Single Review: Lauryn Hill “Doo Wop (That Thing)”

Doo Wop (That Thing)
Album: The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
Year: 1998

While many songs glamorize casual sex, Lauryn Hill has decided to examine the emotions and consequences involved in it.

The music is a blend of doo-wop and hip hop. In the verses, she riffs along to a piano accompaint and then later to a trombone, quartet and saxophone and in the chorus. It’s 60s soul, but with a hip hop twist. Her matter-of-fact and honest rhymes address women in the first verse. She points out the contradictions of how women act (“How you think you really gon’ pretend /Like you wasn’t down then you called him again.”) She then stresses for women to be proud of themselves and expect better. However, to save herself from being a hypocrite, she rhymes “Don’t think I haven’t been through the same predicament.” A good pr move in the song, otherwise it would be a sermon.

In the next verse, it’s the men’s turn. She calls out the materalistic men, “pretty face men,” “the punk domestic violence men,” etc. Not a bad type goes by unscathed. However, the verse only ends up being a laundry list of bad men. Yes, those guys are about ‘that thing’, but why? She doesn’t answer the question. In this case, it’s not really understanding what’s going on inside a man’s head. More depth would have helped this verse. Otherwise, it’s an excellent single.

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