Toni Braxton’s debut song from her second album, “You’re Makin’ Me High,” took the songstress from typical fame to mega success. The song was a huge hit and played a role in making her sophomore album, Secrets, her highest-selling album to date.
You’re Makin’ Me High” introduced fans to a new side of Braxton with a new look and sexier lyrics. Fans were later surprised to learn that those sexy lyrics had a deeper meaning.
You’re Makin’ Me High” was released in July 1996 as the lead single from Braxton’s second studio album, Secrets. The song became her first number-one single on both the US Billboard Hot 100 and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts and was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The song earned Braxton her third Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance in 1997.
There were two successful remixes of “You’re Making Me High.” One was a dance track that featured re-recorded vocals and spent two weeks at the top of the Dance Club Songs chart. A hip-hop remix of the song, featuring rapper Foxy Brown, hit urban radio stations and was called the “Groove Mix
You’re Makin’ Me High” was also the introduction to Toni Braxton as a sex symbol. During her first album, Braxton’s label styled her in long evening gowns, turtle necks and a short hair cut to brand her as a sophisticated R&B songstress who could rely solely on her vocal ability. Braxton bore all for the release of her sophomore album and became known for her plunged necklines and dressed with high slits. Her new style and new sound was her way of making the world know that she was a full-fledged woman!
Many critics praised the song for Braxton’s sultry vocals over an up-tempo beat. It was a new flavor for the singer who was known for producing love-stricken ballads and songs of heartbreak that most of her self-titled debut album featured. Some were also shocked by the sexual undertones of the song.
While everyone felt that “You’re Makin’ Me High” alluded to a night of steamy passion, there was actually something more daring and the song’s title gives away a major hint. In Braxton’s VH1 Behind The Music special, she spoke about working with songwriters to come up with the lyrics to the famous bridge. It was actually Braxton’s first experience with marijuana that inspired the lyrics.
A week before[writing the song with Babyface and Bryce Wilson, I was introduced to marijuana, and I got high for the first time,” she recalled. “ In the bridge, I’m singing ‘I want to feel your heart and soul inside of me / Let’s make a deal you roll, I lick / And we can go flying into ecstasy’, I was talking about [smoking a joint].”
Though her first time trying the natural drug gave her a number one hit, Braxton revealed in her 2014 memoir, Unbreak My Heart, that smoking made her paranoid. “I tried marijuana once and got really paranoid,” she wrote.“It actually made me think that I could understand Chinese and that part of it was quite exciting.”
Braxton is a Lupus survivor and many who suffer from the autoimmune disease have medical marijuana prescriptions to manage pain associated with flare-ups. She has not confirmed whether or not medical marijuana is part of her treatment, but fans got a hilarious look at Braxton and her sisters smoking while on vacation in Jamaica.
In season 4 of Braxton Family Values, the singer and her family went on a vacation to the tropical island. One of the sisters, Traci, surprised the girls with a marijuana joint for them to share. Fans laughed as all five Braxton girls puffed and passed in secrecy as they attempted to hide their smoking session from their mother. The night ended with the sisters laughing at Toni for having a small bout of hallucination.