Before you read any further, this article has a dash of taboo controversy – fair warning! And to dispel any rumors or myths, this is not about the infectious Jason Derulo song where he’s “trying to get his sh*t together.” Just a friendly disclaimer!
You could say that today, society is at a much more liberal place than it has been in the past. Sure, it could be argued that there is “nothing new under the sun” – and we know how crazy the 1960s were with “free love” – but whether you’re a baby boomer or millennial, generally, most will agree that we are in the most socially liberal era yet.
But this particular article isn’t exactly about social liberation – or at least not explicitly – but there is a connection. This is about taboos – things that are just plum awkward to mention in normal conversations. There are many things that have been taboo over the years, one of which is the dreaded “m” word and its slang derivatives – masturbation.
Somehow, the taboo topic that no one wants to talk about or doesn’t address in your everyday conversation found its way in music. Sometimes it was explicitly, such as Prince’s “scandalous” “Darlin Little Nikki” from Purple Rain (1984), while other times, there’s the implication without uttering the taboo word or a derivative, such as Tweet’s “Oops (Oh My)” (2002) or more pronounced Divinyls, “I Touch Myself” (1990).
Arguably, with the more socially liberal climate, not to mention more openness about sex itself, it no surprise that it has become more common to slip in the word, make reference to it, or bluntly detail it. Still, even being a liberal millennial, personally it’s still shocking to hear artists reference masturbation and Prince’s scandalous reference happened 30 years ago! Here some examples where artists reference “riding solo” and commentary of why they referenced it and/or how they used it.
1) Sufjan Stevens, “All Of Me Wants All Of You” (Carrie & Lowell, 2015)
“You checked your texts while I masturbated”
This is one of the more subtle references on this list. While it outwardly suggests a relationship where one person is uninterested and the other must fulfill his desires himself, in the context of Carrie & Lowell, Stevens uses the reference to depict his relationship with his mother, which was strained.
2) Tyler, The Creator, “Blow My Load” (Cherry Bomb, 2015)
“Face Time your cl**, I will jack off my d**k / I got hard sh*t”
There is no explanation needed. Tyler, the Creator isn’t one to be subtle in the least, and he just expresses what he is going to do or doing, and how he feels. Basically, while his actions are emotional to himself, “Blow My Load” as a whole comes off as empty, lustful sex and nothing more. What’s sort of crazy is that “Blow My Load” is actually quite beautiful, but it’s “in your face” theme sort of takes away.
3) Miguel, “The Valley” (Wildheart, 2015)
“Confess your sins to me while you masturbate”
“I wanna push and shove and paint your hills and valley”
Miguel is just being naughty. “The Valley” is among the boldest, sex-driven songs on Wildheart, so it’s not surprising he is blunt about what he wants his lady to do (“Confess your sins to me while you masturbate”) and what he plans to do sexually (“I wanna push and shove and paint your hills and valley”). So in essence, this is literal and definitely raises your eyebrows once you hear Miguel go there.
4) P!nk, “U + Ur Hand” (I’m Not Dead, 2006)
“I’m not here for your entertainment…it’s just you and your hand tonight”
This one’s easy. She’s not going to give it to the guy, so the dude has to do the dirty work himself. No need to elaborate any further…
5) The Lonely Island, “Jizz In My Pants” (Incredibad, 2010)
“Jizzed in my paints / it’s perfectly normal, nothing wrong with me / but we’re going to need a clean up on Aisle 3”
It’s never a surprise when comedians tackle risqué topics. That’s exactly what The Lonely Island do, making a funny song about, um, the plumbing. No, this doesn’t reference the “m” word, but it’s related…
6) St. Vincent, “Birth In Reverse” (St. Vincent, 2014)
“Oh, what an ordinary day / take out the garbage, masturbate / I’m still holding for the laugh”
This is another reference to masturbation, but not specifically the act. St. Vincent seems to talking about the repetitive routine of things – she’s bored.
7) Ludacris, “Hip Hop Quotables” (Chicken N Beer, 2003)
“But my album’s out the store, yours be on the shelf / I heard you masturbate a lot, so y’all keep to yourself / cause these women want a man that stay up and stay strong.”
They don’t call him Ludacris for nothing! Here, the point of the excerpted passage is that he’s the best rapper (and all the perks that go along with it), while everybody else sucks. Choosing the “sex” > “masturbation” argument just amplifies his point and provides further evidence why he’s named Ludacris.
8) Die Antwoord, “Beat Boy” ($O$, 2009)
“I think about you when I masturbate / you can’t even believe it but that’s okay / On the microphone I fascinate / when I let my third eye exaggerate”
Oh brother! Die Antwoord aren’t for the feint of heart, or anyone who don’t do provocative and explicit very well. The key part of the excerpt is really “On the microphone I fascinate,” which suggests he’s a boss when it comes to rapping. The rest is more for effect, but he connects it together albeit it way too much information (“I think about you when I masturbate…when I let my third eye [his member] exaggerate [grow…]” Phew!
9) Rick Ross, “Mafia Music” (Deeper Than Rap, 2009)
“The rumors turn me on, I’m masturbating at the top / These hoes so excited, so they catchin’ every drop”
SMH! Rick Ross loves gossip because it just adds fuel to the fire – aka his rhyming skills – and everybody loves what he has to offer. As to why he had to go and make things so nasty, who knows.
10) Tyler, The Creator, “Tron Cat” (Goblin, 2011)
“Got a n***a shaking like the calmest f**king Haitian / after chronic masturbation, asking where Mary Kate went / I want to be the reason why all lesbians hate dick…”
Three words: Tyler, the Creator. He’s just plain offensive, but the last part of the quote finds him admitting it: “I want to be the reason why all lesbians hate dick.” ‘Course, that’s sort of redundant and ridiculous – figure that one out for yourselves.
11) Watsky featuring Mariami, “Waking Hour” (Watsky, 2009)
“When I had a panic attack / I can never fake it, I make another mistake / and I’m aching and so I pray to the have the pastor take / an erection collection and pass the plate / but no one donated, so I had to masturbate / I know the girls want it / I’m close, and if it grows I can put a condom on it / Her moan is onomatopoetic / I groan, because my bone is gone as soon as I get it”
Can you guess what body part Watsky is talking about and thinking with? Here’s a hint – remember that “third eye” that Die Antwoord referenced earlier? While he is at least poetic, Watsky isn’t exactly being subtle either.
12) JC Chasez, “Come To Me” (Schizophrenic, 2004)
“Cause when I’m all alone / I lay awake and masturbate / I love to hear the sounds you make…”
JC Chasez goes for it, but does he really need to? Couldn’t he have been more poetic as opposed to killing the vibe with his bluntness? ‘Course this is the same dude that had a song on his only solo album entitled “All Day Long I Dream About Sex.” SMH!
13) Nicki Minaj featuring Beyoncé, “Feeling Myself” (The Pinkprint, 2014)
“He be thinking about me when he whacks off, wax on? Wax off…”
“Feeling Myself” and the excerpted quote is really about two queens who are confident in themselves and the “queen-dom” they have built. But, this being Nicki Minaj, she couldn’t avoid the whole double entendre thing.
14) John Legend featuring Kanye West, “Number One” (Get Lifted, 2004)
“I supposed you was told by them hoes I was cheatin’ / thinkin’ my heart don’t got nothing to do with my penis / he got a mind of his own and he just be seeing sh*t / and I don’t wanna cheat but I don’t be saying sh*t / I try to jack off he ask me who is you playin’ wit?”
Don’t worry John – you’re not the reason “Number One” is up here. It’s Kanye West’s fault, specifically the reference to his junk. He goes off at the end of his verse about thinking with his pants basically, but ultimately knows that “she” is “Number One.” Certainly a circuitous route to get to that ends Mr. West!
More TABOO-ness for your reading pleasure…