Music

Missy Elliott Say's Tweet's 'Oops, (Oh My)' Isn't About Sex

Tweet burst onto the music scene in the early 2000s with her debut single “Oops (Oh My).” For years, fans believed the song was about self-pleasure and were proud that a woman would be so bold in singing about her sexuality. In a recent Tweet, Missy Elliott, who helped write the song, set the record straight.

Missy Elliott co-wrote and produced “Oops (Oh My)” for Tweet

“Oops (Oh My)” is the debut single for Tweet. The song was released in 2002 and is a single off of the singer’s debut studio album Southern Hummingbird.

Along with Tweet (real name Charlene Keys), Elliott co-wrote the song. Elliot’s longtime producing partner Timbaland produced the track. Background vocals on the track are also Elliott’s.

Tweet and Elliott’s relationship developed long before Tweet’s first album. The two met in 1994 and became fast friends. At the time, Tweet was in a girl group. Both she and Elliott were signed to Jodeci member Devante Swing’s music company, Swing Mob. At the time, Tweet was a member of the female trio, Sugah. She even credits Elliott with saving her life as she once contemplated suicide.

During the 2017 ESSENCE Music Festival, Tweet opened up about how Elliot’s encouragement changed her life. “I met Missy in ’94. We both were in a crew with DeVante from Jodeci.  He had this whole crew with Timbaland, Missy, Playa, Ginuwine, myself. So, she left to become who she is. Around 1999, she left the group and I was contemplating taking my life,” she said. 

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Tweet continued: “Just at that moment, Missy called. We had lost contact for like five years. She called me and said, ‘I need you to be on this record.’ I’m like ‘whatever.’ She sent a car and I went to L.A. and then that same visit, I got my deal. Then ‘Oops’ came out the next year.”

Thankfully, Elliott’s belief in Tweet catapulted her into solo success. The song became popular fairly quickly and was a commercial success both in the US and internationally. “Oops (Oh My)” peaked at number seven on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. The song also reached number five on the UK Singles Chart. 

Other artists covered the song, including English electropop band Ladytron, who released their own cover of the song for their 2003 compilation album Softcore Jukebox.

“Oos (Oh My)” helped push Southern Hummingbird to gold status. The album was met with positive reviews by music critics, with a Rolling Stone Magazine review noting “Oops (Oh My)” as one of the album’s strongest tracks.

Both Missy Elliott and Tweet say “Oops (Oh My)” is about self-love despite the perceived raunchy lyrics

Many believe the lyrics in “Oops (Oh My)” detail a woman’s love of masturbation. On the track, Tweet sings, “OOPS! There goes my shirt up over my head, oh my / OOPS! There goes my skirt droppin to my feet, oh my / OOH! Some kind of touch caressing my face, oh my / OOH! I’m turnin’ red who could this be.”

In a recent Tweet, Elliott put speculation to rest about the nature of the song, writing, “#Funfact this song was never bout masturbation. It was always about her appreciating her dark skin (self-love) when she looked in the mirror. It was the listeners that thought it was about sex & just ran with it..& we just let the consumers mind create what they wanted.”

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Per Madame Noire, Tweet previously confirmed Elliott’s sentiments in an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show

“People can take their definition of what any song means to them, but for me, the song wasn’t about masturbation — it was about self-love,” she said. “That’s what the song was about — getting naked and just loving what you saw. It was empowering for me to write the song because I felt like I didn’t love myself.”

She continued: “I came from a time where my skin — being a dark-skinned woman — it wasn’t really ‘in’. I would always be teased for my skin color and would always be called different names for my skin color, so I was empowering myself in writing the song.”

Tweet went on to release two additional studio albums. She’s currently back in the studio with Elliott by her side on production and writing.

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