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A Critical Analysis of Shaggy’s ‘It Wasn’t Me.’



I haven’t written in a while but this has been bugging me for years.  In this blog post I will attempt to discuss how Shaggy’s 2000 hit ‘It Wasn’t Me’ is extremely problematic – not only because of its inherent misogyny, but also, and mostly, its complete lack of logic.  My point is essentially to highlight how nonsensical this entire song is.

The song features vocals from English-Jamaican singer Rikrok. The lyrics are about a man asking his friend what to do after his girlfriend caught him having sex with another woman. For those of you who have never encountered this playful song I have included the video below.

And now for my thoughts:


‘How you can grant your woman access to your villa
Trespasser and a witness while you cling to your pillow
You better watch your back before she turn into a killer
Let’s review the situation that you’re caught up inna
To be a true player you have to know how to play
If she say a night, convince her say a day
Never admit to a word when she say
And if she claims ah you tell her baby no way’


The misogyny is rife in this one.  Women clearly are just dangerous when they’re angry because you’ve been motherfuckin’ gas lighting them.  How dare you be a stupid man that gives a key to your girlfriend?  How dare you?!  Even the part ‘if she say a night, convince her say a day’ drips of emotional manipulation. I mean, I suppose if you’re into the ‘game’ and just getting your hole fine – but messing with people’s heads is pretty shitty, no?  I know it’s a playful song, but this screams abusive relationship.  Shaggy you are a mean man.


‘Honey came in and she caught me red-handed
Creeping with the girl next door
Picture this, we were both butt naked
Banging on the bathroom floor
I had tried to keep her
From what she was about to see
Why should she believe me
When I told her it wasn’t me’


She won’t believe you because you were riding the woman in front of her, ye dope.  Also why were ya riding on the bathroom floor?  That’s a nasty gross place filled with germs.  And how did you try to keep her from seeing it exactly?  By trying to schedule different times. Man, yer a bleeding dope.


When I look at these lyrics I really can’t understand the logic of his friend’s advice:


‘But she caught me on the counter (It wasn’t me)
Saw me bangin’ on the sofa (It wasn’t me)
I even had her in the shower (It wasn’t me)
She even caught me on camera (It wasn’t me)’


How can you honestly look at someone ‘bangin’ on the counter’ and they reply that it wasn’t them in the past tense.  Is he advising his friend to look at his girlfriend whilst banging another person and tell her that he isn’t him in the past tense?  I mean the other option is to say ‘it isn’t me’ which is not a great option either unless his body had been taken over by an alien or you have an evil twin that likes to ride people in yer gaff, but even saying that it isn’t you means essentially that it is.  Surely being caught red handed actually makes the entire thing irrefutable?  Seriously, this entire thing kept me awake at night.


‘She saw the marks on my shoulder (It wasn’t me)
Heard the words that I told her (It wasn’t me)
Heard the screams get louder (It wasn’t me)
She stayed until it was over’


Jesus dude, you were caught loads.  How did she get that far with you?  Is she really that stupid?  Also, it is pretty obvious that the marks on your shoulder weren’t from you either, were they?  So you just admitted someone else marked your shoulder by saying ‘it wasn’t me’.  And if your lady stayed until the whole thing was over (pretty nice of her by the way, but maybe she was confused and thought you were wrestling) again there’s irrefutable evidence, yeah?  Did she watch you in the all the places listed in the song in one go or was this over the period of a few weeks where she’d sneak in to watch you guys ride and then suddenly appear?  Like why at least did you not change your MO after she caught you the first time?


‘Gonna tell her that I’m sorry
For the pain that I’ve caused
I’ve been listening to your reasoning
It makes no sense at all
We should tell her that I’m sorry
For the pain that I’ve caused
You may think that you’re a player
But you’re completely lost
That’s why I sing’

At least we can see that this guy can see that Shaggy’s advice is pure bollox with ‘it makes no sense at all’.  It doesn’t make any sense.  He’s right.  Although why did he let him go on singing/advising him with gibberish?  I’m sure Shaggy thinks by confusing women that you can get away with anything.  Ah poor Shaggy.  Maybe Shaggy started to slowly lose his mind at this point in his life and Rikrok was just humouring him (‘let the auld fella talk shite – sure nobody even understands him anyway’). I don’t want to get hung up on semantics (but I totally am) but that was the most bothersome part of the entire defence.

I would hope Rikrok would apologise to be fair.  Although, by his definition he is not a player.  But Rikrok you were banging people all over the gaff – you’ve listed the bathroom floor, the counter, the shower and even on the camera (where exactly, unless you were literally on the camera?) – That sounds a bit like you are a player to me.  ‘But you’re completely lost/That’s why I sing’ – you’re right Rikrok, I am completely lost.  You were banging all over the gaff, but it wasn’t you in the past tense or perhaps you at all, despite being caught ‘red-handed’ and you’re not a player so you sing about the things that you do that could be construed as you being a player.  And Rikrok, you’re only sorry cos you got caught.


ARGH!  If you liked this song I hope I ruined it on you because I can’t get past these stupid lyrics.




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