As a kid in the '90s, I was exposed to some many pop culture phenomenons that I didn't quite understand. From the adult-based jokes on Living Single and Martin to the bi-coastal beef that were the precursors to the deaths of both Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G., so many things were way too big for our little minds to comprehend. Included in the pot of things that '90s kids barely understood were '90s song lyrics you sang all the time, even though you had no idea what they meant.
This happened quite often for me as I listened to and sang everything that I could possibly get my hands (or rather, ears) on in the '90s. Regardless of what the song was about, if I could figure out the lyrics well enough so that I could sing them, I felt like I was queen of the world. To be quite honest, there are many songs from the '90s that I didn't discover what they said or meant until I was in my 20s.
Though most songs that were listened to from the '90s had hidden meanings, these 15 songs were ones that had many kids singing along with no idea of what was going on.
1"Waterfalls" by TLC
TLC's "Waterfalls" was a song that was a little too advanced for me in the '90s. It was cool to sing along to and dance to, but kids back then definitely had no idea what the then-trio was really talking about.
2"Too Hot" by Coolio
"Too Hot" was one of my sister and I's favorite songs from the '90s. Though I'm not sure if she understood what they were talking about back then, I definitely didn't know that they were referring to catching HIV/AIDS.
3"Genie In A Bottle" by Christina Aguilera
Yeah, Christina Aguilera was definitely talking about a romp in the sack with this one.
4"Closing Time" by Semisonic
Though I don't recall ever having my own definition of Semisonic's 1998 single "Closing Time," I remember hearing it on an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and always just thought they were talking about their local club, The Bronze. Apparently though, the song was actually about having a baby, Bustle noted.
5"2 Become 1 " by Spice Girls
As a kid in the '90s, "2 Become 1" quickly became one of my favorite songs by the Spice Girls. Little did I know, those girls were actually singing about adding a little spice in their life for real.
6"Freak Like Me" by Adina Howard
"Freak Like Me" will forever be one of my favorite songs from the '90s, but to be quite honest, I had no idea what Adina Howard was talking about until I got older.
7"Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)" by Green Day
Every high school student in the '90s and early '00s played this song as a sign off to their friends during senior year, Bustle noted that the song was actually about getting dumped.
8"What's It Gonna Be?" by Busta Rhymes feat. Janet Jackson
Between Busta Rhymes fast rapping and Janet Jackson's monotone vocals, it never occurred to me that she said "gonna make you think of naughty things" instead of whatever the heck I originally thought.
9"Pony" by Ginuwine
True story: when my sister and I first heard Ginuwine's "Pony," we thought a woman was singing it. That may be why I never realized he was "just a bachelor looking for a partner." I didn't understand that his saddle was actually a term for sex.
10"Can U Get Wit It" by Usher
Released in 1994, the then-teenage Usher delivered a sex-driven single with "Can U Get Wit It." Singing about topics well above his age range, this song was one that R&B lovers sang regardless of age without giving second thought to what he was singing about.
11"Scream" by Michael Jackson feat. Janet Jackson
12"Action" by Terror Fabulous feat. Nadine Sutherland
If you're not a dancehall or reggae music lover, Terror Fabulous and Nadine Sutherland's popular '90s track "Action" won't resonate with you. Back then though, I had no idea what "My chemistry is flowin'. Can you cause a chain reaction?" meant.
13"O.P.P." by Naughty By Nature
Perhaps known as Naughty By Nature's most popular track, "O.P.P." didn't give me the impression that they were talking about sleeping with other people's spouses back then.
14"MmmBop" by Hanson
Honestly, did anyone even know what these boys were talking about? Because I know I didn't. According to an interview Zac Hanson did in 2012 though, the song was about time passing and deciding what to hold on to.
15"Freaks" by Vicious
The first thing that should be addressed with the song "Freaks" by Vicious is the fact that many people had no idea that it was a little kid singing this song. If you really listen to the lyrics to this song, it'll become really clear why '90s kids (and Vicious himself) had no business singing this song we loved so much.