Target Practice

Target Practice: Toni Braxton “He Wasn’t Man Enough”

Welcome to Target Practice where bad popular songs of the past and present get shot. There’s not a lot of voices in music like Toni Braxton with her husky and sultry voice. That’s something I will give her props for. But, man, do I wish I could get into her music. Maybe it’s the production or the writing, but I never was that into Toni Braxton. The only song I’ve come close to liking from her is her big hit Unbreak My Heart. Plus, the 90s had no shortage of great R&B vocalists who made better music. This is just me speaking. Today’s Target Practice was released 20 years ago going into the new millennium (man, time flies quick) and became another one of her best-known songs. This is He Wasn’t Man Enough.

Listen, girl
Who do you think I am?
Don't you know that he was my man?
But I chose to let him go

Okay, so we got Toni Braxton talking to another woman about her (the other woman) husband and how she (Toni) used to date him. This is not going to be a pleasant conversation, is it?

So why do you act like I still care about him?
Looking at me like I'm hurt
When I'm the one who said I didn't want it to work
Don't you forget I had him first?

You act like you don’t care for your ex, yet you’re talking to his current wife about him. Sounds like you do care.

What you thinkin'?
Stop blaming me
He wasn't man enough for me
If you don't know now here's your chance
I've already had your man

Oh, so he wasn’t man enough for you, huh?

Do you wonder just where he's been, yeah?
And not be worried about him
Now it's time you know the truth
I think he's just the man for you

Why are you talking like you know what this dude does all the time? I know y’all used to date, but that’s clearly not the case anymore. All I can picture is Toni Braxton in a hat, trenchcoat, and sunglasses following this dude all day like some private investigator. Do you know how that makes you look?

What are you thinking?
Do you know about us back then?
Do you know I dumped your husband, girlfriend?
I'm not thinking 'bout him
But you married him
Do you know I made him leave?
Do you know he begged to stay with me?
He wasn't man enough for me

Jeez, you can feel the pettiness coming out of this chorus. Whoever this dude is, he should probably count his blessings that he’s no longer in this relationship.

Listen, girl
Didn't he tell you the truth?
If not then why don't you ask him?
Then maybe you can be more into him
Instead of worryin' about me
And hopefully you won't find
All of the reasons why his love didn't count
And why we couldn't work it out

I’m sorry. Who’s the one still talking about their ex right now?

Oh yeah
So many reasons why our love is through, yeah
What makes you think he'll be good to you, no
It makes no sense 'cause he will never change
Girl, you better recognize the game, oh yeah

You really hate this dude, don’t ya, Toni? What did he do to you to inspire this much malice? This feels like a story where she plays the villain trying to make their ex’s life miserable out of spite.

This song isn’t good enough. This is one of those songs that sounds fine on the surface due to the production and vocal performance, but then you pay attention to the lyrics and that’s where you find problems. It’s not just that Toni Braxton is dissing her ex-boyfriend, but she’s dissing her ex-boyfriend to his current wife. That is just tacky right there. If the dude was a scumbag and she was warning his wife about him, that’d be one thing, but nothing in the lyrics imply that. She’s just going on and on about how he wasn’t man enough, whatever that means. This is like one of those trashy reality TV shows where people are always fighting over petty drama. Overall, He Wasn’t Man Enough isn’t terrible, but those lyrics bring it down big time. Toni, you’re better than this. Next and final Target Practice, …



Wild Heart-Bleachers