Strap On 'Robbie Baby'

Album: Wild Animal (1984)

Songfacts®:

  • This raunchy song is about a sex toy Vanity has dubbed "Robbie." It's nasty stuff, but Vanity was a nasty girl. She was Prince's girlfriend in the early '80s; he named her "Vanity" (her real name is Denise Matthews), and built the group Vanity 6 around her. Prince had her play up a hypersexual image that was based in truth. When the couple broke up, she released her first solo album, Wild Animal, where she upheld the image she created.
  • Vanity was cast opposite Prince in his movie Purple Rain, but when they broke up, he replaced her with Apollonia. She had a series of high profile romances - John Stamos, Eddie Murphy and Nikki Sixx among them - but she also paired up with non-celebrity Robbie Bruce, who is the credited writer on this song. Little is known about him.
  • This song was listed on the Parents Music Resource Center's tally of 15 songs they felt were patently offensive. The group formed in 1985 to get a ratings system implemented on albums (they ended up getting warning stickers). They likely found this song by following the trail of Prince: his song "Darling Nikki" was the catalyst for the group's formation (Tipper Gore was horrified to hear her 11-year-old daughter listening to it), and the Sheena Easton song "Sugar Walls," written by Prince, also made the list.

    Vanity later became a born-again Christian, renouncing this song and her other material from the era.

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