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Fire (Big Sean song)

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"Fire"
Single by Big Sean
from the album Hall of Fame
Released August 20, 2013 (2013-08-20)
Format Digital download
Recorded 2013
Genre Hip hop
Length 4:22
Label GOOD, Def Jam
Writer(s) Sean Anderson, Darhyl Camper Jr., Alexander Izquierdo, Rob Kinelski
Producer(s) Darhyl "Hey DJ" Camper, Rob Kinelski
Big Sean singles chronology
  • "Fire"
  • (2013)
Music video
"Fire" on YouTube

"Fire" is a song by American recording artist Big Sean from his second studio album Hall of Fame (2013). It was released on August 20, 2013 by GOOD Music and Def Jam Recordings as the fourth single from the record. It was written and produced by Darhyl Camper Jr. and Rob Kinelski of Cocaine 80s, with additional songwriting provided by Big Sean and Alexander Izquierdo of The Monsters and the Strangerz. "Fire" is a hip hop song that lyrically describes the perseverance to overcome personal difficulties.

"Fire" received generally favorable reviews from music critics, who compared it the catalogs of fellow rappers Kanye West and Jay-Z, and recognized it as a standout track from Hall of Fame. The song peaked at number 19 on the U.S. Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles component chart to the Billboard Hot 100, and reached number 46 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. An accompanying music video was premiered through Vevo on August 2, 2013, and featured American recording artist Miley Cyrus; critics primarily focused on the continuation of the increasingly provocative image she established earlier in the year.

Background and composition[edit]

Critics compared "Fire" to the works of Kanye West (pictured), who was also referenced in the lyrics for "Fire".

When describing his second studio album Hall of Fame (2013) in December 2012, Big Sean stated that he wished to "teach and leave a legacy" with its tracks, admitting that the content on his debut record Finally Famous (2011) "didn't really teach too much."[1] "Fire" was officially premiered through SoundCloud on July 29, 2013, after having surfaced online earlier that day. On his Instagram account, Big Sean commented that "this IS NOT a single...yet, but 1 of [his] favorites on the album."[2] The track was released for digital download on August 20 by GOOD Music and Def Jam Recordings.[3] Its release preceded the launch of Hall of Fame, which was made available later that month.[4]

"Fire" is a hip hop song that incorporates a "moody but confident bass line [and] celebratory piano keys".[5] It was compared to the musical styles seen on Graduation (2007), the third studio album by Kanye West,[5] and Watch the Throne (2011), a collaborative record between West and Jay-Z.[6] Lyrically, it has been described to "place emphasis on pushing through personal struggles",[7] and has also been noted for "[lifting] a few cues from heroes such as mentor Kanye West and Jay-Z".[6] Big Sean performed "Fire" on The Arsenio Hall Show, which had recently been revived after a nearly twenty-year hiatus,[8] on September 19, 2013.[9]

Critical reception[edit]

Upon its release, "Fire" received generally favorable reviews from music critics. Writing for Entertainment Weekly, Kyle Anderson spoke favorably of the track, calling it the "centerpiece of Fame, an infectious antidote to his famous mentor [Kanye West]'s self-seriousness."[10] While recognizing musical similarities to Graduation and Watch the Throne, Gary Graff from The Oakland Press felt that Big Sean drew inspiration from West and Jay-Z's records while maintaining "his own stylized favor and flow".[6] Khari of The Source felt that "Fire" was appropriately placed as the second song on Hall of Fame, where it matched the "flawless effort" seen in the opening track "Nothing Is Stopping You".[5] David Jeffries of AllMusic and Edna Gundersen from USA Today both considered the track to be a standout from the record, and both placed it on their lists of recommended purchases from the album.[11][12]

Music video[edit]

"I wanted somebody who was beautiful and I wanted to take her out of her element. People looking at her like she's twerking and all this stuff, but she's an awesome person, man. She symbolizes the beauty of a lot of women overcoming different relationships and being as beautiful as a flower."

— Big Sean discussing the reasoning behind featuring Cyrus in the music video for "Fire".[13]
Critical commentary was directed towards Cyrus' (pictured) increasingly provocative image.

An accompanying music video for "Fire" was directed by Jack Heller and Matthew Williams;[14] it premiered through Vevo on August 2, 2013.[13] The clip features American recording artist Miley Cyrus; according to Emily Blake and Nadeska Alexis of MTV News, it is composed entirely of "seductive stances and sultry glares [which] are interrupted solely by images of a red rose and a burning picture of the MC [Big Sean] himself".[13] Big Sean commented that the lyrics delivered in the track "really [don't] have anything to do with her personal story in the video."[13]

Critical commentary regarding the music video focused on Cyrus' increasingly provocative image. Margaret Eby of Daily News stated that she "just can't stop strutting her stuff" and "[flaunted] several barely-there outfits in the three-minute video."[15] A writer for The Huffington Post shared a similar sentiment, adding that "even though her wardrobe is full of crop tops and itty bitty shorts, Miley Cyrus' skimpy outfits still manage to shock."[16] A writer for Rap-Up provided a favorable review, complimenting Cyrus for "[turning] up the heat" in the "striking visuals".[17] Writing for VH1, Emily Exton joked that "hip-hop's fledgling relationship with a former Disney star just got a little stronger", and noted that "Jay-Z may have encouraged Miley’s love of twerking with his "Somewhereinamerica" shout-out, but it appears Sean is less interested in seeing Billy Ray's daughter shake her thing than having her walk around in dazzling heels and stare the camera down in the name of art."[18]

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Hall of Fame.[19]

  • Big Sean – lead vocals, songwriting
  • Elijah Blake – background vocals
  • Darhyl "Hey DJ" Camper – songwriting, production
  • James Fauntleroy – background vocals
  • Melanie Fiona – background vocals
  • Alexander Izquierdo – songwriting
  • Rob Kinelski – songwriting, production
  • Nicole Lequerica – background vocals

Charts[edit]

"Fire" peaked at number 19 on the U.S. Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles component chart to the Billboard Hot 100, which represents the twenty-five songs that failed to reach the flagship Billboard Hot 100.[20] It also reached number 46 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.[21]

Chart (2013) Peak
position
US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles (Billboard)[22] 19
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)[23] 46

Release history[edit]

Country Date Format Label Ref.
United States August 20, 2013 Digital download [3]
United Kingdom August 29, 2013 Urban contemporary radio [24]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sean Ryon (December 17, 2012). "Big Sean Hopes To "Teach And Leave A Legacy" With "Hall Of Fame" LP". HipHopDX. Retrieved January 5, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Big Sean Releases 'Fire' From Upcoming Album 'Hall Of Fame,' Can't Stop Instagramming". The Huffington Post. AOL. July 30, 2013. Retrieved January 5, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Fire: Big Sean". Amazon.com (US). August 20, 2013. Retrieved January 5, 2014. 
  4. ^ Edwin Ortiz (July 29, 2013). "Listen: Big Sean "Fire"". Complex. Complex Media. Retrieved January 5, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c Khari (August 12, 2013). "Record Report: Big Sean – Hall Of Fame". The Source. The NorthStar Group. Retrieved January 5, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c Gary Graff (August 26, 2013). "Listening Room: "Hall of Fame" puts Big Sean on the path to immortality". The Oakland Press. Journal Register Company. Retrieved January 5, 2014. 
  7. ^ Erin Lowers (August 29, 2013). "Big Sean Hall of Fame". Exclaim!. Ian Danzig. Retrieved January 5, 2014. 
  8. ^ Hanh Nguyen (July 29, 2013). "5 Changes to Expect From the Arsenio Hall Show Revival". TV Guide. CBS Corporation. Retrieved January 5, 2014. 
  9. ^ Patrick Bowman (September 20, 2013). "Big Sean Torches Arsenio Hall With A Performance Of ‘Fire’: Watch". Idolator. Buzz Media. Retrieved January 5, 2014. 
  10. ^ Kyle Anderson (August 29, 2013). "Hall of Fame Review". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved January 5, 2014. 
  11. ^ David Jeffries. "Hall of Fame - Big Sean". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved January 5, 2014. 
  12. ^ Edna Gundersen (August 27, 2013). "Listen Up: Goodie Mob, Franz Ferdinand, Big Sean". USA Today. Gannett Company. Retrieved January 5, 2014. 
  13. ^ a b c d Emily Blake; Nadeska Alexis (August 2, 2013). "What's Miley Doing In 'Fire' Video? Big Sean Explains!". MTV News. Viacom. Retrieved January 5, 2014. 
  14. ^ John Walker (August 2, 2013). "Miley Cyrus Heats Up Big Sean’s Sexy ‘Fire’ Video, And Now We Need A Long Shower". MTV Buzzworthy. Viacom. Retrieved January 11, 2014. 
  15. ^ Margaret Eby (August 3, 2013). "Miley Cyrus flaunts skimpy outfits in Big Sean 'Fire' music video". Daily News. Mortimer Zuckerman. Retrieved January 5, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Miley Cyrus' Skimpy Outfits Take Center Stage In Big Sean's 'Fire' Video". The Huffington Post. AOL. August 4, 2013. Retrieved January 5, 2013. 
  17. ^ "Video: Big Sean - 'Fire' (Starring Miley Cyrus)". Rap-Up. August 2, 2013. Retrieved January 5, 2014. 
  18. ^ Emily Exton (August 2, 2013). "Miley Cyrus Stars In Big Sean’s “Fire” Video, Does Not Twerk". VH1. Viacom. Retrieved January 5, 2014. 
  19. ^ Hall of Fame (Media notes). Big Sean. GOOD Music. Def Jam Recordings. 2013. 
  20. ^ "Big Sean - Chart history". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved January 5, 2014. 
  21. ^ "Big Sean - Chart history". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved January 5, 2014. 
  22. ^ "Big Sean Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 for Big Sean. Retrieved January 5, 2014.
  23. ^ "Big Sean Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for Big Sean. Retrieved January 5, 2014.
  24. ^ "BBC Radio 1Xtra Playlist – Thursday 29th August". BBC Radio 1Xtra. BBC. Retrieved January 5, 2014.