It Wasn't Me

Album: Hot Shot (2000)
Charted: 1 1
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Songfacts®:

  • The song is about a guy who gets caught cheating on his girl but denies it even though he is clearly guilty. It was inspired by a comedy routine Eddie Murphy performed in his movie Raw. Murphy said that no matter what your girl accuses you of, never admit to anything, just say "it wasn't me."
  • Shaggy became Mr. Boombastic when he learned that in England, "shag" means sex (his real name is Orville Burrell; "Shaggy" comes from the Scooby-Doo character). This persona was comically big-headed and a bit of a male chauvinist, which made for some very entertaining songs, but it wasn't him. None of what happens in the song came from his own experience; they're just a bunch of hypothetical situations he made up.
  • This features Rikrok, whose real name is Ricardo Ducent, singing most of the lyrics. Shaggy sings the refrain "It Wasn't Me." Shaggy helped out Rikrok by working with him on his first solo album.
  • Playful songs like this one were big in 2001 - up until September 11. That summer, the Missy Elliott reworking of "Lady Marmalade" was a huge hit, as was Destiny's Child's "Bootylicious."
  • "It Wasn't Me" was a spectacular return for Shaggy, who was dropped by his label after disappointing sales of his 1997 album Midnite Lover. In America, it went to #1 for two weeks and propelled his Hot Shot album to sales of over 6 million. In the UK, it was not only a #1 hit but also the best-selling single of 2001. His next single, "Angel," also topped the charts in both territories.
  • This wasn't supposed to be a single, but it got some heat in Hawaii when a disc jockey on the Honolulu radio station KIKI downloaded it from the internet and played it on the air. This convinced Shaggy's record company, MCA, to issue it.

    The first single from the album was "Dance And Shout," which seemed like a solid bet because it was produced by the reliable hitmakers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, but it flopped hard, reaching just #104 in America in August 2000. The album, and Shaggy's career, seemed left for dead, but "It Wasn't Me" revived him in a big way, hitting #1 in February 2001, six months after "Dance And Shout" bombed.
  • The track is built on a sample of the 1975 song "Smile Happy" from the band War.
  • In the video, Rikrok gets caught cheating and comes running to Shaggy's mansion, where Shaggy schools him on the art of being a true player. To show how he got caught, Rikrok shows Shaggy a video of his misdeeds on his flipphone, which in 2001 could only be done through the magic of editing.
  • Shaggy and Sting did a bit with host James Corden at the Grammy Awards in 2018 where they performed in the New York subway but were met by a hostile audience. "Whose idea was this anyway," Corden asked. Shaggy's response: "It wasn't me."
  • This was used in a 2021 Super Bowl commercial where Mila Kunis gets caught eating her husband, Ashton Kutcher's, Cheetos. When he confronts, Shaggy shows up to advise: "Just tell him it wasn't you." She does that, creating her own version of the song:

    But I caught you at the counter
    It wasn't me

    Saw you snacking on the sofa
    It wasn't me

    You even had them in the shower
    It wasn't me


    Shaggy then explains that it's his own fault:

    You the one that granted access to your snacks
    Don't act surprised that she sneak behind your back
    You got to keep tabs before she empty that bag
    Let's review the situation: orange fingers, red flag


    He councils Austin to keep his own stash, then when Mila tells him one more time, "It wasn't me," and Austin lets it go, Shaggy says, "That's the first time that's ever worked."

    Two things were learned from the ad:
    1) Shaggy doesn't age.
    2) Ashton Kutcher is a truly terrible singer.

Comments: 18

  • Jessie from ChicagoRikRok MADE this song the hit that it was. His voice is amazing. The video is still funny to this day.
  • Seventhmist from 7th HeavenBrings to mind something my daughter said when she was small. I walked in on her getting into the cookies she'd been told to stay out of. She dropped the box, shut her eyes and screamed "It's not me! I'm not here!"
  • Angie from DetroitThe video is very funny. Despite the debate about who the main singer was/is, I think that RikRok and Shaggy's voices, really complement each other.
  • Daniel from Winchester, OhioShaggy's voice is amazing though.
  • Jeff from Boston, MaRegarding whether this song is disrespectful to women: My ex-girlfriend, a vocal feminist, loved the song and thought it was very funny. If the song casts aspersions on anybody it's men, for being cheaters and idiots. I don't know any men who've said they feel offended though.
  • Lily from Argyle, TxSandy:

    The song was meant to be a satire. It is not meant to be taken seriously. And if you listen to the end, it says he is going to apologize to his girlfriend instead of continue to deny it.
  • Landon from Winchester, OhI can't stand the voice of Shaggy himself! But the song is great. I wander if I got a girlfriend and was caught cheating, if saying "It Wasn't Me" would really work. I should know it probably wouldn't, so why does this song concern using that to cover up what a guy did? Interesting.
  • Jonathan from Auckland, New ZealandWho is the actress that plays 'the girl next door in this' vid?
  • Larry from Coral Springs, FlI used to work in a warehouse where they had a radio planted somewhere to a station and this song would come on every now and then. Despite that i could never make out the verus as they were sung so rapidly to a point where they were not understandable..I found it rather amusing nonetheless.
  • Jeremy from Scottsdale, AzThis song is funny because Shaggy keeps telling him to deny it even though he is caught red-handed. As if that would ever work.

    And Sandy from Warsaw needs to lighten up.
  • Luke from Manchester, Englandhey veronica, put something constructive or don't bother typing
  • Sandy from Warsaw, InThis song is disgusting! It is disrespectful to women and it is nasty I can't believe you listen to this stuff!! Its like porn only instead of pictures its music!! GROSS!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Danny from Philadelphia, PaNeither Shaggy nor Rikrok sang back up vocals on this great song. Rikrok sang the verses, and Shaggy did the refrain.
  • Marlow from Perthvery funny at the time!
  • Dawson from Draper, UtShaggy wasn't the backup! He made the song, he should be credited with all the singing. Rikrok just did other singing. I love this song, though. I listen to it a lot. : )
  • Matt from Monroe, LaThis song makes me depressed because it reminds me of how horrible the music was after in the late 90's
  • Dave from Cardiff, WalesI think Shaggy was creditted as the main performer because no one knew who RikRok was at that time
  • Kristin from Kelowna, CanadaClearly the true singer of this song is Rikrok or also known as Ricardo Ducent because he was the main signer, shaggy was the backup!
see more comments

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