How Many Licks?

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For the candy lollipop employing this as a slogan, see Tootsie Pops.
"How Many Licks?"
Lil kim feat sisqo-how many licks s.jpg
Single by Lil' Kim featuring Sisqó
from the album The Notorious K.I.M.
Released July 1, 2000 (2000-07-01)
Recorded 2000
Length 3:52
  • Mario Winans
  • Kimberly Jones
  • Mark Andrews
  • Sean Combs
  • Christopher Wallace
  • Mario Winans
  • Sean Combs
Lil' Kim singles chronology
"No Matter What They Say"
"How Many Licks?"
"Wait a Minute"
Sisqó singles chronology
"What These Bitches Want"
"How Many Licks?"

"How Many Licks?" is a song recorded by American rapper Lil' Kim featuring guest vocals by American R&B singer and songwriter Sisqó. It serves as the second and final single from her second studio album The Notorious K.I.M. (2000). The song is about Lil' Kim bragging about the various men she has been with and the effects her "dolls" have on men. The song samples the theme from the TV show Knight Rider.[citation needed]

"How Many Licks?" was Lil' Kim's second consecutive single to have minor success on the Billboard Hot 100, being able to reach only number 75. It fared better on the Hot Rap Songs and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts, peaking at numbers 11 and 36 respectively. A music video directed by Francis Lawrence was released for the single and features Kim releasing a line of dolls identical to her for men to practice sexual acts onto. A remix for the song (produced by The Neptunes), features verses from fellow rappers Snoop Dogg and Lil' Cease with Pharrell and Kelis on the hook.

Chart performance[edit]

"How Many Licks" debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 90 and rose to its peak at number 75. It did far better on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks peaking at number 36. On the Hot Rap Singles chart it did the best peaking at number 11. The song became a hit in late 2000 in the Netherlands, where it peaked at number 6 in the Dutch Top 40 and remained 13 weeks in the charts. As of 2016 How Many Licks? has sold over 4.3 million copies in the US. 1 million physical copies and 2 million digital.

Music video[edit]

The music video directed by Francis Lawrence[1] follows a storyline in which the protagonist, Kim, releases a line of comestible dolls in her own likeness, intended to be used by men to practice cunnilingus. In the initial stanza, Kim rhapsodizes over the diverse, heterogeneous population of men with whom she has engaged in intercourse, and how they have satisfied her sexually and non-sexually. The figurine introduced during this sequence is christened "Candy Kim."

The subsequent verse is directed to her fans currently residing in the corrections system, specifically men who enjoy cannabis and onanism while envisioning themselves coupling with Kim; the singer suggests she is so prepossessing that images of her incite fisticuffs among the internees. She dubs herself "Pin-Up Kim," whose images festoon the cells of the incarcerated.

The concluding section introduces yet another incarnation, "NightRider Kim." NightRider Kim drives an ebony Lamborghini at high velocity, decelerating only when she sees a comely man. The watchword for this final section is "She doesn't satisfy you... you satisfy her." She demands that the listener appease her, admonishing that, if he fails to do so, he must attempt the task again until he succeeds. She stresses that men should perform cunnilingus on her "like it's rehearsal for a tootsie commercial." This allusion reveals the basis for the title of the composition, because since 1970, Tootsie Pops has been running a television advertisement with the tagline, "How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?" Sisqó does not appear in the video.

Track listings[edit]

  • German CD single[2]
  1. "How Many Licks?" (Album Version) - 3:54
  2. "How Many Licks?" (Soul Society Remix) (Clean Version) - 3:49
  • UK Promo CD
  1. "How Many Licks?" (Clean Radio Version) - 3:57
  2. "How Many Licks?" (Squeaky Clean Radio Version) - 3:57
  3. "How Many Licks?" (Instrumental) - 3:57
  • European/Australian Maxi CD[3]
  1. "How Many Licks?" (Soul Society Remix) (Clean Version) - 3:48
  2. "How Many Licks?" (Sicknote 2 Step Remix) (Clean Version) - 4:13
  3. "How Many Licks?" (Simon Vegas Remix) (Clean Version) - 3:53
  4. "How Many Licks?" (Radio Edit) (Clean Version) - 3:57
  5. Enhanced Video
  • US Remix Promo CD
  1. "How Many Licks?" (Neptunes Remix) (Explicit) - 4:47
  2. "How Many Licks?" (Neptunes Remix) (Clean) - 4:44

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits for "How Many Licks?" are taken from the liner notes.[4]

  • Recorded at Daddys' House Recording Studios, NYC & Trans Continental Studios, Orlando, FL.
  • Recorded by Stephen Dent, Dave Wade.
  • Vocals - Lil' Kim
  • Writers - K. Jones, M. Winans, M. Andrews, S. Combs
  • Producer - Mario "Yellowman" Winans, Sean "Puffy" Combs
  • Mixing - Ed Raso, Stephen Dent
  • Mastering - Chris Athens