Playlist of the Month: Singer Says What Now?!

A bit of a contrahversay went down recently when a Buzzfeed article pointed out that “everyone’s been mishearing one lyric on the iconic Jennifer Lopez/Ja Rule hit I’m Real song wrong for years. YEARS. Apparently a handful of folks thought JLo was saying, “Are you Ellie?” in the beginning, when in reality, she was saying, “R.U.L.E.”, because, you know, Ja Rule. I personally was offended by this post because duh, logically it makes no sense she would be asking Ja if he’s some rando named ‘Ellie’. And if she’s not asking Ja, who is she asking? Spelling out names in songs is cool and hip, which is why THOSE ARE THE REAL LYRICS.

But I get it. we all make mistakes. We all mishear lyrics from time to time, even if you realize just how dumb you sounded when you were singing the wrong ones. Here are a few we’ve mistakenly been “Ellie-ing” for years.

Listen to the entire playlist on Spotify!

Molly’s Picks

Roll To Me by Del Amitri

Let’s forget that the song is titled Roll To Me. I thought the lyrics were “the right time and the wrong me” from third grade through, oh, age 27 or so, when I tried to look up the song for a little nostalgia boost and couldn’t find it with the words I was using. But think about it: the video is the heads of the band members on babies. It’s the right time but the WRONG ME because he is still a BABY. Plus “right time, wrong me” makes sense whereas “roll to me” isn’t an expression … is what I thought for about 20 years.

Trap Queen by Fetty Wap

For over a year, I was completely positive that Fetty Wap was in the kitchen cooking prawns with his baby. Part of it is how he says “pies,” part of it is that everyone knows that you don’t cook a pie, you bake it. By the way, I learned this one via the change.org petition to have Fetty Wap perform this at Nancy Reagan’s funeral.

I Melt With You by Modern English

I learned I had the words wrong in the most embarrassing and most common way you can learn you have the words wrong: singing along with the song at one of my trashy house parties in college. One of my friends stopped, looked and me, and said “that’s cute, you’re changing the lyrics to be about me and you.” Nope. Just an idiot who thought that Modern English was saying “I’ll stop the world and marry you.” Evidently diction isn’t part of the Modern English curriculum.

Here Comes The Hotstepper by Ini Kamoze

You’re going to need to understand that leprechauns were having a moment in the early to mid 90s. The movie Leprechaun really elevated the tiny Irish guys to a menacing figure worthy of horror films and rap lyrics. That’s why I thought Ini Kamoze was professing to be the “leprechaun gangster” for over a decade. “We don’t die, yes we multiply” even sounded like the concept of a leprechaun-based B-movie.

The Shoop Shoop Song by Betty Everett

It’s not just that, throughout my childhood, I thought she was saying “if you want to know if he loves you so, it’s in his kids.” It’s also that I created an elaborate scenario where it was a song about a woman falling for a single dad. I watched a lot of Full House, yes.

Traci’s Picks

Paper Planes by M.I.A.

The chorus is lit’rally half sound effects, yet somehow I always thought the lyrics were: “All I wanna do is *Bang Bang Bang Bang*/And *Click* *Ka-Ching*/’Mathangi’ on my neck”. You know, Mathangi as in M.I.A.’s real name. Duh. Apparently I was over thinking it because the real words are: “All I wanna do is *Bang Bang Bang Bang*/ And *Click* *Ka-Ching*/And take your money”. Ok fine, that makes more sense.

Billie Jean by Michael Jackson

Anyone else think the words were, “But the jet is not my son”? I mean, obviously it doesn’t even make any sense, but I guess I didn’t matter to me because the song was so rad? But when I found out the real lyrics were actually “But the kid is not my son”, it totally changed the entire song meaning for me.

Lean On by Major Lazer Featuring DJ Snake & MØ

So I guess my main takeaway from this post is that I’m not reall good with lyrics involving guns? Because I thought the chorus went:  “Focus, fire a gun/We need someone to lean on”, when in reality it’s, “Blow a kiss, fire a gun/We need someone to lean on”. Whatever, she’s Danish.

You Oughta Know by Alanis Morissette

In my defense, I’d bet there are a lot of people who also have no idea what Alanis is singing on this album. Right?

I want you to know, That I’ve had beef with you/I wish nothing but the best for you both

I know the virgin in me/Is she perverted like me?

Would she go down on you in a theater?

Does she speak Eloguquani (some type of Native American language?)/And would she have your baby?

I’m sure she’d make a really excellent mother

… So, um… let’s take a look at the real lyrics:

I want you to know, that I am happy for you/I wish nothing but the best for you both

An older version of me/Is she perverted like me?

Would she go down on you in a theater?

Does she speak eloquently/And would she have your baby?

I’m sure she’d make a really excellent mother

At least I think my version is a better look on Dave Coulier?

Work by Rihanna

Just, like, all the chorus. I’m not the only one in the dark here, right? I looked it up on Genius and apparently the reason why we think it’s garbled speak is because she’s singing in Jamaican patois. “Haffi” = have to, “ah guh” = is going to, and “Meh nuh cyar” = I don’t care. The music video makes much more sense now. Here are the real lyrics:

Work, work, work, work, work, work/He said me haffi
Work, work, work, work, work, work!/He see me do mi
Dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt!/So me put in
Work, work, work, work, work, work/When you ah guh
Learn, learn, learn, learn, learn/Meh nuh cyar if him
Hurt, hurt, hurt, hurt, hurting

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Playlist of the Month: Break Out The Cassettes, It’s 1995

We’re smack dab in the middle of Clueless Week, and to help you get more in the mood of 20 years ago – and get through hump day – today, we’re transporting you back two decades with the power of music.

Songs have this ability to bring you back to a certain time and event in your life, whether it be good or bad. As I was compiling this playlist, I realized that 1995 was one of the first years I became a *fan* of music and certain artists, as opposed to just singing along with songs on the radio. For better or worse, the songs I heard in 1995 helped form my musical tastes today, and help me reminisce about my younger years when my extent of my worries was weather Mrs. Green was going to be in a good mood in class that day or not.

So here are some of our favorite tunes to bring you back to the Clueless era, and get ready to play them on your new-fangled computers and streaming services.

Enjoy the entire playlist on Spotify HERE!

Traci’s Picks

Another Night by Real McCoy

Kids, dance music was big in the 90s. Not EDM music of today with your Calvin Harrises and Aviciis and Tiestos. But electronica, Euro-inspired dance music that The Night at the Roxbury guys would groove to in the clubs. It’s a sound that’s so specifically 90s, and I remember this legitimately being my favorite song that I would write down in personality tests.

This Is How We Do It by Montell Jordan

Although this was arguably Montell Jordan’s biggest hit in 1995, I would also argue that it’s a hip-hop classic, and also one of my go-to karaoke songs.

Switch by TLC

CrazySexyCool/Waterfalls was one of the biggest albums of the 90s, with the record over two years on the Billboard album charts. It was a career-defining CD for the ladies, and was basically a soundtrack to my life when I was a kid. In fifth grade, me and three of my friends decided to enter our school talent show, and we decided to do a dance to this B-Side track. As we were practicing in my friend’s basement, I suggested someone move forward during Left Eye’s rap and basically lip sync to it. Since it was my idea, I had to do it. We got like second or third place. I believe we lost to a male-cousin team who lip synced to Ike and Tina Turner’s Proud Mary. One of them was dressed in drag. This was 5th grade.

Always Be My Baby by Mariah Carey

I think I was first introduced to Mariah when I procured Music Box on cassette, and I subsequently got Daydream – I want to say by borrowing it from the library? Anyways, I listened to it non-stop, and Always Be My Baby was probably my fave jam out of hit after hit on that record. Can we just get this Mariah back, please?

Head Over Feet by Alanis Morissette

For a long period of time, I used to tell people the first CD I ever bought was Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill. It was a stock answer for anyone around my age, because that’s how big of an album it was. In reality, the first CD I ever bought was Weird Al Yankovic’s Bad Hair Day, strictly because of his parody of Coolio’s Gangster’s Paradise – Amish Paradise. I thought I was cool. Jagged Little Pill was actually a Christmas gift in ’95, and when I eventually got around to listening to it, turns out it wasn’t that bad.

Honorable Mentions: Peaches by The Presidents of the United States of America, Stay by Lisa LoebOne of Us by Joan Osborne

 Molly’s Picks

Wonderwall by Oasis

I was so young, I didn’t even know that none of this made sense.  Radio was more segmented in 1995 (before it was all, like, radio conglomerates?) so you had your station that strictly played “alternative” versus those that played pop. It was really tough for us fourth graders who were really into Mariah AND Oasis trying to hover in front of the radio with a cassette tape to record our favorite songs.

Gangsta’s Paradise by Coolio

I was obsessed with this song. And like Traci, I was even MORE into Amish Paradise. I thought Weird Al was hilarious, and what can I say, I was going through a phase where I thought the Amish were awesome. But in real life, I lived in a city neighborhood. Some might even call it a Gangsta’s Paradise. By the way, watch Dangerous Minds – the movie this is from – for a very different perspective on 1995 teens than you get in Clueless.

Life, In A Nutshell by Barenaked Ladies

Barenaked Ladies were huge in our area, and with my sibs especially. I’m still jealous that one of my brothers got to hang out with them backstage, and it’s been 15 years. The 1994 album Maybe You Should Drive is filled with 90s nuggets like Alternative Girlfriend (referencing a girl in an all-girl band who has a second-hand futon), Jane (mentioning the fairytale romance between … Juliana Hatfield and Evan Dando, of course. What, you don’t remember that love story for the ages? Evan “Lemonheads” Dando!), and Life, In A Nutshell.

Big Poppa by Notorious B.I.G.

You can’t talk about mid-90s music without mentioning the big players in the rap game: Biggie and Tupac. You know what’s kind of amazing? How old-school 80s, early 90s rap had evolved to this by 1995, and it still sounds like it could be released today, maybe minus the synth.

Here Comes The Hotstepper by Ini Kamoze

I am including this strictly so that I can explain that I just learned last year that the lyrics are NOT “I’m the leprechaun gangster.” But for some cultural context, the horror movie Leprechaun was released in ’93 and leprechauns in general were much more intimidating in the ’90s.

Also, I just learned that this song is called Here Comes The Hotstepper now. Right now. While making this playlist.

Honorable Mentions: Don’t Take It Personal by Monica, Run-Around by Blues Traveler, I Believe by Blessid Union Of Souls, Roll To Me by Del Amitri (I just learned ~5 years ago that it’s not “the right time, the wrong me”), Waterfalls by TLC, Fantasy by Mariah  … I can’t stop. I could list every song from 1995. What a year.