Shaggy says fans have always misunderstood ‘It Wasn’t Me’

He claims the message was misunderstood because “nobody listened to the record to the end”

Shaggy has claimed that the message behind his hit song ‘It Wasn’t Me’ has been misunderstood for years.

Still one of his most popular tracks to date, the Rickardo “RikRok” Ducent  featuring ‘It Wasn’t Me’ was released as part of Shaggy’s 2000 album ‘Hot Shot’, and quickly became one of the most recognisable songs of the ’00s.

Over two decades after the track was released, however, Shaggy has claimed that fans have misunderstood its message, and clarified that the hit was meant to be an “anti-cheating song”.


Speaking to People, he explained that while the song — believed to be about a man denying cheating on his partner — had led to him having a reputation as a “player”, that wasn’t his intention at all.

“It was a big misconception with that song because that song is not a cheating song,” he said. “It’s an anti-cheating song. It’s just that nobody listened to the record to the end.

“There’s a part in the record where it’s a conversation between two people. You have one guy, which is me at that point, giving that bad advice, like, ‘Yo, bro, how could you get caught? Just tell her, ‘It wasn’t me.’”

He continued, elaborating on the second half of the conversation which he believes was overlooked: “Then at the end, the guy says, ‘I’m going to tell her that I’m sorry for the pain that I’ve caused. I’ve been listening to your reasoning, it makes no sense at all […] You might think that you’re a player, but you’re completely lost’… Nobody hears that part! That’s what the song says.”

The ‘Boombastic’ singer kicked off his ongoing tour in Alabama last Thursday (June 1), and upcoming dates will see the veteran rapper joined onstage by the likes of Sean Kingston, TLC and En Vogue throughout the summer.


“These are all people I personally have worked with before and know. Sean and me — that’s my island boy. I’ve known him for years,” he said (via Joe), speaking of the array of artists joining him for the live dates.

“It is really great to be on the bill with these wonderful ladies. I did Europe with En Vogue, I think on two occasions,” he added. “As far as TLC is concerned, I’ve done like eight shows last year in America with them, and there was a massive turnout.”

Shaggy. Credit: Jonathan Mannion

Back in 2020, the rapper — whose real name is Orville Richard Burrell CD — released a 20th-anniversary re-recording of his ‘Hot Shot’ album, which was reconfigured to fit modern tastes and trends.

In a two-star review, however, NME criticised the album for creating reimagined tracks that “aren’t exactly as wild a ride as you’d half-hope they would be”.

“The songs remain largely faithful to their original versions, and the odd moments where Shaggy does unashamedly aim for that TikTok crowd sadly come off as jarring asides,” it read. “‘It Wasn’t Me’ is interspersed with hand claps and EDM-ish vocal pitch shifts, while there’s a dubstep breakdown on ‘Boombastic’ (in the year 2020!) and even a Daft Punk-like vocoder that’s thrown in on ‘Oh Carolina’ for no apparent reason.”

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