Doo Wop (That Thing)

Album: The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill (1998)
Charted: 3 1
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Songfacts®:

  • Written by Lauryn Hill, this was the singer's debut single. The song is a warning against guys who are more interested in frivolous, expensive things than their girlfriends or families. Hill had some difficult relationships that may have inspired this; she dated Wyclef Jean from her group Fugees and was once engaged to Rohan Marley, son of Bob Marley.
  • This won the 1998 Grammy Award for Best Female Rhythm & Blues Vocal Performance. Hill also won for for Best Rhythm & Blues Song. The album received 11 nominations, making it the first hip-hop record to receive that many. It won five, making Hill the first female artist to win that many.
  • The album was named after The Mis-Education Of The Negro, a book by Professor Carter G. Woodson, an American black history expert, and The Education of Sonny Carson, an autobiographical film about the title controversial activist. The album, which was written, arranged and produced entirely by Hill, was about the education one receives after leaving school, the life learning process.
  • With this song, Hill became the first woman since Debbie Gibson to debut at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with a song she wrote, recorded, and produced on her own. Gibson did the same with "Foolish Beat" in 1989.

    It was an accomplishment Hill was not encouraged to make. "For some reason, women aren't taken seriously as thinkers and creators and arrangers and producers," she told Playboy. "The industry thinks there always has to be some man somewhere puppeteering the whole situation. It doesn't make you feel good as an artist when you are having conversations about your music and people don't take it seriously."
  • Hill wanted to prove that a female artist could use her brains to have a chart-topper rather than her body, unlike fellow performers like Lil' Kim. She told Details magazine: "I'm not dissing them, I'm dissing their mind-set. My music talks about a certain way of thinking, and if the cap fits, you know? I knew girls like Kim growing up - I might have even been one at certain age - and there's a huge lack of self-esteem behind that thinking. I mean, when I was 14 I thought that if a guy didn't whistle at me, that meant I wasn't pretty. But either you mature past that or you get caught in the concept of, 'Oh, I have to show some ass, 'cause that's the only way I can feel beautiful.' Sex is cool, but it's only part of the story."
  • The music video, shot in Manhattan's Washington Heights, uses a split-screen to show two different Hills performing the song. On the left, she's decked out like a '60s-style R&B star, while on the right she's a modern hip-hop performer.
  • This was used on the MTV animated series Daria in the 1999 episode "Through a Lens Darkly."
  • Glee's Amber Riley and Naya Rivera covered this on the 2014 episode "Back-Up Plan."

Comments: 6

  • Wanda Tijuana from Bronx NyIt's obvious that "that thing" is sex, more specifically, casual meaningless sex. In fairness, Ms. Hill begins the song with "ladies first", then second verse as she says "dedicated to the men". Both genders are guilty of going out of their way with foolish & arrogant attention seeking behaviors, for example women showing off their asses as she explains, or getting the weaves or fake nails, then the men who come up in the club acting like hooligans & not caring who they offend, Crystal by the case, etc. Moral of the story is we need to love ourselves first & have more self respect, if we want to be respected by others. Don't be so quick to give up your body for pleasure to someone you don't really know that well, or have feelings for, that's just a booty call. In this song, the woman gave it up too fast to a guy who she never heard from again. Men are also guilty of sleeping with women who don't really care about them either, and are just looking for a good time. Ladies & gentlemen, please take Lauryn's advice. You need to get that self love before expecting love elsewhere, and stop focusing on attention from others for approval. You don't need men (or women) to make you feel good about yourself. Don't give it up so freely & easily, or you may not end up hearing from him or her again. There's more to life than a good time, one night stand/meaningless sexual flings. Look for someone you can give your heart & soul to, not just your body. Someone that will call you again.
    Don't be a hard rock when you really are a gem. How you gonna win when you ain't right within?
  • Sony from Bangalore, IndiaThis is a complete bad-ass track...love love it!
  • Bertrand from Paris, FranceAfter the far too early breakup of the Fugees, the music world waited impatiently for Lauryn Hill's first solo effort. The wait was worth it. [b]The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill[b] is one of the top albums of the decade and "Doo Wop (That Thing)" is a brilliantly tuneful dissection of sexual politics from the point of view of both genders.

  • Jai from Bridgeport, CtUm Its Remeber back on the Bully, like Bulevard, like Street. Doo Wop Singers used to stand on the corner and harmonize songs together.
  • Victoria from Compton, Ca"It's been 3 weeks since you've been looking for your friend. The one you let hit and never called you again".... This opening sentence explains it all.
  • Sum Sum from New Delhiexcelllent...too good a song..so many of you must be wandering to truly understand the beginning of the lyrics...i managed to understand some in bits and parts. here it is, i think i m correct coz i listened to it intently more than thousand times.. i m sure it ll be a help for those who ve been looking for the lyrical part......

    Yo, Remember back on da Boogie when Cats used to Harmonize like: woooooowhooohooo (check out the situation) My men and my women dont forget about the Dean The Sarat-al-Mustakeem, Yo its about a thing, If you feel real good Throw your hands in the air! (MUSIC STARTS) Admit two shots in the atmosphere! Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah

    Then the song start....its been three years...
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