Prince's Most NSFW Lyrics: 10 Times He Would Have Had to Pay The Swear Jar

John Leyba/The Denver Post via Getty Images
Prince performs during a tour stop in Denver at McNichols Arena July, 3, 1986. 

In Luke Cage, Marvel’s latest superhero series on Netflix, the patriarchal character Pop has a swear jar in his barber shop: When anyone in the shop lets a cuss word slip, they must pay a tax to the taped-up can of Cafe Bustelo.

In a recent tweet, Luke Cage showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker admitted that the prop was a direct homage to the late Prince, who famously stopped swearing not long after becoming a Jehovah’s Witness, and kept a swear jar in his home. During production of the show’s first season, Coker had planned to show Prince the first two completed episodes, in hopes that he would sign on to appear in the season finale. 

Prince would pass away before he ever got the chance, but it sure is fun to consider which song he might have blessed Harlem’s Paradise with. One thing’s for sure though: He wouldn’t have played any of these songs from his early career, all of which would be heavily taxed by Pop’s can of Bustelo.


“Head,” Dirty Mind (1980)

    And you said
    “But I’m just a virgin
    and I’m on my way to be wed
    but you’re such a hunk
    so full of spunk
    I’ll give you head
    til you’re burning up
    head
    til you get enough
    head
    til your love is red
    head
    love you til you’re dead”

Prince slips into the second person to deliver these lines from his lover, who rhymes "hunk" with "spunk," a slang term for ejaculate. She intimates that she’ll pleasure him orally until he dies -- we hope the two are unrelated.

“Sister,” Dirty Mind (1980) 
    
    I was only 16 and only half a man
    my sister didn’t give a god damn
    she only wanted to turn me out
    she took a whip to me until I shout
    “oh motherf---er she’s a brotherf---er
    can’t you understand?”    

This song is one of Prince’s more controversial tracks, detailing an incestuous teenage relationship with his adult sister. Prince’s mother did remarry after her first marriage, and her new husband did have an adult daughter that Prince briefly lived with -- leading some to believe the song was more than just fantasy.

“Jack U Off,” Controversy (1981)
    
    If you really wanna be a star
    we gotta do it in your mama’s car
    naked in a Cadillac, I’ll jack u off

Prince may just be the first artist to strip the gender dynamic from the sex slang “Jack U Off” -- historically referencing manual stimulation of a penis, here Prince sings of jacking his female partner off, and returning the favor. He was infamously harassed off the stage while playing the song during an opening slot for the Rolling Stones, shook it off and went on to become one of the biggest stars in the world within a few short years. 

“Let’s Pretend We’re Married,” 1999 (1982)

    I wanna f--- you so bad it hurts, it hurts, it hurts
    I wanna I wanna I wanna I wanna I wanna I wanna I wanna f--- u
    yeah I wanna I wanna I wanna wanna I wanna f--- u
    look here, Marsha, I’m not sayin this just to be nasty
    I sincerely wanna f--- the taste out of your mouth
    can you relate?

We’ve thought long and hard about just how one goes about "f---ing the taste out of" someone’s mouth, settling on sex so vigorous that one becomes dehydrated and dry of mouth. We appreciate that he doesn’t want to do it just to be nasty -- he’s sincere. Can you relate?

Sheena Easton - “Sugar Walls” (1985)

    Ahh (my sugar walls) ooh
    come inside (my sugar walls)
    come spend the night
    inside my sugar walls
    
Prince isn’t the performer on this record, but he did write and produce this for his mid-'80s avatar Sheena Easton. And you know exactly what she means when she says she wants you to “come inside my sugar walls.” So would Pop.

“Sexy MF,” Love Symbol (1992)
    
    Come here, baby, yeah
    u sexy motherf---er

Prince edited this to “Sexy Mutha” for the radio, but it’s just not the same. Try it on for size, the syllables roll off the tongue -- just keep it out the barbershop, or it’ll cost you.

“Come,” Come (1994)
    
    Can I suck u baby
    (come)
    can i f--- u baby
    (come)
    I wanna suck u baby
    (come)

On the page and removed from their context, some of the lyrics on Prince’s 1994 album, Come, might seem sophomoric. But it’s all about the performance -- the words just don’t sound the same coming out of anyone else’s mouth. And after a career of cute code words and ambiguous dirty talk, sometimes it’s nice to hear him just come out and say what he means.

“Loose,” Come (1994)
    
    (Loose!) How the hell u gonna tell me what 2 do
    (Loose!) I got the clothes, I got the bank and the crew
    (Loose!) if U look real close, I even got your garden tool
    (Loose!) push you way up to the front and shake your motherf---in’ do
    (Loose!) 

What’s Prince’s garden tool? Is it a hoe? A rake? A dirty hose? Whichever tool he chooses to implement, he certainly appears confident enough to use it.

“P Control,” The Gold Experience (1995)

    Pussy got bank in her pockets
    before she got dick in her drawers
    if brother didn’t have good and plenty of his own
    in love pussy never did fail
    and this fool named trick wanna stick her
    uh, talkin more schick than a bic
    ‘bout how he gonna make pussy a star
    if she come and sing a lick on his hit
    pussy said, “n----, u crazy if u don’t know
    every woman in the world ain’t a freak
    u can go platinum 4 times
    still couldn’t make what i make in a week
    
Sure, it’s refreshing to hear about a woman unashamed by her sexuality, but our favorite thing about Pussy -- the sex-positive heroine in this Gold Experience narrative -- is that she knows her worth. 

“Orgasm,” Come (1994)
    
None of these lyrics feature any actual cussing, but something tells us the fines for this Come closing track -- in which Prince records himself bringing a woman to orgasm -- would break the bank at Pop’s. But Prince, God bless him, is doing the Lord’s work here, reminding everyone it’s cool to care about your partner’s pleasure.