I still remember the first time I heard someone my own age say the word “fuck.” I was in second grade in Mrs. Wright’s class, and I was sitting on the bench behind the dugout waiting my turn at kickball. Josh Kaplan, a towheaded boy who also happened to be the class clown, was ahead of me, and when he kicked the ball out of bounds, he uttered the then-outlawed word, at which point I’m pretty sure every pre-pubescent jaw on the baseball field and beyond dropped.
“Josh said the f-word,” my classmates whispered to each other for the rest of the day. It was the talk not only of Mrs. Wright’s class, but of the entire second grade. It was a BIG deal.
And now it’s not. Not only are we adults, but the f-word — and seemingly every other cuss word — is pretty much OK to utter, even if you are a kid. Blame it on the media, the proliferation of rap music, or bad parenting, but the fact is saying “fuck” just isn’t that big of a deal anymore.
Not to mention, it means much more than just, “Aw, damn!” “Fuck,” which, admittedly, is my favorite swear word, can mean a variety of things, from “to have sex” to “go to hell” to well, just about anything. It’s sort of a place holder, like the Hawaiian pidgin word “dakine,” that can be used as an adjective to emphasize something if you can’t think of a more appropriate word.
“Fuck” also happens to be in the titles to many of my favorite songs, something I realized this morning when listening to Banks’ new song, “Fuck With Myself.” Sure, a lot of rap songs drop the f-bomb, but, like the Banks song proves, artists from other genres use it, too. There’s Lana Del Rey, Solange, and Peaches, to name but a few, and they use it in a range of contexts, as well. Oakland rapper J. Stalin’s track “Fuck Rite” might be about being great in bed, but Yo Gotti’s “Fuck Em” is more of an anthem for independence and not caring about what others think of you.
So if you used to (or still) think “fuck” is a terrible word, perhaps loosen up a bit? Everyone uses the word (I’m pretty sure even Beyonce does). In fact, you should probably go check out the track listings for each and every album released by your favorite artists because I’m willing to bet you’ll find at least one song that has the word “fuck” if not in its title, then at least in its lyrics.
So without further fucking ado, here are 12 great songs that include the word “fuck” in their titles.
1. “FuckWithMeYouKnowIGotIt” by Jay-Z and Rick Ross
Off of Jay-Z’s twelfth studio album, Magna Carta Holy Grail, “FuckWithMeYouKnowIGotIt” is probably one of the best songs to drop the f-bomb, not to mention the only one featuring two of hip-hop’s biggest names/bosses: Jay-Z and Rick Ross. The dark, cavernous track is laced with a propelling synth melody and pulsing bass, and it’s not only catchy, but clever. Listen to the song’s opening in which Pimp C makes a bizarre case for why black people love “shiny things” — “It’s in our genes,” he says — and keep an ear out for other repeat-worthy lines, like when Ross brags about just “land[ing] in Europe, *igga / Shopping bags I’m a tourist *igga” or how he doesn’t “bop,” but instead does “the money dance.” (I still have no idea what that means, but then again, I’m not an expert on coolness and hip-hop lingo, so what do I know?)
2. “IDGAF” by YG
This synth-pierced song is perfect for a number of occasions, but I highly recommend you add it to your workout playlist. A song about loyalty and, well, not giving a fuck, this YG track will pump you up and push you to sweat and work harder than you thought you could. (Believe me, I’ve tried listening to it while running and it really works!) This OG YG banger off of one of his early mixtapes back when he was unsigned also features a verse from Olympic athlete Will Claye, which, though random, is also kind of cool. The takeaway? Confidence and a no-fucks attitude will get you far in life, hell, it might even win you a gold medal.
3. “Fuck With Myself” by Banks
Alternative R&B singer Banks dropped this string- and bass-filled ditty in July a few weeks after her 28th birthday, and it easily gets my vote as one of the best songs of 2016. The music video is rather trippy — as most of her videos are — but it’s the song that takes the cake. You should be your number one fan and love yourself faults and all, is, I’m assuming, what Banks is trying to say in this eerie track — she’s just saying it in a lot cooler, more succinct way than I ever could. The moral? Fuck with yourself because trying to find self-love through others is a shitty idea.
4. “FDB (Fuck Dat Bitch)” by Young Dro
Young Dro’s hi-hat and cymbal punctuated song, “FDB,” might not be the most female-friendly track, but if you reimagine it as a track about any “bitch,” regardless of gender, then it has a more universal appeal. Sometimes people suck. They can be mean, back-stabbing, spiteful, or just plain negligent. In that case, you have a number of options (which I won’t get into), but perhaps the safest one is just to tell them to “fuck off.” Because, at the end of the day, as Banks sings in the track above, all you need is yourself. So, fuck that bitch and just do you.
5. “Some Things Never Seem to Fucking Work” by Solange
Before I get into talking about Solange’s role in this track, I’ve got to give a shoutout to Dev Hynes, a.k.a. Blood Orange, for his amazing, shimmery, ’80s-inspired production on this track. Damn, your good, Hynes. Soooooo good, as one of my ex-boyfriend’s said all-too-often. As for Solange, she kills it in this sultry, laidback dance song about young love that’s doomed to fail. There’s speculation that Solange wrote the track about her relationship with Daniel Smith whom she married when she was 17 and had a child with. Hindsight’s a bitch, but hey, at least you can always turn your past mistakes and pain into killer songs, like Solange did with this one.
6. “Fuck Em” by Yo Gotti
The second track off of Yo Gotti’s January 2015 DJ Drama-produced mixtape Concealed, “Fuck Em” is a clever mash-up of Gotti’s gravelly vocals over Route 94’s dance track, “My Love.” Though “My Love” sounds like it could have been played in the 1998 film A Night At The Roxbury, it pairs well with Gotti’s monologue about not caring about what anyone thinks, be it his label or his parole officer. Sure, there might be repercussions to going against others’ orders, but I guess you can afford to do so when you 1) own your label and 2) there’s already a warrant out for your arrest.
7. “Fuck The Pain Away” by Peaches
“Fuck The Pain Away” came out in 2000 and actually became the Canadian indie-artist’s breakthrough song — proving that songs with “fuck” in their titles aren’t a deterrent to general audiences and/or that a number of people also like to bone their problems away. It’s a raunchy song with lines about “sucking on my titties” and “sex on the beaches,” but it’s also rather playful and simple, making it an easy song to learn and an especially fun one to karaoke to. Ever-sexual vixen that she is, it’s not surprise that Peaches is a proponent of “doing it” to get over things, and you know what? She might be right. As they say: The best way to get over someone is to get under someone else.
8. “Fuck Rite” by J. Stalin
“Fuck Rite” is one of the standout tracks from Oakland rapper J. Stalin’s 2015 album Tears of Joy (which SF Weekly chose as one of the Best Albums of 2015). While it’s not hyphy, “Fuck Rite” has that slinky, bass-heavy quality that is unmistakably Bay Area, as well as an echo-y female voice in the background, which adds depth to the track. As you might guess by the song’s title, Stalin is professing his prowess in the bedroom, talking specifically to an unnamed lady who it appears is faced with the difficult choice of having to choose between two men. Though I’m not a fan of cocky, boastful dudes, there’s something to be said about a guy who’s so confident in his skills that he’d write a song about it. So, if you’re listening unnamed lady, I’d choose Stalin. He’s probably the better lay.
9. “Fucked My Way Up To The Top” by Lana Del Rey
In typical Lana Del Rey fashion, “Fucked My Way Up To The Top” is a misty, hazy piano ballad that, based on its instrumentals alone, doesn’t disappoint, and the fact that Del Rey is singing about having “fucked my way up to the top” is also pretty cool. Sure, you could interpret this song as if it were about a woman who has lost her morals and has no sense of self-worth, but I doubt that’s what Del Rey was going for because the song can also be interpreted in a wholly different way. I prefer to view it as a song about power and control; one that tells the story of a woman who sticks it to the man, rather than letting him stick it to her, and in the end, she’s the one who comes out on top. Not to mention, sometimes you’ve just gotta do what you’ve gotta do to make certain things happen, and if that’s the case, who am I to judge? I certainly am no saint, and I doubt you are, either.
10. “Fuck Tha Police” by N.W.A.
“Fuck Tha Police” has probably made it on a number of lists, because it’s more than just a song with the word “fuck” in its title: it’s a protest song and an important one at that. Released in 1998, the N.W.A. track was one of the first, not to mention catchiest, anthems against police brutality and racial profiling. The way in which the young rap crew from Compton did so is also interesting: The song is a parody of a court proceeding with Dr. Dre serving as the judge and Ice Cube, MC Ren, and Eazy-E as testifiers on the stand. There’s no doubt that this song would have been on this list, the only sad thing is that even though its 28 years old, it’s still relevant in today’s world.
11. “FDT (Fuck Donald Trump)” by YG and Nipsey Hussle
Like N.W.A.’s “Fuck Tha Police,” “FDT” is also a protest song, and it couldn’t be more timely. YG and Nipsey Hussle take the stand against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, which is a big deal not just because they’re high-profile rappers who are getting their opinion out, but because this song has (and will continue to) reach a slew of youngsters who might not otherwise vote or a give a shit about politics. Thanks to this song, the Secret Service contacted YG and his label because they were worried about other politically-charged material that might be on his forthcoming album, Still Brazy, but they needn’t worry. Other than “FDT,” Still Brazy is a good ol’ West Coast ratchet-rap record, and “FDT” just happens to be its golden egg.
12. “Fucking Boyfriend” by The Bird and The Bee
I loved this song the moment I first heard it back in 2007 when I was working at a fancy boutique clothing store on Melrose Avenue. At the time, I was loveless and thus couldn’t relate to or even fathom a situation in which I’d be dating someone who wouldn’t want to automatically be my boyfriend, but then, almost 10 years later, I met a guy and realized how apropos this song can be in the right situation. Though we’d been dating for three months and spent pretty much every day together, the dude I was seeing never mentioned being my boyfriend or hinted at wanting a relationship. I finally got the courage to ask him if he wanted to be my BF — to which he responded “No” — but I remember at the time wanting to play this song for him instead. Even though The Bird and The Bee are singing about a shitty situation, it’s a remarkably sweet and lighthearted song, no doubt due to Inara George’s crystalline voice. So what can you learn from this song? Don’t be afraid to ask questions, but if you are, there’s probably a song that will say the same thing for you instead.