Break It Off

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"Break It Off"
Single by Rihanna featuring Sean Paul
from the album A Girl like Me
Released November 13, 2006 (2006-11-13)
Format Digital download
Recorded 2 Hard Studios (Kingston, Jamaica)
Genre
Length 3:33
Label Def Jam
Writer(s)
Producer(s) Don Corleon
Rihanna chronology
"We Ride"
(2006)
"Break It Off"
(2006)
"Roll It"
(2007)
Sean Paul singles chronology
"(When You Gonna) Give It up to Me"
(2006)
"Break It Off"
(2006)
"Give It to You"
(2007)

"Break It Off" is a song by Barbadian recording artist Rihanna from her second studio album, A Girl Like Me (2006). It was written by Sean Paul, Donovan Bennett, K. Ford and Rihanna, while production was handled by Don Corleon. The song was released on November 13, 2006, as the album's fourth and final single. "Break It Off" is a futuristic "pop-dancehall" song, which is layered over an electro-reggae beat. Critical reception of the song was positive, with reviewers praising the collaboration between Rihanna and Paul and as a return to the former's roots. "Break It Off" made chart appearances on the singles charts of the United States and Belgium. It peaked at number nine on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and number six on the Pop Songs chart. In the Flanders region of Belgium, it peaked at number 10. Rihanna performed the song at Radio One Big Weekend in 2007 and it was included on the set list of her Good Girl Gone Bad Tour (2007–09), and was subsequently included on the accompanying DVD release, entitled Good Girl Gone Bad Live.

Background and release[edit]

A picture of a man wearing a beige jacket and holding a silver award statue
Sean Paul co-wrote and provided vocals on "Break It Off".

"Break It Off" was recorded at 2 Hard Studios in Kingston, Jamaica.[1] It was written by Donovan Bennett, Sean Paul Henriques (better known as Sean Paul), K. Ford and Rihanna, who is credited as Robyn Fenty.[1] Production of the song was handled by Don Corleon.[1] It was engineered by Jeremy Harding and Bennett, who also mixed the song.[1] All instrumentation was provided by Bennett.[1] Paul explained how he and Rihanna met in a 2011 interview with Rap-Up. During her visit to Jamaica, Rihanna was taken on a tour around the island by Paul, where he took her to some of the beaches and experienced the nightlife.[2] He continued to explain that they spent a few days together and that he took her to the Bob Marley Museum, which was something she had "always wanted to do."[2] Reminiscing on "Break It Off" and Rihanna, Paul stated that working with the singer and creating the song was "his most memorable collaboration."[2] "Break It Off" was released as the fourth and final single from Rihanna's second studio album, A Girl like Me (2006). It was released to US Contemporary hit radio station playlists on November 13, 2006, by Def Jam Recordings.[3] It was also made available to download digitally via iTunes in various countries around the world on February 27, 2007, including Australia,[4] Austria,[5] Belgium[6] and Spain.[7]

Composition and lyrics[edit]

"Break It Off" is a futuristic[8]"pop-dancehall" song, which is layered over an electro-reggae beat.[9] It received a comparison by Ruth Jamieson for The Guardian to Rihanna's debut single "Pon de Replay" from her first studio album, Music of the Sun.[10] According to Dan Charnas for The Washington Post, "Break It Off" showcases Rihanna's Caribbean roots.[11] "We Ride" is written in the key of D major and is set in common time with a moderate dance groove with 130 beats per minute (BPM).[12] Rihanna's vocal range in the song spans one octave from the lower note of A3 to the higher note of A4.[12] The song includes piano keys and guitar strings as part of its instrumental composition.[1][12]

Critical reception[edit]

"Break It Off" garnered a positive response from music critics. David Jeffries for AllMusic was complimentary of "Break It Off", writing that it is "totally juiced" and that she provides good competition for Paul.[13] Kelefa Sanneh for The New York Times praised the song, and described it as Rihanna's "triumphant return to her old formula."[9] Quentin B. Huff for PopMatters lauded Sean Paul for his contribution to the song while praising Rihanna's hook, writing that "[Rihanna's] hook is so infectious that hers is the voice you ultimately remember. That's another dancehall-flavored song and another winner."[14] Bill Lamb for About.com called "Break It Off", along with "Kisses Don't Lie", "candidates for widespread pop radio airplay".[8]

Chart performance[edit]

"Break It Off" debuted at number 40 on the US Pop Songs chart in the issue dated November 18, 2006.[15] The following week, it ascended to number 35,[16] and again to number 32 in its third week on the chart.[17] "Break It Off" climbed into the top 30 at number 28 in its fourth week on December 9, 2006,[17] and to number 25 in its fifth week.[18] On December 23, 2006, the song climbed again to number 21,[19] and reached its 2006 peak of number 16 on December 30, 2006.[20] In the first chart issue of Billboard in January 2007, "Break It Off" charted at number 14.[21] It broke into the top 10 on February 3, 2007,[22] and ascended to number seven the following week.[23] "Break It Off" peaked at number six on February 24, 2007.[24] The song remained on the Pop Songs chart for a total of 22 weeks.[25] On December 9, 2006, "Break It Off" debuted on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart at number 95.[26] The song climbed to number 52 on March 3, 2007, and surged 42 chart positions to number 10 the following week.[27] In its fourteenth week on the chart, the song peaked at number nine, and was awarded with the Digital Gainer honor.[28] On March 24, 2007, the song debuted and peaked at number 10 in the Flanders region of Belgium.[29]

Live performances[edit]

Rihanna performed the song as part of a set list at Radio One Big Weekend in 2007.[30] The set consisted of "Pon de Replay", "Break It Off", "SOS", "Breakin' Dishes", "Unfaithful", "Shut Up and Drive" and "Umbrella".[30] "Break It Off" was also included on the set list of Rihanna's Good Girl Gone Bad Tour (2007–09), and was later included on the DVD release, entitled Good Girl Gone Bad Live.[31]

Format[edit]

  • Digital download[4]
  1. "Break It Off" – 3:33

Credits and personnel[edit]

Recording
Personnel
  • Songwriting – Donovan Bennett, Sean Paul Henriques, K. Ford, Robyn Fenty
  • Production – Don Corleon
  • Engineer – Jeremy Harding and Donovan Bennett
  • Mixing – Donovan Bennett
  • Instruments – Donovan Bennett

Credits adapted from the liner notes of A Girl Like Me, Def Jam Recordings, SRP Records.[1]

Charts[edit]

Chart (2006) Peak
position
US Billboard Hot 100[26] 95
US Pop Songs (Billboard)[20] 16
Chart (2007) Peak
position
Belgium (Ultratip 50 Flanders)[29] 10
US Billboard Hot 100[28] 9
US Pop Songs (Billboard)[24] 6

Radio adds and release history[edit]

Country Date Format Label
United States[3] November 13, 2006 Contemporary hit radio Def Jam Recordings
Australia[4] February 27, 2007 Digital download
Austria[5]
Belgium[6]
Spain[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g A Girl Like Me (inlay cover) (Media notes). Rihanna. The Island Def Jam Music Group. 2006. 0602517170483. 
  2. ^ a b c "Rap-Up TV: Sean Paul gets 'Deep' with Kelly Rowland, reminisces about Rihanna, & praises Nicki Minaj". Rap-Up. Devin Lazerine. August 5, 2012. Retrieved August 5, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "Available for aiplay". FMQB. August 8, 2006. Retrieved December 11, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c "Break It Off – Single – Rihanna & Sean Paul". iTunes Store (Australia). Apple. February 27, 2007. Retrieved August 5, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "Break It Off – Single – Rihanna & Sean Paul". iTunes Store (Austria) (in German). Apple. February 27, 2007. Retrieved August 5, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b "Break It Off – Single – Rihanna & Sean Paul". iTunes Store (Belgium). Apple. February 27, 2007. Retrieved August 5, 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "Break It Off – Single – Rihanna & Sean Paul". iTunes Store (Spain) (in Spanish). Apple. February 27, 2007. Retrieved August 5, 2012. 
  8. ^ a b Lamb, Bill. "Rihanna – A Girl Like Me". About.com. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  9. ^ a b Sanneh, Kelefa (April 24, 2006). "Critic's Choice: New CD's". The New York Times (Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr.). Retrieved August 5, 2012. 
  10. ^ Jamieson, Ruth (April 23, 2006). "Rihanna, A Girl Like Me". The Guardian (Guardian Media Group). Retrieved February 18, 2012. 
  11. ^ Charnas, Dan (April 25, 2006). "Quick Spin". The Washington Post (The Washington Post Company). Retrieved February 18, 2012. 
  12. ^ a b c "Digital Sheet Music, Rihanna 'Break It Off'". Musicnotes.com. Peer International Music Publishing. 2006. 
  13. ^ Jeffries, David. "Review: A Girl Like Me". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved February 18, 2012. 
  14. ^ Huff, Quentin B. (April 25, 2006). "Review: A Girl Like Me". PopMatters. Retrieved February 18, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Pop Songs: Week of November 18, 2006". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. November 18, 2006. Retrieved April 28, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Pop Songs: Week of November 25, 2006". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. November 25, 2006. Retrieved April 28, 2012. 
  17. ^ a b "Pop Songs: Week of December 9, 2006". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. December 9, 2006. Retrieved April 28, 2012. 
  18. ^ "Pop Songs: Week of December 16, 2006". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. December 16, 2006. Retrieved April 28, 2012. 
  19. ^ "Pop Songs: Week of December 23, 2006". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. December 23, 2006. Retrieved April 28, 2012. 
  20. ^ a b "Pop Songs: Week of December 30, 2006". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. December 30, 2006. Retrieved April 28, 2012. 
  21. ^ "Pop Songs: Week of January 6, 2007". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. January 6, 2007. Retrieved April 28, 2012. 
  22. ^ "Pop Songs: Week of February 3, 2007". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. February 3, 2007. Retrieved April 28, 2012. 
  23. ^ "Pop Songs: Week of February 10, 2007". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. February 10, 2007. Retrieved April 28, 2012. 
  24. ^ a b "Pop Songs: Week of February 24, 2007". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. February 24, 2007. Retrieved April 28, 2012. 
  25. ^ "Rihanna – Pop Songs Chart History". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. February 24, 2007. Retrieved April 28, 2012. 
  26. ^ a b "Hot 100: Week of December 9, 2006". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. December 9, 2006. Retrieved April 28, 2012. 
  27. ^ "Hot 100: Week of March 3, 2007". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. March 3, 2007. Retrieved April 28, 2012. 
  28. ^ a b "Hot 100: Week of March 17, 2007". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. March 17, 2007. Retrieved April 28, 2012. 
  29. ^ a b "Rihanna & Sean Paul– Break It Off". ultratop.be/nl (in Dutch). Hung Medien. March 24, 2007. Retrieved April 28, 2012. 
  30. ^ a b "Rihanna: Sunday – Main Stage". BBC. Retrieved August 5, 2012. 
  31. ^ "Good Girl Gone Bad (Live) – Rihanna". iTunes Store (Argentina) (in Portuguese). Apple. June 16, 2008. Retrieved August 5, 2012. 

External links[edit]