Freak Like Me

Freak like me tits

Date Aired
May 8, 2017
Running Time
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Todd plays "Freak Like Me" on the piano.


A one-hit wonder retrospective

Todd: Welcome back to One-Hit Wonderland where we take a look back into the bands and artists only known for one song. And now that I am finally, finally, finally done with the requests, it's time to go back to the music that I want to review. And I want something... [clip of Rock Me Amadeus] far away from the poncy new wave stuff I've been covering.

Todd: Yeah. Yeah, I want something a little more raw. But what? Hm...punk? Gangsta rap? Nu-metal? know what actually? I think we're gonna take it in a bit of a different direction.

[Clip of "Freak Like Me"]

Adina: Let me lay it on the line
I got a little freakiness inside
Todd (VO): The year was 1995, and R&B was in the midst of a radical change in style, thanks to the increasing encroachment of gangsta rap into the genre. And to be sure it wasn't a complete change, on the one hand, you still had your Whitney and your Mariah. But on the other end of the spectrum...

Todd: had Adina.

Adina: 'Cause I will be a freak until the day until the dawn
And we can pump, pump all through the night till the early morn
Todd (VO): This is Adina Howard with her #2 single "Freak Like Me." Seriously an underrated song that I don't see anyone mention anymore. And if they do, it's because there was [clip of Sugababes - "Freak Like Me"] this cover version by a British girl group that mashed it up with a grinding 80's techno song, and all the snobby music critics like Pitchfork loved it. And I did, too, it's a great cover.

Todd: The original is better.

Adina: I want to freak in the morning
A freak in the evening just like me
Todd (VO): And more than anything else, what set "Freak Like Me" apart was just how racy it was. Adina Howard's entire persona screamed sex. As you can tell by the cover of her album which introduced her to America ass-first.
Adina: 'Cause we can pump, pump any time of day, it's all good for me
Todd (VO): Yet in reality, the lyrics of this song are not actually all that dirty. But it sure seemed like it compared to everything else from that year. Seriously, check her out. [Clip of TLC - "Red Light Special"] TLC was more than capable of being sexual, but TLC...

Todd: ...looked like girl scouts compared to Adina.

Todd (VO): And just like every other brazenly sexual woman before or since, there was always a conversation around her. Is this empowering to women? Is it exploitative?

Todd: I dunno. It's kind of complicated. I'm certainly not comfortable with some of the things of the time that people were saying about her, like Washington Post columnist Donna Britt called her part of a "culture-wide sickness." And on the other hand, I found a review in Vibe that describes her "acute, holike tendencies," and that's from a positive review. Goddamn, let a girl be. Can't y'all just enjoy the song? It's a good song.

Backup vocal: One to the two to the two to the three
Adina, do ya wanna get freaky with me?
Before the hit

Transcript in progress