• Wed. Jun 12th, 2024

Shaggy Says “It Wasn’t Me” Isn’t About Cheating

Shaggy Says "It Wasn't Me" Isn't About Cheating

In honor of Black Music Month in June, The Root is gearing up to launch an exclusive series about the history of Black music, full of stories and videos telling the story behind some of our favorite songs by Black artists. To kick things off, we’re starting with a song that is still a banger over two decades after its release – Shaggy’s 2000 hit, “It Wasn’t Me.”

The song hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in February 2001, a first for the artist, and it received a GRAMMY nomination for Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals. And the hook is undeniably catchy:

“But she caught me on the counter (It wasn’t me), Saw me bangin’ on the sofa (It wasn’t me), I even had her in the shower (It wasn’t me).”

But if you think the song is about Shaggy trying to deny, deny, deny after getting caught with another woman, he’s here to let you know that you got it all wrong. As he told PEOPLE in 2023, the song is actually an anti-cheating song, something most people miss because they don’t listen to the song all the way through.

Shaggy – It Wasn’t Me

“There’s a part in the record where it’s a conversation between two people and you have one guy, which is me at that point, giving that bad advice, like, ‘Yo, bro, how could you get caught? Just tell her, It wasn’t me,’” he said. “And then at the end, the guy says, ‘I’m going to tell her that I’m sorry for the pain that I’ve caused. I’ve been listening to your reasoning, it makes no sense at all. Going to tell her that I’m sorry for the pain that I’ve caused. You might think that you’re a player, but you’re completely lost.’”

Although most people miss the message he was trying to convey, Shaggy said he’s not mad. The fact that people think it’s a song about cheating has only helped boost the song’s staying power.

“What’s so good about that song is that it was relatable throughout the years. People do have this whole situation with cheating, and the thing about that is that you could be young, old, Black, white, straight, gay, whatever it is, it’s still relatable,” he said.

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