"Crazy Kids" is a song by American recording artist Kesha. It was released as the third single for her second studio album Warrior (2012), with Juicy J or will.i.am as a featured artist, depending on the version. An additional remix surfaced online featuring Pitbull. The lyrics were written by Kesha with assistance with Dr. Luke, Benny Blanco, Cirkut, who also helmed production of the track. Each featured artist wrote their own contribution. The remix with Juicy J was featured on Now That's What I Call Music! 47.
Featuring whistling, the song is of the techno-pop and hip hop genres. While the album version of the song was praised for the acoustic guitarrefrains and electronic and hip hop verses, the rap vocals by will.i.am were ubiquitously met with unfavorable reviews. A music video for the track premiered on MTV on 28 May 2013, followed by the finale of her television documentary, Kesha: My Crazy Beautiful Life. Negative reviews emerged from critics regarding will.i.am's addition to the song, while positive remarks regarding the video, Kesha's outfit and the Illuminati tattoo in the video, followed; accompanied by comparisons between her Riff Raff and Brooke Candy.
Worldwide, the song has reached moderate success. In the United Kingdom, the record peaked at 27 in the Official Chart. In the United States, the song entered the Hot 100 at number 59 and peaked at number 40 and entered the Mainstream Top 40 at number 22, eventually peaking at number 19. In Australia, the song obtained gold certification with digital sales of over 35,000 units. Crazy Kids" reached the top 10 of the Belgian Ultratip charts; peaking at 5 and 8 in Flanders and Wallonia respectively. The record reached 14 in the charts in both Ireland and Lebano. The track reached its highest peak in South Korea, reaching number 2.
will.i.am, Pitbull, and Juicy J each contributed separate verses for three separate remixes
The song was recorded for Kesha's second album, Warrior. Kesha stated that the track is this album's version of her 2010 single "We R Who We R". She recorded the song in June 2012.
will.i.am was in a nearby recording studio when he heard Luke, Blanco and Cirkut working with Kesha on the track, and immediately wanted to get involved. He co-wrote the album version and later wrote and recorded a new verse for himself, hoping he would be the featured artist in the song. Initially the record label decided not to include his verse; however, later his verse was included in the single/remix version of the song. In this remix, Kesha's second verse is omitted completely in favor of Will.i.am's verse. It officially impacted Top 40/Mainstream radio on April 29, 2013 and Rhythmic radio on May 7, 2013. It was made available for purchase as a digital download on April 30, 2013. will.i.am produced two other tracks whilst working with Luke, Blanco and Cirkut; they appear on will.i.am's album #willpower.
The second official remix, which features rapper Pitbull, follows the same formula as the will.i.am remix. As with the first remix, the song's second verse removed in favor of Pitbull's new verse and also includes Pitbull speaking during the intro. The third remix, featuring rapper Juicy J, was sent to U.S. Rhythmic radio and became available for purchase as a digital download on May 21, 2013.Rap-Up called the Juicy J remix "raucous".
In the video, Kesha wore cornrows similar to the ones pictured. Critics congratulated the style-shift, comparing it to her hip hop peers, Riff Raff and Brooke Candy.
The official music video for "Crazy Kids" was filmed on May 9, 2013. The music video was released on May 28, 2013 and was uploaded in her YouTubeVevo account in May 29, 2013.
In the video Kesha wore large platform shoes and gold-rimmed sunglasses, as well as golden heart-shaped earrings. The video contains a scene where Kesha is flanked by chocolate-colored pit bulls, which Liza Darwin of MTV compared to the opening scene of the video for Lana Del Rey's song "Born to Die". In that video, Del Rey is situated between two Bengal tigers. Darwin also commented on Kesha's grill, comparing it to similar attire worn by Iggy Azalea.
The Huffington Post stated that: "in addition to sporting pastel cornrows, [Kesha] wore an outfit that could only be described as ...interesting... her light pink corset under a plaid shirt, [along with] denim hot [daisy dukes] paired with white thigh-high stockings evokes a Christina Aguilera in her 'Your Body'" video, meets James Franco in 'Spring Breakers' vibe". About the video, the rapper tweeted the following: "Just wait until you see what these super sweet biker dudes are doing in my video".PopCrush blogged about the video, saying: "clearly, Kesha, who is quite pretty, is going for the dork look, like Katy Perry did in her 'Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)' video. But instead of a headgear-and-braces-wearing nerd, she's more of a gangsta geek". Calling the video "an invitation to a lazy-Sunday house party", Canada's MuchMusic wrote that Kesha's "ghetto fabulous" hair and the Hells Angels bikers make the video complete, and that they "loved it".MTV called Kesha's look "eye-popping couture", suggesting the sunglasses as being inspired by Elton John and the braids by fellow rappers Riff Raff and Brooke Candy. Fashion writer Mickey Woods of Glamour affirmed the Brooke Candy comparison.New York magazine' music blog, Vulture, documented a high volume of occult symbolism, specifically that which is conventionally associated with modern perceptions of the Bavarian Illuminati. Amanda Dobbins, the reviewer, toyed with the possibility of Kesha being a whistleblower for the cult, displaying the symbols such as the all-seeing eye tattooed on the rapper's palm, both overtly and excessively in the "Crazy Kids" video. Dobbins wrote: "She keeps waving it around, too, just to make sure that you see it and get mildly anxious about her Illuminati associations." Conversely, Dobbins suggested Kesha is serving consumers the Illuminati angle to snag more views, as Billboard and other mainstream music critics reported with the music video for "Die Young".MTV reported a similar position, noticing a trend with the singer and ocular-themed accessories, namely nail art.Paper blogger Abby Schreiber said: "Never one for subtlety, Ke$ha rocks...an Illuminati tattoo on her hand...."
During their critique of Warrior, Billboard said 'Crazy Kids' displayed Kesha at "her most take-it-or-leave it" and called the beats "grimy". Considering her vocals on "Crazy Kids" as some of the singer's best, Billboard called the chorus a "sing-a-long". Critics compared the track to "Like a G6" by the Far East Movement.
Critics unfavorably reviewed will.i.am's addition to the song. Spin's Mark Hogan said will.i.am's verse delivers "cheap crassness," but praised Kesha's solo version, stating that her "charisma is enough for you to keep from flipping the dial." Hogan also added that while "Crazy Kids" was inferior to will's Britney Spears' collaboration, "Scream & Shout", the song was destined for mainstream top 40 success.
Fans of Kesha were critical towards the addition of will.i.am.The Honesty Hour ran an article stating that the original was "fine" without the additional verse, but that will.i.am can "only help the song" commercially.[unreliable source?]
"Crazy Kids" debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at 59, and rose to a peak of 40. It also peaked at 19 on the Billboard Pop Songs Chart, becoming her second solo single not to reach the top ten. As of August 2013, the song has sold over 623,000 copies in the U.S. alone. It and "C'Mon" have so far been her only singles to not sell over two million copies.
In the UK, "Crazy Kids" peaked at 27. In Australia the song peaked at 32 on the ARIA charts, obtaining a gold certification with digital sales of over 35,000 units.