Miguel featuring Wale • Coffee – Single • RCA • US Release Date: May 4, 2015
Do innocent songs exist anymore? The answer is a resounding NO. Well, technically there are songs that are innocent, but so many of today’s songs are drenched in sexual innuendo and profanity. Miguel, one of contemporary R&B’s very best doesn’t buck this newfound embracement of explicitness that characterizes popular music these days. To be fair, Miguel’s sophomore album Kaleidoscope Dream donned the explicit tag, so exercising his right to freedom of speech isn’t new to Miguel. Still, no song on Kaleidoscope Dream sported the f-bomb as “Coffee (F**king)” does.
Sure, country artists aren’t sporting a parental advisory explicit lyrics sticker, but arguably, they grow closer and closer each year. Can’t you hear Sam Hunt’s censored lyrics on “Break Up in a Small Town” becoming another example of bluntness in music? Of course you can! But this isn’t about risqué music as a whole, but rather Miguel’s latest single, which changes the perception of “Coffee” – well actually not really.
Miguel goes to the trouble to put two unlike things together in coffee and f**king, the one pertinent to the song is the latter. The coffee signifies morning time and ultimately how sex (in the morning) with her is as tasty as a fresh brewed cup of coffee: “Coffee in the morning / I don’t wanna wake you / I just wanna watch you sleep…” Honestly, “Coffee (F**king)” is not quite as far-fetched or near as risqué as the title would suggest.
Speaking as a daily coffee drinker, coffee IS like a guilty pleasure – sex if you will. It definitely stimulates you with caffeine, giving a jolt of energy to make it through the day. Obviously, sex has the same effect, particularly in the morning according to Miguel. Miguel paints this as a continuation from the night before, while Wale throws in the obligatory “F**k around and be late to work,” preceding the lyric with the innuendo-fueled “Come and take this work.” Even if “She said she don’t on the first night,” Wale throws in a play on words with “the morning wood.” So again, coffee is just a metaphor.
So why does Miguel need to throw in the f-bomb within the title, regardless whether it is contained within the chorus or not? The reason is promotion – drawing people into the single because of the allure of the f-bomb. Shocking, captivating titles are usually the singles that draw attention to them and while coffee alone is somewhat interesting, it’s not “the end all be all.” Mention sex, however – particularly as some form of F-U… – and everybody grows curious.
How does “Coffee (F**king)” stand up? It’s a great record, but even an f-bomb likely won’t allow it to supersede Miguel’s acclaimed “Adorn,” a modern R&B classic. Is it sexy? Definitely, even though it could’ve been sexy without dropping a bomb as well.