Surely you remember NSYNC’s seminal album No Strings Attached.
It set a record for first week sales that stood for 15 years and gave us hits like “Bye Bye Bye” and “It’s Gonna Be Me.”
And hopefully you remember one of the album’s underrated bangers: “Digital Get Down.”
The song doesn’t sugarcoat its salacious intentions.
The opening lines are:
“Baby baby we can do all that we want,
We’re gettin nasty nasty, we’re getting freaky deaky”
THEN, it introduces an intriguing and strangely prescient theme: video chat.
“Baby baby we can do more than just talk,
Cause I can hear ya hear ya, and I can see ya see ya“
This is 2001, was there even Skype yet?
It goes on innocently enough:
“Every time I’m sittin’ home alone girl
I can’t wait to get you on the phone girl
So, pick it up, babe”
Okay, fine — who among us hasn’t sat alone wishing our crush would communicate with us?
But then things get weird: the next line is “I can see everything you do”
So does the telephone have video capabilities?
I’m honestly confused by the technology described in this song.
The protagonist is all over the place.
“Can we get connected?
I need some love and affection, baby
I’ll call you on the phone
I hope that I get through”
Phone, video chat, which is it??
Okay but here’s where the song gets low key raunchy:
“If you’re in the mood and on the phone,
here’s what you do: leave a message
You know the kind I like to get back to”
What type of message do they like to get back to, do you think?
Then we get into full-blown phone sex.
“I lose my mind just when you’re speaking
I see you on the screen, I get to freaking
So, get down, babe
And I’ll get down for you”
If there was any doubt about the nature of the song…
“I get so excited when I’m watching, girl
I can’t wait to see you touch your body, girl
It’s just me and you
So, we can do what we gotta do (yeah)”
With its thinly-veiled innuendo, the song is actually a pretty clairvoyant take on romance in the age of Snapchat.
Consider the chorus again:
“Digital, digital get down (get down) just you and me
(You may be) Twenty thousand miles away, but I can see ya
And baby, baby you can see me
Digital, digital get down (get down) just what we need
We can get together naturally
(We can) We can get together on the digital screen”
Like, it’s totally cool that you can digitally get down with a lover halfway across the world, even if the idea didn’t totally make sense in 2001.