dirty mack allstar

Wood from ‘Love Jones,’ Dirty Mack Hall of Famer.

R&B music, at its core, usually involves someone in love with someone else. Sometimes the love is mutual, and that results in love ballads that stand the test of time and get played at weddings. Other times, it’s not, and something stands in the way.

Sometimes that something is a someone.

Urban Dictionary defines “a dirty mack” as

dirty mack def

Although, to be honest, “dirty macking” has existed in R&B since the dawn of time. The “B” stands for the blues for a reason – these women and men were bluesy BECAUSE they wanted someone they couldn’t have. So, they tried to sing them away. It may not have been as vast as the ’90s, or even the ’80s, but “dirty mack R&B anthems” were definitely amongst last decade’s finest moments. I undertook the daunting task of tracking down the best R&B dirty mack songs from the 2000s about stealing somebody’s man or woman.

Only songs from the years 2000 through 2009 were eligible (thus eliminating modern staple “Marvin’s Room”). These, are the bottom 8.

15. Trey Songz – “Does He Do It”

In 2009, Trey Songz released arguably the best album of his career, Ready. Ready birthed a number of smash singles like “Say Aah!” and “Invented Sex.” Most importantly, however, that album established Trey Songz’s now infamous nickname as Mr. Steal Yo’ Girl. Part of the reason for that was “Does He Do It,” an unapologetic song where Trey got in the ears – and between the legs – of a taken woman and had the audacity to ask, “When you wit’ him, do you sometimes wish that that, was us?” The disrespect reaches an all-time high in Songz’s bridge at the end, as he cites sexual behaviors her man clearly fails at.

14. Joe – “You Dropped Your Dime”

When most people say, “Hey, you dropped this,” it’s usually to be kind and courteous and hand someone an item that fell on the ground behind them. When R&B crooner Joe tells you, “You Dropped Your Dime,” he’s not talking about money – he’s talking about your woman, and he’s not giving her back. This slept-on cut from Joe’s 2003 And Then… album lets listeners know that the same man who fathered Trey Songz’s Mr. Steal Your Girl approach by way of “All The Things Your Man Won’t Do,” very much still lives within the lothario Joe.

13. Alicia Keys – “If I Was Your Woman/Walk On By”

Oh, yes – women dirty mack, too. I hope you aren’t shocked.

The certified homewrecker of R&B penned “If I Was Your Woman” on her 2005 sophomore album, The Diary of Alicia Keys, a song that innocently starts out with Alicia saying, “You’d have no other woman”… until the second verse hits and you find out dude ALREADY HAS a woman. “She tears you down, darlin’ – says you’re nothing at all,” Keys croons over her piano, “But I’ll pick you up, darlin’, when she lets you fall.” Was she warning us or nah?

12. Tank – “Who Dat”

In the earlier parts of his career, Tank was realllly spiteful. He proudly boasted about his many lovers, but would be damned if his woman had a lover of her own. “Who Dat,” which lived on Tank’s 2009 Sex Love & Pain album, is not about the New Orleans Saints. Rather, Tank put the sex and love aside to inflict pain by first describing another woman his ex should get jealous at. When that doesn’t work, Tank uses the hook to vent about how pissed off he is. Lines like “who dat nigga in my house, gettin’ my mail, gettin’ my tail,” are both angry yet funny as hell.

11. Usher – “If I Want To”

Usher’s 8701 LP is known for many things, most notably signaling the singer’s transition into more grown affair. “If I Want To” toes the line between being R&B and pop but has Usher cockily proclaiming “I don’t really care/ how long you’ve been together with your man/ It’s just a matter of time, before I make you mine.” Darius Lovehall would be proud.

10. R. Kelly – “I’ma Flirt (Remix)” f/ T.I., T-Pain

In the 90s, R. Kelly made his contribution to the Dirty Mack Hall of Fame with “Down Low (Nobody Has to Know),” an epic tale of cheating and consequences that also stepped up the production value of music videos to come with its accompanying visuals. In 2007, Kels revisited the concept of taking someone else’s girl by throwing it directly in the man’s face. He hijacked Bow Wow’s “I’ma Flirt” song into a remix, recruiting T.I. and T-Pain and turning a teeny pop-rap song into a grown folks’ slow jam where he warned men that, if they entered the club in a relationship, they might very well leave single.

9. The-Dream – “Love VS. Money Pt. II”

In 2007, The-Dream learned that his girlfriend and future mother of his child, Nivea, had cheated on him with another man. Like most artists, he decided to vent his emotions through the art. The result, was two things: the first of the “Nikki” series, on which The-Dream became notorious for calling out his exes; and “Love VS. Money,” the title track from the singer-producer’s sophomore album. Where Part I had Terius Nash lamenting his failed relationship, Part II was deliciously spiteful. “Kiss that nigga, hug that nigga, love that nigga to death,” The-Dream croons on the song’s bridge. Let that hurt go on wax, fam. Let that hurt go.

8. Mario – “Let Me Love You”

When a young man sings “Let me show the way that love’s sup-posed, to be,” you know he’s up to something. Mario went from being the cornrowed kid asking young girls to “braid his hair” and enlisting Biz Markie to catapult out of the friend zone; to getting his hair cut, saying “fuck it” and just outright stealing someone else’s girl. He’d insist he was missed as well on “Crying Out for Me,” but “Let Me Love You” is the track everyone remembers.

7. Jagged Edge – “He Can’t Love You”

I don’t have to explain anything about this one. The song is LITERALLY called “He Can’t Love You.” It’s by Jagged Edge. You’ve not only heard it, you’ve probably sang it at karaoke night. On the same album on which Jagged Edge issued a “Promise” and asked a woman “Let’s Get Married” – 2000’s J.E. Heartbreak – the quartet also dropped this dirty mack classic, lamenting an ex and in the same breath insisting she “should never wanna be with a man, if he can’t be a man/ and do the things to you like I can.” To think, J.E. started the song with the lines, “I ain’t no hater or nothin’.” Y’all need more people.