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Rihanna spelled it out in three characters with her hit “S&M,” then elaborated in the chorus: “Sex in the air, I don’t care, I love the smell of it.” Indeed, 2011 was the year fornication ruled, at least where pop and hip-hop are concerned. But not every artist can pull off such risque lyrics without inciting uncomfortable snickers.
1. Rihanna, “S&M”
What: Barbados-born R&B mega-star who was once the victim of domestic abuse, writes No. 1 sensation about being whipped and beaten for sexual pleasure. Its music video has nearly 40,000,000 YouTube views and features a scantily clad Rihanna writhing inside a vacuum-sealed plastic bag, with men in suits and ball gags watching and taking notes. At one point, she walks a man in a harness and leash, who urinates on a fire hydrant.
Sample Lyrics: “Sticks and stones may break my bones / But chains and whips excite me,” “Pain is my pleasure / Cause nothing could measure.”
2. Big Sean feat. Chris Brown, “My Last”
What: The first hit single from the Kanye West-endorsed Detroit rapper soared to #1 on the Billboard rap charts. Sean once described “My Last” to MTV as a “real great party song.” It’s thematic content can be described as such: Big Sean is in the club, he has bottles in the club, he does not ball on a budget, and he wants to have sex with the baddest girl in the club. Also, Sean displays poor fact checking skills (Benihana does not serve wontons.)
Sample lyrics: “She’s a 7 in the face but a 10 in the ass / Look even better by the end of my glass.”
3. Drake, “Marvin’s Room”
What: 25-year old Young Money signed rap-R&B superstar sings a moody ballad about drunk dialing his ex-girlfriend in order to hurl insults at her new man and say that she could do better.
Sample Lyrics: “Too many drinks have been given to me / I got some women that’s living off me / Paid for their flights and hotels I’m ashamed / Bet that you know them, I won’t say no names / After a while girl they all seem the same / I’ve had sex four times this week / I’ll explain.”
4. Lil Wayne, “How to Love”
What: When Lil Wayne learned to stop worrying and embrace his inner Taylor Swift.
Sample lyric: “But I admire your poppin bottles and pimpin / Just as much as you admire bartending and stripping. “
5. Gucci Mane & V-Nasty, “F You”
What: The collaboration between the frequently incarcerated Atlanta trap rapper with the ice cream facial tattoo, and the White Girl Mob confederate of Kreayshawn.
Sample lyrics: “I got a bad bitch / She elegant / Bet $100,000 / That bitch selling it,” “I’m horny as a rhino and her ass soft.”
6. Jay-Z & Kanye West, “Niggas In Paris”
What: The world-conquering smash single made famous for being played 10 times consecutively in concert.
Sample Lyric: “She said ‘Ye can we get married at the mall? / I said look you need to crawl before you ball / Come and meet me in the bathroom stall / And show me why you deserve to have it all.”
7. Chris Brown, “Wet the Bed”
What: The R&B hitmaker-turned hip-hop star angles for the throne of music’s most aquatic — and his future girlfriends better be limber.
Sample Lyrics: “I’m gonna make you wet the bed / I’m gonna make you wet the bed / I’m a put your legs behind your head.”
8. The Weeknd, “High For This”
What: The intro track from House of Balloons — the debut mixtape from R&B sensation, The Weeknd — finds Abel Tesfaye insisting that the object of his affection be high for their forthcoming fireworks.
Sample lyric: “Open your hand / Take a glass / Don’t be scared / I’m right here / Even though you don’t roll / Trust me girl / You wanna be high for this”
What: The opera, trance, and hip hop-derived deep cut from Gaga’s smash album, Born This Way, notable for the way espousing a muddled politics that could earn her a job with Herman Cain if music super-stardom doesn’t work out.
Sample Lyric: “I could be girl unless you want to be man / I could be sex unless you want to hold hands/ I could be anything / I could be everything / I could be mom/ Unless you want to be dad.”
What: The year’s biggest pop hit-maker stuns scores of parents and school bus drivers by singing the praises of probing oneself with a foreign object.
Sample Lyric: “Pockets on shrek, rockets on deck / Tell me what’s next / Alien sex / Imma disrobe you / Then Imma probe you.” (from Kanye West‘s rap)
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