“Doo-Wop (That Thing”) was the debut single off of American rapper Lauryn Hill’s debut album: “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill”, released in August of 1998. Hill was the first woman since Debbie Gibson to have a #1 song that she wrote, produced and recorded on her own.
The track is a warning to both men and women to not be exploited by one another for “that thing”, meaning sexual intercourse. Hill changes up the chorus to speak to both men and women, warning women that “some guys are only about that thing”, and warning men that “some girls are only about that thing”. The song emphasizes self-respect, particularly in women: “Baby girl, respect is just a minimum”. Hill also calls out men who are “Quick to shoot the semen, stop acting like boys and be men”. The song was a catalyst for a new movement of self-worth and self-respect in both men and women.
The music video was filmed in Manhattan’s Washington Heights, featuring Hill and her sister singing side by side at a block party. The screen is split, with the left side showing the sisters dressed in 1960’s attire, which is supposed to be paying homage to older R&B culture, while the right-side shows Hill in the present 90’s hip-hop scene. The music video was uploaded to Lauryn Hill’s official YouTueb channel in 2010, and has over 74 million views.
Release Date: 7th July 1998
Songwriter/s: Lauryn Hill
Producer/s: Lauryn Hill
Label/s: Ruffhouse / Columbia
Music Video Release Date: 1998
Music Video Director: Andy Delaney
Chart Rankings, Certifications, Accolades & Awards: In the song’s year of release, it went to #1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 (this was her first and only Billboard Hot 100 ever), as well as going to #1 in the UK R&B Official Charts. It also made it to the charts in Canada, Switzerland, France, Australia, the Netherlands and many other countries. It received Gold certification in the United States, as well as being #359 on the “Songs of the Century” list created by the Recording Industry Association of America. It won two Grammy Awards in 1999: “Best R&B Song” as well as “Best Female R&B Vocal Performance”. The music video won four awards at the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards, winning “Best Female Video”, “Best R&B Video”, “Best Art Direction” and “Video of the Year”.