It's gonna be hard to do, but implore you: Look past the video. Yes, the 'fits and the facial hair are so far beyond fashionable that they've come back around again, so the "I Wanna Sex You Up" video could easily be confused with a Blood Orange video shoot in Bushwick, Brooklyn. But the song's unintentional humor goes beyond the mere music video optics. R&B's favorite Oklahoma-based a capella group captured America's hearts for a short time in the early '90s. But one thing needs to be stressed: The group was wild credible.
Not only did they score a spot on the New Jack City soundtrack with this song, but it was co-created by Dr. Freeze, the mind behind Michael Jackson's "Break of Dawn," Bell Biv Devoe's "Poison," and a number of other new jack swing jams. But that's not all. The song won two Soul Train awards that year-Best R&B/Soul Single, Group, Band or Duo and Best R&B/Soul Song of the Year. And it even inspired a response song.
So, why's it so funny? Unlike many of the songs in this list, the unintentional humor of this track is a bit more abstract, a bit harder to pin down. It isn't any of the individual elements, so much; sampling "La Di Da Di" was a common move to give an R&B song hip-hop flavor. The singing style is a sweet, post-Debarge falsetto delivered with cool sincerity. And the backing vocals swipe the melody from R&B's respected legacy, "Strawberry Letter 23."
But in concert, these elements come together to just feel a bit...obvious. There's nothing sly or subtle about it, as it repetitiously hammers home a melody as if afraid to let go of your hand for even a second. Where that would be the charm of, say, an R. Kelly song later on, something about Color Me Badd's naive simplicity, and the song's so obviously outdated slang, make it feel like a particularly vapid time capsule. —David Drake