The song was originally released in 1987 on the album One Way. In 1992, it was later released on "Bad Boys" and the song was released as a single. It reached number 52 in the United Kingdom and number 8 in the United States, going gold along the way. The song was also released as B-side on Inner Circle's 1992 single "Sweat (A La La La La Long)".
In the episode, "Diamonds Are for Roger" of the Nickelodeon sitcom, Kenan & Kel, Kel believes that Kenan's father, Roger is in fact the "Diamond Bandit", after looking at a police sketch of the aforementioned criminal on a television screen. This causes Kel to sing a parody of "Bad Boys" called "Bad Dad".
Wrigley's uses their version of the song for their advertising of Extra chewing gum, changing the line "What you gonna do" to "What you gonna chew".