Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Illustration for article titled There are many locations that Prince would like to “Jack U Off”

In Hear This, A.V. Club writers sing the praises of songs they know well. This week: Songs we felt we had to hide from others.

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Prince, “Jack U Off” (1981)

My oldest sister was almost done with high school when I was just a 7-year-old pup starting to get obsessed with music, and her record collection was pretty incredible for someone her age in 1981: I listened without any preconceived notions to The Residents, Circle Jerks, and more. I was especially enamored with the title track to Prince’s 1981 album Controversy—I still am, really—but I’d occasionally get through the entire record, which ends with the rollicking, ridiculous “Jack U Off.” It may be the least subtle song in a catalog full of unsubtle sex jams, with every verse featuring a new location in which Prince offers to, um, jack you off: movie show, restaurant, his neighborhood, on a date, in your mama’s car (a Cadillac). Now, as a second- or third-grader, I clearly had no idea what services Prince was so keen to provide, I just liked the sound of the words. It ends like this: “I’ll jack you o-o-o-off, I’ll jack you off.” I remember distinctly approaching our family car, a red AMC Matador, jauntily singing the song to myself. One of my sisters froze and said, “Sing that again! Sing it to Mom!” I knew immediately that singing it to my mom was a bad idea, though I imagine she probably would’ve just laughed and told me not to sing it at school. (God bless you, Mom.) “Jack U Off” was never a hit, and it’s overshadowed by much better songs—“Controversy” and “Sexuality”—not to mention albums. But it’s got a special place in my heart for accidentally making me say the darndest things.

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