July 16, 2024
Serena Williams

Serena Williams apparently just discovered the lyrics to an R&B classic — and her reaction is priceless.

The tennis legend revealed to fans on Saturday, May 4, that she finally stumbled upon the lyrics to Next’s 1998 smash hit “Too Close.”

“I’m listening to ’90s slow jams and ummmmm I just heard the lyrics to ‘Too Close’ by Next for the first time…,” Williams, 42, wrote on X (formerly Twitter) . “I guess I just heard nothin but the beat before lol. 😂”

The song, which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1998, tells the story of a man dancing with a woman at the club. While its beat and the group’s infectious melodies could potentially distract some unsuspecting listeners from what the R&B trio is singing about, the lyrics to “Too Close” couldn’t be more clear cut.

It’s intro begins with the line, “I wonder if she could tell I’m hard right now.”

“Baby, when we’re grindin’, I get so excited/Ooh how I like it, I try but I can’t fight it,” the group sings in the memorable chorus. “Oh, you’re dancin’ real close, ‘plus it’s real, real slow/You’re makin’ it hard for me.”

As singer Vee — who was uncredited on the release — sings from a woman’s perspective that she feels a “poke comin’ through,” the group indeed confirms, “I know you felt it.”

In a 2018 interview with Genius about the song’s development, group member Tweet revealed that the classic song was inspired by an outing at the Peppermint Lounge in New Jersey, when they danced with women who “purposefully [made] a guy get aroused on the dance floor to see what he’s working.”

Group member R.L. shared during the same interview that the song was successful because “every guy could relate and go, ‘You know what, that has happened to me.‘ ”

Despite the obvious innuendos in “Too Close,” plenty of Williams’ fans on social media seemed to agree with her that they also were unaware of the song’s real meaning — either due to their age at the time of the release or the song’s catchy production.

“Literally just did the same. wondering how they played it at high school dances…,” one user wrote on X.

“I was in 7th grade, totally flew over my head,” another user responded.

Just last month, Williams opened up about plenty of other topics (outside of not-so-secret song meanings) as part of PEOPLE’s 50th anniversary issue.

When asked what she’s most proud of so far in her life and career, the 23-time Grand Slam champion revealed that “just being able to persevere” is at the top of the list.

“I think perseverance is something that is not often talked about,” she said.

“But I think staying in it, through the negatives and positives and still having a career that expands well over two decades, is pretty awesome. And I’m really fortunate that I’ve been able to do that.”

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