I can’t think of a less controversial thing to say than “No Diggity” by Blackstreet (feat. Dr. Dre) is one of the best tracks of the 90s. This smooth groove is downright timeless. It would be no rarity to find me, iPod in hand, trying (and failing) to maintain my stony stoicism on the subway as this pop classic sweet talks me on repeat.

I can’t say I find the lyrics here to be misogynist, though okay, they objectify the woman whose “it” is worked approvingly. Still, I have to defend this track and proclaim: if we reject all art, literature and music that participates in any form of so-called objectification then we can just resign ourselves to taking no part in, and deriving no joy from, the vibrant symbolic understandings of Dionysean lust that inspires pop’s more riotous fantasies.

Thanks, but no thanks.

Where I get all Pop Feminist about No Diggity is when Queen Pen unexpectedly busts on the scene, with her hard-ass answer to Blackstreet’s groveling. One seldom finds, if ever, the muse responding to her crooning admirer(s) in pop music, much less doing so with Queen Pen’s self-possessed pomposity.

Queen Pen gets the last word, telling “Chauncy” when and where she will meet him, the song concluding with the object of desire taking ownership of the sexually-charged situation, giving into Chauncy’s fantasies on her terms.

No diggity? No doubt.

No Diggity – Blackstreet

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