If you receive a love letter with X's and O's at the bottom, that's a good thing, since they represent kisses and hugs. If you show up in Elle King's song "Ex's & Oh's," it's more likely that you won't be sending her love letters. King says the song is about all her ex-boyfriends who hate her now. She adds that she's had her heart broken, but has also done her share of breaking hearts.
King says that there are four specific X-boyfriends mentioned in the song. In December 2015, she told Entertainment Weekly that she's spoken with three of them. "Everyone is mad at me," she said. "I'm not a terrible person, but it went platinum."
King wrote this song with Dave Bassett, a veteran songwriter who has co-written many tracks with Shinedown and Javier Colon. He is often brought in to assist an artist with writing a song as opposed to writing it and then pitching it to various artists.
The song came to life when Bassett asked King about her love life, and she started talking about the far-flung guys she's been involved with. They started writing the song as a joke, but when King's label (RCA) heard it, they pegged it as the hit single.
Is the line, "They always want to come by they never want to leave" a sexual reference? Well, consider that the title from the album, Love Stuff, comes from a sex shop in Hollywood, Florida.
King is the daughter of former Saturday Night Live comedian Rob Schneider. "Ex's & Oh's" was her first major-label single; she performed the song on The Today Show and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon after the album was issued.
The video, directed by Michael Maxxis, is stocked with male hardbodies flexing, wrestling, and tending to King. She picked out the guys herself by watching casting videos.
Asked by Billboard magazine about the lyric, "I had me a boy, turned him into a man," King explained: "That specific relationship, I was telling that person to grow up, in terms of things he did that bugged me."