What He Says Fans Always Get Wrong

For years, Shaggy‘s 2000 hit “It Wasn’t Me” has been a running meme thanks to its borderline ridiculous insistence on repeating the title after being caught in all sorts of compromising positions. Fans of The Roots also apparently have the song to thank for helping to keep the band afloat at a time “alternative hip-hop” didn’t get much support from major labels, according to Questlove. The song even ended up in a Super Bowl ad featuring real-life couple Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis.

But according to Shaggy, fans have had the song all wrong for the past 20 years. In a new interview with People about his upcoming Hot Summer Nights Tour, Shaggy insists “It Wasn’t Me” is not a “cheating song,” despite all evidence to the contrary in the humorously over-the-top lyrics. “It was a big misconception with that song because that song is not a cheating song,” he said. “It’s an anti-cheating song. It’s just that nobody listened to the record to the end.”

He continues, “There’s a part in the record where it’s a conversation between two people and you have one guy, which is me at that point, giving that bad advice, like, ‘Yo, bro, how could you get caught? Just tell her, ‘It wasn’t me,’’ and then at the end, the guy says, ‘I’m going to 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. Going to tell her that I’m sorry for the pain that I’ve caused. You might think that you’re a player, but you’re completely lost.’”

“Nobody hears that part!” Shaggy laments. “That’s what the song says. But everybody’s just caught up on that, ‘It wasn’t me, it wasn’t me.’ It’s an anti-cheating song. No one ever really buys into that, and I keep explaining it to people. Then, they go listen to it back and be like, ‘Oh dude, I totally missed that.’” Still, he takes the misunderstanding into stride. “I think it has helped in the life of the song,” he points out. “What’s so good about that song is that it was relatable throughout the years. People do have this whole situation with cheating, and the thing about that is that you could be young, old, Black, white, straight, gay, whatever it is, it’s still relatable.”


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