Heart-Shaped Box is a new feature where I revisit some bit of ‘90’s pop culture trivium: music, movies, TV shows, or event. It is done to examine my own nostalgia out of fun rather than any deep understanding, so please don’t take this too seriously.

I recall the DJ at the first and only middle school dance I went to playing Freak Nasty’s Da Dip. Just before the needle dropped, he announced, "Ok, kids! Time to get off the walls and get on the flooooor!" or something equally as corny. The bass hit and my girlfriends and I screeched That's our song! Together, we jumped to our feet and, in the safety of our tight Losers Circle, awkwardly jerked along to the full 4 minutes of this wonderful song.

Get ready for some hot, shiny robot action

Items of Note:

  • The only slight against this song is that it goes on too long. There is an intro, four verses, four refrains and then an outro that goes on and on. By the time the fourth verse hits, my friends and I are exchanging glances and asking each other, "Do you think he'll play Barbie Girl next?"
  • I barely remember anything about this music video other than the silver CG robot doing Da Dip. Watching it for this post, I realized that Freak Nasty himself is hardly in it, and when he is, you can barely see him. But everyone else is so colorfully dressed and having a great time it's hard to hate on them.
  • Seriously, that robot. 😂
  • I wanted to point out some lyrics thanks to Genius' interpretation: Back again with the second verse/It's all clean so I'm not gonna curse/Drop a bass like a bad habit/love all women 'cause I've got a have it. This is NOT the interpretation I thought I heard these 20+ years. I could have sword that second line went, Drop a bitch like a bad habit/love all women 'cause I've got a habit. I thought Freak Nasty using "bitch" was an ironic undoing of him promising not to curse in the first line, and then admitting that he had a womanizing/misogyny habit in the third line. But I guess I looked way too into it over the years.
  • Just a reminder about the order of dipping: remember, when I put my hand on your hip, first I dip, then you dip, then we dip at the same time. When you dip, then I dip, then we dip together. Only when you put yours and I put mine, then we can get down low and roll and grind.

This song comes on one of my favorite Atlanta throwback stations every now and then and I'm reminded of that awkward middle school dance every time. It's still a favorite of mine: fun, energetic, great Jock Jam for getting your 30-something friends up or or your own ass motivated at the gym. My dancing hasn't improved, but I still get up and dance when I hear it.