This is the first single from rapper Q-Tip's third studio album, Kamaal the Abstract. It was originally set to be released with the title Abstractions in 2001, but it was held back as the label believed that it did not have commercial appeal. The album was finally released by Battery Records on September 15, 2009.
Q-Tip told MTV News: "It's an uptempo song basically speaking about two people who ain't got no business falling in love. The power overtakes you, and you do it anyway."
Phil Oakey recorded his vocals for "Don't You Want Me" in the studio bathroom. The recording was disrupted by guitarist Jo Callis reaching through an open window from outside to repeatedly flush one of the toilets.