Single Review: Willa Ford “I Wanna Be Bad”

I Wanna Be Bad
Album: Willa Was Here
Year: 2001

Willa Ford discovers her carnal urges in the lusty “I Wanna Be Bad.”

Raucous drums and a breathy “Oh” from Ford open the single. With her synthesized vocals (via the vocoder), She says she wants to sleep with a boy she likes. (“Oh, I, I, I/I wanna be bad with you baby/I, I, I, I/I wanna be bad with you baby.”)

She’s aroused and inquires if he knows what the next step is. She entices him by saying she will be his fantasy. She aims to be in control and says she will able to do what he wants. But there are some ground rules. She tells him to let her know when and where they’ll have sex. (“Do you, understand what I need,need (from you)/Just let me be the girl to show you (you)/
Everything that she can be is everything that I can be/I wanna be/My turn/Let me let you know that I can (I can)/Promise that I won’t do that/So boy, say the time and place cuz you make me wanna misbehave.”)

Her physical attraction to him thills her, causing her to think of his body all the time. Her emotions are magnified and she’s willing to do whatever it takes to be satsified. (“I wanna be bad/You make bad look so good/I got things on my mind/I never thought I would/I, I wanna be bad (bad)/You make bad feel so good/I’m losing all my cool/I’m about to break the rules/
I, I wanna be bad.”)

The opening is sung again. (“I wanna be bad with you baby/I, I, I, I, I wanna be bad with you baby.”)

He’s experienced and not a virgin, unlike her. She wants to learn how to be erotic from him. She wants their sexual relationship to be kept a secret from the rest of the girls at school. She has to be certain he’s physically attracted to her, too. She’s treading cautiously, trying to figure out what he’s thinking. He doesn’t want to her think she’s a slut afterwards. (“What’s up?/Tell me what to do, how to be, teach me/All you your rules from A to Z,/But I, I dont wantcha other girls to see/that you’re messin’ round with me/Should I boy/Tell me what I got is what ya want/Tell Tell me do I, I turn you on/I don’t want no one judging me.”)

After the chorus and opening are sung twice, E-list rapper Royce Da 5’9 has a brief appearance. He promotes Enimen’s record label, builds up his street cred, and says he’s a bad boy.

The chorus is sung once to end the single.

In the 80s, Samantha went the porn/pop star route, selling herself as a fantasy. However, it made her music one-dimenionsal. She was a sure thing, so why the repeated assertions she was naughty?

Willa Ford improves on the Samantha Fox porn/pop star image. She’s aggressive but yet naive. She wants “to be bad” but isn’t quite the naughty girl she aspires to be. In the dynamic”I Wanna Be Bad,” Ford knows the reputation that girls who like sex get. However, she’s defiant and lets her urges empower rather than suppress.

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