The song was one of the first songs produced by Johnny "J", who used samples of "Ooh Boy" by Rose Royce and "Tonight Is the Night" by Betty Wright. Rapper Tone Lōc, who had discovered Candyman, provided a spoken intro for the song and also appeared in the song's music video. Upon its release in the summer of 1990, "Knockin' Boots" became a success and quickly made it to No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100, spending 23 weeks on the chart. The song also reached the top of the rap chart and peaked at No. 5 on the R&B chart. "Knockin' Boots" reached gold certification on October 12, 1990 for sales of over 500,000 copies, before reaching platinum status on December 18 of that year for sales of one million copies.
The success of the single also led the Ain't No Shame in My Game album to achieve gold status on the same day the single reached platinum. Candyman's success, however, would be short-lived. "Knockin' Boots" was his only top 40 hit, classifying him as a one-hit wonder.