In The Ones of the ’10s, I’m reviewing every single that hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the 2010s and working my way up into the present.
LMFAO- “Sexy and I Know It”
HIT #1: January 7, 2012
STAYED AT #1: 2 weeks
I’m usually not a person who likes picking out what my favorite or least favorite songs are. For me, there are just so many songs that have made a huge impression on me that it’s tough to pick out what songs I like and hate the most. But there are some songs that I can easily pick that stand out among the very best and very worst songs I’ve ever heard. We’re talking about one of those songs today with LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It” their piece of shit second, and final, #1 single that just may rank among my worst #1 hit songs ever.
By the time “Sexy and I Know It” hit #1, LMFAO, the family duo related to Motown founder Berry Gordy, were coming off the biggest success of their career. After spending a few years bubbling under, they hit it big with “Party Rock Anthem” which gave LMFAO their first taste of major chart success hitting #1 and dominating much of 2011. It was a stupid, mindless but fun party song that was better than it had any right to be. It was clear they wouldn’t make anything this good again.
After “Party Rock Anthem,” LMFAO released “Champagne Showers” which was more in line with their real persona: annoying as fuck electropop songs with loud repetitive beats and AutoTune complete with lyrics that are trying to be comedic but come across as very crass, un-comedic, and disgusting in the worst kinds of the ways. “Champagne Showers” did nothing in America as it failed to chart on the Hot 100 which is good. Unfortunately for their next single, LMFAO released another annoying and unfunny as fuck electro song that with its meme inducing title and video guaranteed them another hit right as “Party Rock Anthem” had fallen from #1.
LMFAO member Redfoo said that “Sexy and I Know It” was written as a jab toward people who flaunt their sexiness when they aren’t sexy by normal society standards which he described as “hairy old men in a Speedo on the beach with huge bellies, sunglasses and a cigar.” In another interview, Redfoo described his own version of sexy, “Sexy is confidence. It’s ‘I don’t care what other people think, but I want them to think I’m sexy at the same time.”
The song’s inspiration is similar to when Right Said Fred wrote their 1992 #1 smash “I’m Too Sexy” poking fun at the narcissism of the male supermodels of the time. The difference between “I’m Too Sexy” and “Sexy and I Know It” is that “I’m Too Sexy” is a fun song while “Sexy and I Know It” sucks shit.
Just everything about the song is crap. Musically, the song’s just this three-note electro beat played throughout that gets more and more annoying throughout. Lyrically, Redfoo is talking about how sexy he is and rubbing it in your face. He brags about how girls check him out and think he’s hot, tanning his ass on the beach, walking around in a Speedo and not getting in trouble with security at the mall, and how he can still get service without shoes and shirts. When he walks around flaunting his sexiness, people stop and stare because as Redfoo puts it, “I got passion in my pants and I ain’t afraid to show it/Show it, show it, show it.” (I don’t want to guess what the passion in his pants are.)
Also on the bridge, Redfoo is just repeating “wiggle” ad nauseam which makes me wonder what grown person says wiggle and thinks it’s even remotely sexy. As Youtube critic Todd in the Shadows puts it, has there ever been a good song that uses wiggle anywhere in it because I surely can’t think of any.
If there’s a good visual representation for “Sexy and I Know It,” it’s the part in the music video where Redfoo is standing in public in a Speedo swinging it around for everyone to see. It’s that representation that shows why I and a lot of people just can’t stand the song. It has this smug narcissism that gives off the impression that Redfoo clearly feels superior in his sexiness without any hint of self-awareness making him just as unlikeable as the real-life narcissists who like to brag all the time about how hot and buff they are. It’s also not hard to sense the irony of the song in that LMFAO are not sexy and they know it. I mean going by how they look in the video they are a 6 at best. It’s not funny in the slightest.
While “Party Rock Anthem” may not have been a high work of art or anything, LMFAO were able to use their limited skills of lyrics and production to their advantage and create a fun time for all. “Sexy and I Know It” is not a fun time for all. Nowadays, the song mainly exists as this embarrassment that we’ve been doing our best to forget since.
Personal story: In seventh grade, around the time “Sexy and I Know It” was big, I remember very clearly my gym teacher playing the song a lot during classes. My teacher was, and is, a big advocate of fitness at my middle school so you could imagine he’d find something in “Sexy And I Know It.” He would always shout out “I workout” when the line came on. Because of that, the image of my gym teacher shouting a stupid line is what comes into my head now when I think of “Sexy And I Know It.” It’s funny to think back on but it still doesn’t mean I think the song is anything more than shit.
Thankfully, I can report that after “Sexy and I Know It” LMFAO never had another Top 10 hit. They didn’t even make much of a Hot 100 impact afterward either. LMFAO only managed one more song on the Hot 100, “Sorry For Party Rocking,” which peaked at #49 only a few months after “Sexy And I Know It” peaked.
Right before their 15 minutes of fame ran out, LMFAO netted a major guest spot at the Super Bowl XLVI Halftime Show with Madonna performing their two #1 hits. Later in September, the duo announced they were going on hiatus. Both members put out some solo material that never hit and Redfoo got a job as a judge on the Australian version of The X-Factor for some reason. Nowadays, both members put out music when they want to but have largely lived their lives out of the music business. From this point, it looks like they won’t be reuniting anytime soon. Good. I think we’ll all be better off without an LMFAO reunion.
BONUS BEATS: Here’s Jimmy Fallon as Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen performing an acoustic version of “Sexy and I Know It” on a 2012 episode of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon:
(Jimmy Fallon has never gotten a Top 10 single. His highest-charting single, 2014’s “EW!” with will.i.am, peaked at #26. Neil Young got to #1 with 1972’s “Heart of Gold.” It’s an 8. Bruce Springsteen’s highest-charting single, 1984’s “Dancing In The Dark” peaked at #2. It’s another 8.)
BONUS BONUS BEATS: Here’s “Sexy and I Know It” playing in a 2012 M&M’s commercial that aired in that year’s Super Bowl:
BONUS BONUS BONUS BEATS: Here’s “Sexy and I Know It” soundtracking a party scene on a 2012 episode of Grey’s Anatomy: