To celebrate the 15th anniversary of the summer of “The Thong Song,” we asked 7 Baltimore musicians to re-imagine Sisqo’s ode to the skimpiest of underwear. We couldn’t be more excited with the results. TT the Artist teamed up with producer Schwarz for the banger “2 Much Junk In My Trunk.” Experimental groups Horse Lords and the Soft Pink Truth took “Thong Song” apart and re-cast it in a different light. Microkingdom twisted “Thong Song” into a crackling no-jazz rendition. Wing Dam and Thee Lexington Arrows turned up the distortion and the Manly Deeds took “Thong Song” back to a more traditional acoustic sound.
1. Horse Lords feat. MC Schmidt (Matmos) — “The City Wears a Slouch Thong”
To create this track, Horse Lords broke down all of the individual words used in the song, assigned them numeric values and reconstructed them using a random word generator — a process inspired by the chance procedures used by composer John Cage. Even the title is a nod to Cage’s experimental radio play “The City Wears a Slouch Hat.” MC Schmidt of Matmos performed the vocals, and Horse Lords created the accompanying music by processing the original song and re-recording parts of it with instruments.
2. Wing Dam — “The Thong Song”
Wing Dam’s Sara Autrey dusted off her flute (she studied music at one point) for this take on “Thong Song,” recorded at the WTMD Studios. It’s heavy, with lots of Wing Dam’s trademark distortion, but Sara’s whisper track adds a level of seductive intrigue.
3. The Soft Pink Truth (feat. Mal Devisa) — “Thong Song (Devilish Mix)”
Drew Daniel, one half of Baltimore experimental duo Matmos, fixated on the devilishness of the original “Thong Song,” and with the help of vocalist Mal Devisa, took it to a much darker place. It’s what’s playing at the underground club in a slasher film.
4. TT the Artist and Schwarz — “2 Much Junk In My Trunk (Thong Song)”
Buzzing Baltimore rapper TT the Artist turned loose over a bass-heavy Schwarz track for their “Thong Song” tribute. TT wrote and recorded much of her lyrics in an hour at WTMD, and Schwarz turned around the track a few days later. Raise a cup and bounce with us.
5. Microkingdom — “Trumps Like a Duck”
Guitarist Marc Miller is a huge fan of “Thong Song,” so it’s only fitting he kicks off this blistering no-jazz interpretation of “Thong Song.” When you emerge four minutes later, you’re in an entirely different place than when you began.
6. Thee Lexington Arrows — “Thong Song”
Nowhere in this version does singer Kathleen Wilson actually say the word “thong” — she leaves that up to guitarist Alex Fine (and your imagination).
7. The Manly Deeds — “The Thong Song”
If “The Thong Song” was written before electricity, this is probably what it would have sounded like. Probably.