25 Unintentionally Funny R&B Songs

Some R&B artists just sing the darndest things.

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Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

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It's tough to gauge an artist's intentions. How can you? You don't know what they were thinking when they hopped in the booth. (And anyway, does it even matter?) That said, we here at Complex sleep a little better at night believing that, say, when R. Kelly made his epic "Trapped in the Closet" series, he intended to make us laugh. At least a little bit. For real, you mean to tell us, he meant for us to watch scenes like this with a straight face?

But we can't say the same for a lot of other R&B songs. In a genre best known for earnest serenades about love and lust, there's very little room for jokes. But that doesn't stop a few from slipping through. Some songs, despite their seemingly sincere origins, turn out to be extremely funny. To that end, we've collected 25 of the most unintentionally funny R&B songs

RELATED: The 50 Best R&B Songs That Flipped Rap Beats 

RELATED: The 50 Best R&B Videos of the 90s

Pretty Ricky "On the Hotline" (2006)

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Album: Late Night Special

"On the Hotline" is a song about phone sex. And for a quartet of dudes whose first album went gold in 2005, they need to hang up the damn phone and book some red-eye tickets for their girls. The song samples everything from the Isley Brothers' "Between the Sheets" to Rick James' "Mary Jane," but it's still cringe-worthy to hear Baby Blue sing, "Take them granny panties off, put a thong on." If you're lusting at 5 a.m., and you're on the phone, who can even see the panties your girl is wearing? Important questions that have gone unanswered for almost 10 years. —Lauren Nostro

Sisqo "Thong Song" (1999)

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Album: Unleash the Dragon

At the height of his career, one that included two platinum-selling records with the group Dru Hill, Sisqo decided the time was ripe to strike out on his own and try his hand at solo stardom. His first single, "Got to Get It," failed to drum up much attention. However, the next single would make the silver-haired singer a household name.

Ostensibly an ode to underwear, "Thong Song" would catapult Sisqo into superstardom despite being one of the silliest songs ever recorded. Have you read the lyrics? Let's forget the parts where he pleads to see a girl's thong. Let's instead focus on where he says the girl "cruise to the crew like connect the dots." What? What does that mean? And why is he singing it like his next bottle of hair dye depended on it? It's not surprising that Sisqo's solo career would careen down a cliff afterwards.—Damien Scott 

Usher "Appetite" (2008)

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Album: Here I Stand

How do you follow up the best-selling R&B of the 2000s? With an album that kind of, sort of tries to recreate the magic by detailing the ups and downs of another relationship.

Most of Here I Stand worked well enough, until you got to track 13. Produced by Danjahandz, "Appetite" had all the makings of a hit:  an uptempo, winding, Rubik's Cube of a beat, and Usher talking about wanting to cheat. The only problem? In trying to talk about picking up women on the Internet, Usher sang the following: "My Mac is in my backpack, I'm surfing all the sites." Yes, Usher went surfing on the "sites" to pick up women. Which sites, you ask? Who knows. Could be anything: Tumblr, Myspace, Blackpeoplemeet.com. No one will ever know. —Damien Scott

The-Dream "Fuck My Brains Out" (2011)

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Album: N/A

The-Dream is one of those artists, like R. Kelly, whose songs sound like they're nearly all sung with a wink and slight nod. So it's a bit difficult to tell when he's serious and when he's just fucking with us. Take this Prince approximation where he sings about a girl not being able to wait until she could lick "it" and him not being able to wait until he could "stick it" before the girl begging him to "fuck her brains out." Serious or nah? We can't tell. But we can't make it through the entire track without cracking a smile. —Damien Scott 

Pressha "Splackavellie" (1998)

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Album: Don't Get It Twisted and The Players Club Soundtrack

There should be a special place for Pressha in the one-hit-wonder hall of fame. Although, in fairness, he technically had three hits. First, on the solo tip, he released "Put Ya Thang Down," and later, as a member of Southsyde B.O.I.Z. he did "Get Ready, Here It Comes (Choo Choo)."

You may be noticing a theme here, a delightful frisson of sexual innuendo, if you will. But Pressha took it to the next level when he created a song about that man who ladies call when her man isn't doing them right. Blending the name Makaveli (2Pac's appropriation of the Italian philosopher Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli, author of The Prince) with the term "splack" (first used by 2 Live Crew in their song "Put Her in the Buck" in the unforgettable line, "Flat on her back, hold her legs up high, make the pussy splack") was a stroke of genius. But what makes the song so unintentionally funny is Pressha's passionately heartfelt delivery of a song dedicated to all the Mr. Dikemdowns around the world and the women who love them. Stay classy. Rob Kenner

K-Ci & JoJo "Fee Fie Foe Fum" (1999)

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Album: It's Real

Yo, they really took a poem from the Jack and the Beanstalk fairy tale and used it as the hook of an R&B song about your girl cheating on you. Instead of smelling the blood of an Englishman, K-Ci smells some other dude's dilznick on his girl when she gets home. Damn. What more can really be said about this? At any rate, here's hoping the giant got the royalties he deserved.

David Drake

Sean Fury "Bi-racial" (2009)

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Album: Ladies of Color

There's no question that Sean Fury is funny. The clothes, the lyrics, the vocal skills, the DANCE MOVEShis YouTube page will make your face hurt. Still, he poses a special challenge for a list of unintentionally funny songs. Such was the debate when we first discovered his raw talent: This guy can't be serious, can he? No way. This must be some kind of troll attack.

But after scouring social media and doing our due diligence (140 characters in these streets, ya bish!), we can confirm that Mr. Fury is serious as a heart attack. And he's still got love for all you biracial girls. So just relax, click play, and do that chair dance like the dude on the right in the red T-shirt. Rob Kenner

Eamon "Fuck It (I Don't Want You Back)" (2004)

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Album: I Don't Want You Back

Once upon a time1987, to be exact—a rapper named Milk Dee met up with a DJ named Gizmo, and under the name Audio Two, they recorded one of the greatest songs ever crafted, in any genre: "Top Billin." Then, to most of the world, they disappeared...until Milk Dee discovered an R&B singer who, much like the greats Madonna and Prince, went by a single name: Eamon. Eamon, in turn, would create, while not one of the greatest R&B songs, certainly one of the funniest.

That song was called "Fuck You (I Don't Want You Back)," and it was an oddly successful single—odd because the entire chorus was laced with profanity, so most of the chorus' real estate was blanked out on radio. The song was a juvenile parody of slow jam R&B, laying hip-hop's spurned male ego in a then-unexpected context. Of course, today the joke has waned somewhat, now that more self-serious singers (The Weeknd, say) do the same shit. Eamon's career did have a bit of unintentional comedy to it, though, as he told MTV in 2004:

Eamon was dazzled by the costumes, performances and parties and practically spellbound when he met one of his favorite rappers, Jay-Z. "He shook my hand and he went, 'You got that new joint, right?' " Eamon recalls. "I was like, 'Yeah, man,' and he said, 'Ah, good sh--.' I was totally bugged out. Jay-Z knew who I was. That's crazy."

David Drake

Silk "Freak Me" (1993)

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Album: Lose Control

There's something inherently funny (terrifying?) about a quintet of men serenading you, singing simultaneously, "Let me play with your body, baby." It's the aural equivalent of that scene in Watchmen when Silk Specter realizes she's in bed with multiple Dr. Manhattans and they're all tonguing her down with identical blue tongues.

Silk's "Freak Me" is a master class in '90s R&B excess from the first note. Thumping bass, group of men intoning "Freak me baby" like cult members around a campfire, and then the starburst moment where the sweet voices join for "Let me lick you up and down." And then, jumping up in register, a single voice declares, "Cause tonight, baby, I wanna get freaky with you!"

But '90s R&B connoisseurs know that the song's ultimate expression of ecstasy/comedy comes at 2:37, with the triumphant "YOUYOUYOUYOU" chorus. It is the epitome of everything awesome and hilarious and earnestly beautiful about young men wanting to get laid via the magic power of falsetto vocals. This is everything music should be. —Ross Scarano

Boyz II Men "Uhh Ahh" (1991)

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Album: Cooleyhighharmony

What do you think of when you think of Boyz II Men? Sweater vests and cardigans? Beautiful harmonies? Songs about loving someone so much that you'd die with them? If so, we're right there with you. That's why listening to the third single from the group's debut album is hilariously bewildering.

On an album that was at turns fun and thoughtful, this was supposed to be Nathan, Michael, Shawn, and Wanya's sex song; the song that showed that these four dudes got it in. And what did we get? A track with what may be the softest chorus in the history of R&B music: "Uhh Ahh." Hearing them recreate their sounds of love-making is made even funnier when watching the video, with the crew attending a debauched house party in matching polka dot robes. —Damien Scott 

B2K "What a Girl Wants" (2003)

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Album: Pandemonium!

There are many B2K songs that could've made this list, but "What a Girl Wants" takes the cake. Not because it's funny to think about a group of male 20-year-olds expounding on what exactly a girl wants and need, but because of what happens three minutes into the song: These dudes try to get their Lenny Williams on and talk on the track about their astrological sign.

If they really knew what a girl needs and wants, they would know that a girl wants a guy with some bass in his voice who they can't share jeans with. But, hey, what do we know? —Damien Scott

Blackstreet f/ Mya, Mase & Blinky Blink "Take Me There" (1998)

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Album: Finally and The Rugrats Movie Soundtrack

Let's get real: If you were over the age of 13, "Take Me There" sounded like four minutes of a detailed climax. Come on, "Where we go/Nobody knows/And what we do/Is between me and you." Right, definitely about a fantasy place...for kids.

The underlying innuendos coupled with the fact that Bad Boy's finest—Ma$e—was on a Rugrats soundtrack song makes it laughable, and pretty fucking weird. He went from rapping about getting his girl karats till she feels like a rabbit, to breaking down the Rugrats crew with a cadence that makes them sound harder than the Crips. Then again, Crips don't get scared like Chucky.

There's also Blackstreet, who popped off after their single "Booti Call" and rapped about bagging up "playettes" on "No Diggity," who seem to have found a new lane of -ettes to sing about, and they are toddlettes. And isn't this Blinky Blink's best known verse? On the Rugrats Movie soundtrack? We'll let that one speak for itself. —Lauren Nostro

Oran "Juice" Jones "The Rain" (1986)

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Album: Juice

Forget the fact that the girlfriend in this song is cheating on Oran, this sounds like a super creepy stalker track.

"I saw you (and him) walking in the rain..." What the hell you doing walking around in the rain, Juice?

"I missed you so much I followed you today?" Maybe this is why she's sleeping around on you, fam—BECAUSE YOU HAVE WEIRD STALKER TENDENCIES. And you have to love that he's talking all that slick shit at the end, after being Oran "Stalker" Jones. For like two minutes! Sure, she's "cold busted," but instead of "whipping out the jammy" like Rambo and going ham on her, he chilled, then thought up gems like "It's my world—you just a squirrel, tryin' to get a nut."

Look, Juice, we get it, she fucked up. But you could've just put this shit into a note instead of sounding like a pimp after the fact. khal

R. Kelly "Heaven I Need a Hug" (2002)

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Album: Chocolate Factory

Truth to tell, we could have filled this whole list with R. Kelly songs. "Feelin on Your Booty"? "You Remind Me of My Jeep"? "I Like the Crotch on You"? "Marry the Pussy?"

Aside from his God-given melodic gift and a propensity for, as Jay Z once put it, "spitting venom up in the minds of young women," R.Kelly's most salient quality as an artist is sheer shamelessness. How else to explain his branding himself the "Pied Piper of R&B" even as he stood accused of child pornography? How else to wrap one's mind around a song like "Heaven I Need A Hug" taken from the Loveland bonus disc of his post-sex-tape double album Chocolate Factory?

This song pulls out all the stops: Kells frames it as a prayer to his deceased mother, describes himself as the sunshine, just trying to shine on everybody, and finally asks "Is there anybody out there willin' to embrace a thug"? If by thug you mean a grown-ass man wearing a black mask while cruising for schoolgirls at McDonald's, then no. Rob Kenner

Fantasia "Baby Mama" (2005)

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Album: Free Yourself

Fantasia's intentions on "Baby Mama" are nothing short of inspirational: an anthem for single mothers. But the fake calls from "real baby mamas" and the B-A-B-Y, M-A-M-A chant make it almost laughable. She sings "It's about time we had our own song/Don't know what took so long/'Cuz now a days it's like a badge of honor/To be a baby mama" and it's immediately hard to take the anthem seriously.

Plus, Webbie, Lil Boosie and Lil Phat would go on to truly perfect spelling out words in a chorus two years later with "Independent." —Lauren Nostro

Marvin Sease "I Ate You For My Breakfast" (1987)

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Album: 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best Of Marvin Sease

Decades before Lil Wayne offered to pour syrup over Ciara and eat her like pancakes, Marvin Sease sang this passionate plea to, as the title says, eat a woman for breakfast. Listening to the first 20 seconds, you would be forgiven for thinking you should be doing the Electric Slide. The lyrics here are absolutely amazing: "You looked at me, and I looked at you, and something told me what to do! I ate you for my breakfast!"

Never before has such a sexual song been sung over such a family-friendly, BBQ-ready, beat. —Damien Scott 

The Isley Brothers "Contagious" (2001)

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Album: Eternal

So Ron Isley walks into his crib at 2 a.m. (where were YOU at, bruh?), and doesn't hear his woman sexing some other guy until she starts saying something about dude being "contagious," and that he should give her what he's got? Then this weirdo replies back, asking her to drive him wild? And what's deep is if you weren't a fan of R. Kelly or Ron Isley, you wouldn't know a thing about this Mr. Biggs character, but they definitely have a full-on musical in the middle, talking back and forth in song! And why is R. Kelly always creeping on Mr. Biggs' girls?

The best part is when his girl shouts his name, he hits her so quick with the "SHUT UP!" We're not sure if this was supposed to be a comedy, but it's nothing but jokes, and practically birthed the "Trapped in the Closet" series. —khal

Trey Songz "Grub On" (2007)

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Album: Trey Day

Trey Songz, channeling the kind of similes R. Kelly chuckles over before going to bed, wrote a song called "Grub On," in which he literally sings, "Will you be my IHOP, baby?" Then, "The food in here is crazy."

What food? What food have you found between your girl's labia, and why is it crazy? Why is it there at all? What the fuck is happening in your life right now? Ross Scarano

Ginuwine "Do U Remember" (1999)

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Album: 100% Ginuwine

"Do U Remember" is a comedic masterpiece and an artistic one simultaneously.

It begins with then-29 year old Ginuwine singing about how he went to his girl's place at 3:00 a.m. and snuck in the window because her parents were downstairs. Obviously, this is an odd situation for a 29-year-old man to be engaged in. But we're going to let it slide here, assuming this is pure suspension of disbelief for music whose target audience was primarily teen girls.

Ginuwine sings with a total sincerity, which in no way undercuts that he's singing about how they busted his lover's mom's couch springs in the act. The absurdity requires total commitment, and Ginuwine is more than happy to provide.

Then comes the interlude, the song's centerpiece: A mother confronts her daughter, first over her damaged couch, until a harsh realization dawns:

Baby, baby, come down here, I need to talk to you now!
(I'll be right down!)
Look at this! Look at this mess! What happened here? I mean just look at it. There's a spring knocked out. Wait a minute, wait a minute, I know. You were with that Ginuwine guy!
I told you about him! He's an entertainer, he's no good!
(But I love him!)

And now it's Timbaland's time to shine, transforming the song into a synthesizer symphony of passionate convictions, adding Shakespearean dimension to what, in other hands, would be a mere soap opera. Then, to top it all off, he scratches Queen's "Flash's Theme", to make it clear how powerful the scope of her devotion. An entertainer? Yes. But no good? Hardly. —David Drake

Bobby Valentino "Slow Down" (2005)

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Album: Bobby Valentino

On a breeze from a fairy-tale kingdom, Bobby Valentino blew into our lives in 2005, with his single "Slow Down." The beautiful sound of a plucked harp sets the scene perfectly, filling the listener's mind with images of cartoon elves and hand-painted rolling green hills and, or course, butts.

The Disney intro is just Bobby V.'s way of creating a safe space to admire a pretty round posterior walking down Melrose. He's blown away, and implores this fair maiden to slow down so that me might catch up with her and compliment her in just the right way in order to dive inside her like Flounder in The Little Mermaid.

In his arsenal of compliments? Kind words about the "butterfly tattoo right above [her] navel." On top of that—and you can hear Bobby V. bite his fist in lucky disbelief—her "belly button's pierced too." This is truly Bobby Valentino's lucky day.

But the day won't be over until "seven digits" are in his hand. Not five. Not six. Seven. Just like the number of dwarves Snow White shacks up with. Coincidence? Nah. Perfection? Oh yes. —Ross Scarano

Next "Too Close" (1997)

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Album: Rated Next

"I wonder if she can tell I'm hard right now. Hmm." Chances are, she can probably tell, Next. The fact that this topped the U.S. Hot 100 and R&B charts—and went platinum—says more about our culture than the actual decency of Next.

At first listen, it sounds like the trio is actually saying "you're making it hard for me" not to want you, but they're actually talking about getting a boner while grinding on a girl's ass in the club. You have to give it to them—they're being extremely honest and up front, but, really, this entire song is about hiding a hard-on. That's it. Nothing more, nothing less.

Like, do you even want any of the D after hearing, "I feel a little poke comin' through on you?" Probably not. No one wants a "little poke." Lauren Nostro

Color Me Badd "I Wanna Sex You Up" (1991)

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Album: C.M.B.

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

Craig David "Booty Man" (2001)

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Album: Born to Do It

Fun fact: "Booty Man" wasn't just a song, it was actually the name of Craig David's music publishing company. But let us never forget: "Booty Man" was originally a song where Craig interpolated a nursery rhyme into a love song while referring to himself as the "booty man" in a way that sounds exactly like the chocolatier from Willy Wonka's "The Candy Man" song. Was he referencing a girl clicking on and off of his site www.cd.com, too? In 2001, I doubt his girl was checking the Internet on her flip phone while in the club. Lauren Nostro

Bobby Brown "Humpin Around" (1992)

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Album: Bobby

Two years after Digital Underground had the whole world doing "The Humpty Dance," newlywed Bobby Brown led off his third studio album, Bobby, with this heart-warming ode to the sanctity of his marital vows. (Actually it was a rump-shaking house-quaking denial of infidelity aimed at a lady who doesn't trust her man and loaded with threats to leave her just because she dared to question his sincerity.)

Evoking images of camels in the desert, "Humpin' Around" may be the most awkward euphemism for "fuckin around" ever devised, but let's not forget how much America loves a dumb dirty joke. This song went to No. 3 on the pop charts and the album went double platinum, so it looks like Bobby, L.A. and Babyface had the last laugh on this one. Rob Kenner

Mary J Blige "Chicken" (2012)

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Album: N/A

It's easy to look back at Mary's ill-fated commercial jingle and tell yourself—nah, convince yourself—that it was a well-executed joke. That there was no way the Queen of hip hop and R&B would sell her soul to Burger King and sing a song about chicken while literally shucking and jiving. No fucking way.

But that's not what happened.

It wasn't a joke. Ms. Blige was dead-ass serious when she arrived to the set, stood on a table, and belted out that the B.K.'s new wrap was made up of "Crispy chicken, fresh lettuce, three cheeses, ranch dressing."

Sure, it's not a real R&B song, but come on: This is might be the most unintentionally hilarious song ever created in any genre of recorded music. And we're saying this knowing full and well that Mary J. Blige made a song in which she made up nearly half the words in the chorus. While we can all collectively try to forget that this ever happened, we won't ever forgive. Though, we will all laugh. —Damien Scott 

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