This song is about men who have nothing going for them, but hit on women just the same, even resorting to hopeless tactics like hollering at them from the passenger seat of their friend's car. The song vaulted the term "scrub" into the popular lexicon, and it became a well-used word to describe a worthless man.
Future Real Housewives of Atlanta cast member Kandi Burruss wrote this with help from producer Kevin "She'kspere" Briggs, and Tameka "Tiny" Cottle. Burruss and Cottle were members of the recently disbanded group Xscape, who had a hit in 1993 with "Just Kickin' It," and they had formed their own duo, which they called KAT (Kandi And Tameka). Briggs was an up-and-coming producer at LaFace records, home of TLC, and had written what would become "No Scrubs," but with completely different lyrics. After meeting Briggs through their manager, Burruss and Cottle asked if they could try writing different lyrics to the song, which they then hoped to record. Burruss got the "No Scrubs" idea after talking about some of her ex-boyfriends - she and her friends used the word "scrubs" a lot, which was big in Atlanta. She and Cottle finished the new lyrics and took them to Briggs, who instead of putting the song together for KAT, brought it to LaFace, where the execs decided it would be a great song for TLC. Burruss, who had songwriting aspirations but didn't write in Xscape, was hesitant about giving up the song, but knew it was the right thing to do. It worked out well for her, as even though her singing career wound down, she became a popular songwriter, later teaming up with Briggs to write another man-basher: "Bills, Bills, Bills" for Destiny's Child.
This was the first single released from Fanmail, the follow-up to TLC's wildly successful second album CrazySexyCool, which sold over 11 million copies. "No Scrubs" kept them in the groove and was a major hit. The song was a no-brainer for radio stations, as it was a fresh sound from an established group that had already made the R&B, Pop and Adult Contemporary charts. A smooth, mid-tempo number with a very memorable title, it found a home on all these formats, as did their next single, "Unpretty."
See your Spotify stats (with number of plays and minutes listened) and discover new music.
Music data, artist images, album covers, and song previews are provided by Spotify. Spotify is a trademark of Spotify AB.