The album had been out for a year and a half before this became a hit. It was the third single from Crazy Town. They first released harder songs "Toxic" and "Darkside," which flopped. Crazy Town toured with Buckcherry, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Methods Of Mayhem for two years before this became a hit.
Crazy Town lead singer Shifty Shellshock (Seth Binzer) wrote this song about the girl he was seeing at the time. Most of the group's songs were full of macho swagger, which made her wary of Shellshock, so he set out to write something more romantic.
The two were living together at the time, and she collected butterflies. As Shellshock tells it, he was lying on the bed, thinking about what to call his song, when he spotted a butterfly on the ceiling. That gave him the title, and he later came up with the line, "You're my butterfly, sugar baby." He brought the idea to the band, and they loved the idea; they recorded the demo that very evening.
Unfortunately, things didn't work out for Shellshock and his butterfly girl - they were together for three years before a tough breakup.
This samples "Pretty Little Ditty" from The Red Hot Chili Peppers album Mother's Milk
. After writing the lyrics, Shellshock asked his producer to give it a mellow feel similar to "Under The Bridge
" by The Red Hot Chili Peppers.
This is an uncharacteristic pop song for Crazy Town. Their music is typically more aggressive rap-rock, but this was a huge crossover hit. It was played on rock, pop, and alternative radio stations.
MTV featured this on their 2001 spring break coverage from Cancun.
The video was directed by a team that worked on the movies The Matrix and What Dreams May Come. It is based on the images from What Dreams May Come.
Many bands resent their first hit if it gets overexposed and does not really represent the sound of the band, but Shellshock still loves this. He has fond memories of how it made them very popular.
This was one of the songs targeted by the Federal Trade Commission in 2001 as inappropriate for underage listeners. The commission wanted advertising for this and many other songs to contain parental advisory warnings.
Shifty Shellshock's then-girlfriend Cynthia is in the music video.
Epic Mazur wore a DARE T-shirt in the video. The irony is apparent when you consider that Epic has been to rehab to avoid charges of cocaine possession and continued to smoke marijuana.
In 2002, this was honored by two different music publishing organizations. Crazy Town belongs to ASCAP, who gave them an award, but because this samples a Red Hot Chili Peppers song, and they are represented by rival company BMI, that organization also honored this. The awards indicate this got a lot of airplay on radio and MTV.