Knockin' Boots

Album: Ain't No Shame in My Game (1990)
Charted: 9
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • The phrase "knockin' boots" had a good run in the early '90s as a euphemism for sex, and we have Candyman to thank for it. In this song, he slow-raps about his prowess, letting the ladies know what's in store for them: some hugging and tugging and rubbing when they end up knocking the boots.

    In 1993, the R&B group H-Town had a hit with "Knockin' Da Boots," but the phrase soon became played out and banished from the musical lexicon.
  • The hook of "ooh boy, I love you son" is a sample of "Ooh Boy," a modest hit for Rose Royce (of "Car Wash" fame) in 1977. There are also some "ooh ooh"s in the verses that were sampled from Betty Wright's 1974 quiet stormer "Tonight Is the Night."

    "Ooh Boy" showed up again in 1998 when Janet Jackson sang the same part on Shaggy's hit "Luv Me, Luv Me."
  • In the second verse, Candyman rhymes about a groupie he's not really into, but ends up knockin' boots with anyway - till 6 a.m.! Unfortunately, she mistakes their passion for something else, as the hook explains:

    Ooh boy I love you so
    Never ever ever gonna let you go
    Once I get my hands on you
  • Candyman kept a low profile when this song came out and his origin story still isn't totally clear. He's listed as "John Shaffer" in the songwriting credits, and we know he did some work in the late '80s with Tone Loc and NWA - he's on the cover of the 1987 album N.W.A. and the Posse. He's from South Central Los Angeles and went to high school with Ice Cube.

    The NWA influence clearly didn't rub off on this song, which bears no resemblance to gangsta rap. He chose a different path, rapping seductively for the ladies.

    Candyman had two minor hits in 1991 - "Melt In Your Mouth" (#69) and "Nightgown" (#91) - but never charted again.
  • That's Tone Loc at the beginning of the song saying:

    Attention all ladies
    The Candyman is on the prowl
    And for those that wanna get busy
    You gots to speak up now


    He also shows up in the video. This part was cut out of the radio edit.
  • "Knockin' Boots" got some early exposure in Atlanta when a rep for Epic Records brought it to a non-conventional venue: a strip club called Magic City. The DJ was DC Glenn, who would as one half of Tag Team would later break his single "Whoomp! There It Is" at the club. He told the story on the Songfacts Podcast: "Shortly after I started working there, one of the reps at Epic Records brought me a Candyman record. He's like, 'Hey man, I really like this record. Just play it for me a couple times and let me know what you think.' I put it on, and he got to watch one of the girls dance to it. She started dancing to it and all the men came, and then the whole club was partying to the record.

    He went back and made his reports and everybody said, 'That ain't doing nothing in the Southeast because this is a West Coast record.' That's how narrow record company executives used to think. All they were thinking was radio, but it wasn't about it being organic, and I had a way to make it organic and break the record in Atlanta."

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