
So baby stay focused
Start off slow and then speed it up
Baby show me what you got, is you a G or what?
If you can't beat it up then eat it up
Put a cherry on top, whip cream it up. What?"
"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.
"Neighbors asked could he trust me
Yeah, Daddy loves me
Cause I can feel it in his arms
Strong when he hugs me
But there comes a time when his angel must spread her wings
So I bow my head
And get deep into the swing of things
Sort of raunchy I must be
Cause Mama knew
Every time I skipped school
Mama sat home and sang the blues
Now I regret the day
That Daddy let me out to play
But I'm a woman now, so let's keep it this way..."
"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.
"Aye-yo, shorty, won't you go get
A bag of the lethal
I'll be undressed in the bra all see-through
While you count your jewels
Thinkin' 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..."
"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.
"I wanna get you in the bath tub
With the candles lit you give it up till they go out
Or we can do it on stage of the Ludacris concert
'Cause you know I got sold out
Or red carpet dick could just roll out
Go 'head and scream you can't hold out
We can do it in the pouring rain
Running the train when it's hot or when cold out
How 'bout in the library on top of books
But you can't be too loud
You wanna make a brother beg for it
Give me TLC 'cause you know I be too proud
We can do it in the White House
Try to make them turn the lights out
Champagne with my campaign let me do the damn thing
What's my name? What's my name? What's my name?"
"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.
"You might roll dubs, you might have G's
But fuck that, nigga -- get on yo' knees
A bitch like me moans and screams
'Thug Misses' know what I mean
At the club so fresh, so clean
Hoes hate and niggas watchin' me
So hot in the line, on cream
With a unit on my face, so mean
I got to pick which nigga I need
To suck a thug, nigga satisfy me
You try me, I'll make you see
You bitches ain't got shit on me"
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.
"With the Fred Flintstone singin' 'Yabba-Dabba-Do'
Can you hear me rappin' baby-bubba
Comin' straight to you
Said a three, six, nine, start the monkey on the line
When the line don't, the monkey got choke
But he did not die 'cause he thought he was fly
Then he turned around and hit his own self in the eye
So we went to the Apple, and freaked it hard
And all the freaks were freakin' it hard
Like Bugs Bunny and Santa Clause
We're gonna rock your body 'til you drop your draws
Like salt and pepper, pepper and salt
If you don't get down, it's not our fault
Like George Washington, Abe-ham Lincoln
Baby, 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).