It Wasn't Me

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"It Wasn't Me"
Single by Shaggy and featuring Rikrok
from the album Hot Shot
Released September 11, 2000[1]
Recorded 1999–2000
Genre Reggae fusion[2]
Length 3:47
Label MCA
Producer(s) Shaun Pizzonia
Certification Gold (BPI)
Shaggy singles chronology
"Luv Me, Luv Me"
"It Wasn't Me"

"It Wasn't Me" is the first single from Jamaican-American reggae artist Shaggy's multi-platinum studio album Hot Shot (2000). The song features vocals from English singer Rikrok.

"It Wasn't Me" has been regarded as Shaggy's breakthrough in the pop market, and is his highest-charting song to date, topping the charts in Australia, Austria, France, Ireland, the United States, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.


"It Wasn't Me" was originally never intended to be released as a single. Before the original version of Hot Shot was released in August 2000, Hawaiian DJ Pablo Sato downloaded the album from "a Napster-like MP3 site he won't name" and discovered that "It Wasn't Me" was "the album's standout cut." He played the song on American radio the next day, and in an interview, claimed, "The phone lines lit up right away. Within a couple of days, it was our number-one requested song."[3] The song was then released as the album's first single in September 2000, following its radio success. The song is written in the key of C Mixolydian.

A parody by an unknown author was made about the Scooby-Doo character, Shaggy. The video focused about him being caught masturbating (about the girl next door) by his mother. The song was also parodied on Svengoolie. On The Chris Moyles Show, the song was used as a prank call with Shaggy trying to book a taxi, with the final line being "Can you drop me off at The Chris Moyles Show on BBC Radio One?, 97 to 99 FM".[4]

A German version titled Es war nicht mich, was released by singer Adams Hambüger-Hatt.


The lyrics of the song depict one man asking his friend what to do after his girlfriend caught him having sex with another woman. His friend's advice is to deny everything, despite clear evidence to the contrary, with the phrase "It wasn't me." Ultimately, the narrator says that the advice "makes no sense at all".

The clean version of the song replaces the lyric "Picture this; we were both butt-naked banging on the bathroom floor" with "Picture this; we were both caught making love on the bathroom floor" and "Saw me banging on the sofa" with "Saw me kissing on the sofa".

Music video[edit]

The music video was directed by Stephen Scott. It starts out with Rikrok running to Shaggy's mansion to explain to him what has just happened. Rikrok tells him that he cheated on his girlfriend and got caught. Shaggy tells him to tell her that "It wasn't me." The video then cuts into a flashback to earlier that day. Rikrok has been caught sleeping with another woman, and his girlfriend is outside the apartment in her convertible when two women pull up next to her on their motorcycles (sport bikes). Then the three women go into the building. He then sneaks out the window, takes the motorcycle of one of his girlfriends accomplices and leaves. The women come out and the girlfriend and one of the accomplices get in the convertible and the other women got on her motorcycle (sport bike) and they chase after him.

From his mansion, Shaggy, using his futuristic technology, tracks down where Rikrok is going and prepares an escape for him. Rikrok then gets on a bridge over the highway when the accomplice rode on the bridge in front of him. He then hits the brakes to stop while she stops her motorcycle. Rikrok then hears a noise behind him and it's the other accomplices and the girlfriend driving the convertible on the other side of the bridge with the highway down below, an 18-wheeler drives by and Shaggy leaves him a text message telling him to look behind and he notices the truck and jumps off the side of overhead and lands on the truck. He is then dropped off at Shaggy's mansion, showing the same scene from the start of the video.

Chart performances[edit]

The song was Shaggy's first number one hit in the U.S.. The song peaked at number two for two weeks from December 16, 2000[5] to December 23, 2000.[6] On December 30, 2000, it was bumped down one position to number three.[7] It moved back up to the number two spot on January 4, 2001.[8]

The single also reached number one in the UK Singles Chart on March 4, 2001, making the song a transatlantic chart topper. It also reached number one in Australia on April 1, 2001. It was also the 5th biggest selling single of the 21st century in the United Kingdom, with sales of 1.28 million as of November 2012.[9]

As of August 2014, it is the 49th best-selling single of the 21st century in France, with 399,500 units sold.[10]


The Shaggy defense[edit]

The lyrics of "It Wasn't Me" inspired Slate writer Luis Batista to coin the term the "Shaggy defense" to describe R. Kelly's defence at his child pornography trial stemming from the production of a sex tape: "I predict that in the decades to come, law schools will teach this as the 'Shaggy defense'. You allege that I was caught on camera, butt naked, banging on the log cabin floor? It wasn't me."[11] Levin repeated the term on NPR.[12] The term describes a strategy of flatly denying guilt and refusing to engage with the evidence against you, no matter how overwhelming. R. Kelly was ultimately found not guilty on all charges.[13]

The "Shaggy defense" was later referenced by Matthew Wilkening on AOL Radio, who ranked the song at No. 55 on the list of the 100 Worst Songs Ever, stating that the song was "[s]o bad it further corrupted lawyers. Meet the Shaggy defense: Lying in the face of overwhelming evidence."[14]

Track listings[edit]

  • U.K.
CD Single
  1. "It Wasn't Me" (Radio Edit) – 3:43
  2. "It Wasn't Me" (Vocal 12" Mix) – 3:49
  3. "Dance & Shout" (Pussy 2000 Club Mix Edit) – 8:07
  4. "It Wasn't Me" (Enhanced Video) – 3:43
Cassette single
  1. "It Wasn't Me" (Radio Edit) – 3:43
  2. "It Wasn't Me" (Album Version) – 3:47
  • U.S.
  1. "It Wasn't Me" (Album Version) – 3:47
  2. "It Wasn't Me" (Squeaky Remix) – 4:25
  3. "It Wasn't Me" (Instrumental) – 3:47
  4. "It Wasn't Me" (Sports Remix) – 3:27
  • Australia
  1. "It Wasn't Me" (Radio Edit) – 3:43
  2. "It Wasn't Me" (Vocal 12" Mix) – 3:49
  3. "Dance & Shout" (Pussy 2000 Club Mix Edit) – 8:07
  4. "Dance & Shout" (Dancehall Version) – 3:46
  5. "It Wasn't Me" (Enhanced Video) – 3:43

Charts and sales[edit]

Chart successions[edit]

Order of precedence
Preceded by
"Independent Women Part I" by Destiny's Child
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
February 3, 2001 - February 10, 2001 (2 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Ms. Jackson" by OutKast
Preceded by
"Puf / Schudden" by Def Rhymz
Dutch number-one single
March 3, 2001 - April 7, 2001 (6 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Damn (I Think I Love You)" by Starmaker
Preceded by
"Always Come Back to Your Love"
by Samantha Mumba
Irish (IRMA) number-one single
March 3, 2001 (1 week)
Succeeded by
"Uptown Girl" by Westlife
Preceded by
"Whole Again" by Atomic Kitten
UK number-one single
March 4, 2001 (1 week)
Preceded by
"La Passion" by Gigi D'Agostino
Belgian (Flanders) number-one single
March 24, 2001 - April 14, 2001 (4 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Teenage Dirtbag" by Wheatus
Preceded by
"Seul" by Garou
French SNEP number-one single
March 31, 2001 - June 2, 2001 (10 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Hasta la Vista" by MC Solaar
Preceded by
"Ms. Jackson" by OutKast
Eurochart Hot 100 number-one single
March 31, 2001 - June 2, 2001 (10 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Whole Again" by Atomic Kitten
Preceded by
"Case of the Ex" by Mýa
Australian ARIA number-one single
April 1, 2001 – April 22, 2001 (4 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Me, Myself and I" by Scandal'us

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "VH1 - Top 100 Greatest Songs of 2000's". Retrieved 2014-04-24. 
  2. ^ "Timelinkz bands". Retrieved 2014-04-01. 
  3. ^ Honolulu Advertiser
  4. ^ "Shaggy - Taxi". 2015-04-28. 
  5. ^ Billboard. Retrieved 25 August 2014. 
  6. ^ Billboard. Retrieved 25 August 2014. 
  7. ^ Michael Paoletta. 2000: The Year In Music. Billboard. Retrieved August 25, 2014. 
  8. ^ "'Independent' Stays On Top". Retrieved 25 August 2014. 
  9. ^ a b Ami Sedghi (4 November 2012). "UK's million-selling singles: the full list". Guardian. Retrieved 4 November 2012. 
  10. ^ "Top 100 des singles les plus vendus du millénaire en France, épisode 6 (50-41)". Chartsinfrance. 16 August 2014. Retrieved 2014-08-27. 
  11. ^ Josh Levin. May 21, 2008. "Dispatches From the R. Kelly Trial".
  12. ^ NPR. May 23, 2008. "Trapped in a Courtroom: The R. Kelly Trial".
  13. ^ R. Kelly Found Not Guilty!
  14. ^ Wilkening, Matthew (September 11, 2010). "100 Worst Songs Ever -- Part Three of Five". AOL Radio. Retrieved December 22, 2010. 
  15. ^ " – Shaggy feat. Rikrok – It Wasn't Me". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
  16. ^ " – Shaggy feat. Rikrok – It Wasn't Me" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
  17. ^ " – Shaggy feat. Rikrok – It Wasn't Me" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
  18. ^ " – Shaggy feat. Rikrok – It Wasn't Me" (in French). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
  19. ^ " – Shaggy feat. Rikrok – It Wasn't Me". Tracklisten. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
  20. ^ "Hits of the World: Eurochart Hot 100 (IFPI/Nielsen Marketing Research) 04/07/01". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media) 113 (14): 73. April 7, 2001. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  21. ^ " – Shaggy feat. Rikrok – It Wasn't Me" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
  22. ^ Irish Single Chart (Retrieved July 26, 2008)
  23. ^ " – Shaggy feat. Rikrok – It Wasn't Me". Top Digital Download. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
  24. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Shaggy feat. Rikrok search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
  25. ^ " – Shaggy feat. Rikrok – It Wasn't Me". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
  26. ^ " – Shaggy feat. Rikrok – It Wasn't Me". VG-lista. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
  27. ^ "Nielsen Music Control". Archived from the original on 2008-05-08. 
  28. ^ " – Shaggy feat. Rikrok – It Wasn't Me" Canciones Top 50. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
  29. ^ " – Shaggy feat. Rikrok – It Wasn't Me". Singles Top 60. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
  30. ^ " – Shaggy feat. Rikrok – It Wasn't Me". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
  31. ^ "Archive Chart: 2001-3-10" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
  32. ^ "Shaggy Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Shaggy. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
  33. ^ "Shaggy Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Pop Songs for Shaggy. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
  34. ^ "Shaggy Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for Shaggy. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
  35. ^ 2001 Australian Singles Chart (Retrieved August 12, 2008)
  36. ^ 2001 Austrian Singles Chart (Retrieved August 12, 2008)
  37. ^ 2001 Belgian (Flanders) Singles Chart (Retrieved August 12, 2008)
  38. ^ 2001 Belgian (Wallonia) Singles Chart (Retrieved August 12, 2008)
  39. ^ "Single top 100 over 2001" (PDF) (in Dutch). Top40. Retrieved 1 May 2010. 
  40. ^ 2001 French Singles Chart (Retrieved August 12, 2008)
  41. ^ 2001 Irish Singles Chart (Retrieved December 11, 2008)
  42. ^ 2001 Swiss Singles Chart (Retrieved August 12, 2008)
  43. ^ 2001 UK Singles Chart (Retrieved August 12, 2008)
  44. ^ "2001". Longbored Surfer. Retrieved 2014-04-01. 
  45. ^ Australian certifications (Retrieved August 12, 2008)
  46. ^ Austrian certifications (Retrieved August 12, 2008)
  47. ^ French certifications (Retrieved August 1, 2008)
  48. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank ('It+Wasn%27t+Me')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved August 12, 2008. 
  49. ^ Dutch certifications (Retrieved December 9, 2008)
  50. ^ Norwegian certifications (Retrieved August 12, 2008)
  51. ^ Swiss certifications (Retrieved August 12, 2008)
  52. ^ UK certifications (Retrieved August 12, 2008)
  • The Billboard Book of Number One Hits, fifth edition

External links[edit]