Gotta Have It (song)

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"Gotta Have It"
Single by Jay-Z and Kanye West
from the album Watch the Throne
Released December 6, 2011
Recorded 2011
Genre Hip hop
Length 2:20
Label Roc-A-Fella, Roc Nation, Def Jam
Writer(s) Kanye West, Shawn Carter, Pharrell Williams, James Brown, Joseph Roach, St Clair Pinckney, Fred Wesley
Producer(s) The Neptunes, Kanye West (co)
Jay-Z singles chronology
"Mr. Nice Watch"
(2011)
"Gotta Have It"
(2011)
"I Do"
(2012)
Kanye West singles chronology
"Why I Love You"
(2011)
"Gotta Have It"
(2011)
"No Church in the Wild"
(2012)

"Gotta Have It" is a song by American hip hop artists Kanye West and Jay-Z from their first collaborative album Watch the Throne (2011). The song was produced by West and The Neptunes, and samples three original compositions by James Brown: "Don’t Tell a Lie About Me and I Won’t Tell the Truth About You", "People Get Up and Drive Your Funky Soul" and "My Thang". The song explores themes of wealth, decadence and the economic stature in the US. The song received positive reviews from critics who complimented the production and the clever wordplay of the two rappers.

The song was released as the sixth single from Watch the Throne on December 6, 2011. The song peaked at number 69 on the US Billboard Hot 100 entered the top 15 both the US Billboard Hot Rap Songs and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts. The song has since been certified Gold for sales exceeding 500,000. Jay-Z and West performed the song as part of the setlist of their Watch the Throne Tour and at the 2012 Radio 1's Big Weekend musical festival.

Background[edit]

Jay-Z and Kanye West are both American rappers who have collaborated on several tracks together, such as singles like "Swagga Like Us", "Run This Town", and "Monster".[1][2] In 2010, they began production and recording on a collaborative record Watch the Throne.[2] "Gotta Have It" was produced by West and the production duo The Neptunes, and incorporates chopped-up James Brown vocal samples and Eastern flute melodies.[3] The song samples three different song; "Don’t Tell a Lie About Me and I Won’t Tell the Truth About You", "People Get Up and Drive Your Funky Soul" and "My Thang" and was reportedly very expensive to produce.[3] The track was released as the album's sixth single in the US, and it impacted Urban radio on December 6, 2011,[4] and Rhythmic radio on January 31, 2012.[5] The track was performed by West and Jay on their Watch the Throne tour.[6] During Jay-Z's setlist at the 2012 Radio 1's Big Weekend festival, West joined Jay-Z to perform "Gotta Have It" and other Watch the Throne hits like "Niggas in Paris" and "No Church in the Wild".[7]

Composition[edit]

A 20 second sample of "Gotta Have It" which showcase's West's first verse of the song and the start of Jay-Z's.

Problems playing this file? See media help.

"Gotta Have It" unites "Kanye and the Neptunes to crazily chop up James Brown vocal samples and Eastern flute melodies."[3] The song contains "haunting backing vocals and an accompanying tambourine" with the two rappers trading verses with the vocal riff playing over them.[8] The song features "diced-up vocal snippets and gut-punching bass back aggressive rhymes" and includes a reference to the Yung Chris song "Racks" which is a "nod to the contemporary rap trends the track both embraces and outpaces."[9] While some tracks on Watch the Throne give the "star rappers turns at the mic," "Gotta Have It" is "pure tag-team hip-hop, with the two trading off verses and finishing each other's lines."[10] The song contains moments of the two rappers "finishing each others' Ferris Bueller and Miami Heat jokes over a chopped-up James Brown yelps" provided by The Neptunes.[11]

Reception[edit]

"Gotta Have It" received mostly positive reviews from music critics. Sputnikmusic's Tyler Fisher stated that "The Neptunes turn in their best beat in years on "Gotta Have It", sampling James Brown in a realm completely removed from funk and soul."[12] Slant Magazine's Matthew Cole stated that "the duo volleys ball lines at each other on "Otis" and do call-and-response riffing on "Gotta Have It," sounding like a pair of hustlers who can't believe how much they've gotten away with. The chemistry between the two friends and self-described sibling rivals is conveyed perfectly on those two tracks."[13] David Amidon of PopMatters commented that several songs on the album are a "hirlwind of excitement, particularly “Gotta Have It”, which finds Kanye and Jay spitting such decadent, pro-Black-laden material as “Maybachs on bachs on bachs on bachs on bachs / Who in that? / Oh, shit, it’s just blacks on blacks on blacks".[14] Popdust's Emily Exton reported that that "he two trade lines instead of verses in what results in a surefire example of what can happen when two pros team up."[8] The song peaked at number 69 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and at numbers 14 and 13 on the Billboard Hot Rap Songs and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts respectively.[15]

Chart performance[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Birchmeier, Jason (2010). "Kanye West". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Biography. Retrieved 2011-08-11. 
  2. ^ a b Dombal, Ryan (2010-10-25). "Kanye West and Jay-Z Planning Joint Album". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2010-10-26. 
  3. ^ a b c Breihan, Tom (August 11, 2011). "Album Reviews: Jay-Z / Kanye West: Watch the Throne". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2011-08-11. 
  4. ^ "®R&R :: Going For Adds™ :: Urban". Radio & Records. Archived from the original on 2012-03-11. Retrieved 2012-03-11. 
  5. ^ "CHR – Available for Airplay". FMQB. Archived from the original on 2012-03-11. Retrieved 2012-03-11. 
  6. ^ Bretbaf (May 21, 2012). "Kanye West & Jay-Z Concert Setlist at the O2 Arena, London, UK on May 21, 2012". The Independent. Independent Print Limited. Retrieved May 22, 2012. 
  7. ^ Higgins Keenan (2012-06-25). "Kanye, Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj and Nas join Hackney 2012". Vibe. Retrieved 2012-06-25. 
  8. ^ a b Exton, Emily (2011-11-14). "Gotta Have It by Kanye and Jay-Z Review". Popdust. Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  9. ^ Vozick-Levinson, Simon (July 8, 2011). "Jay-Z Previews 'Watch the Throne' in New York". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Retrieved 2011-07-17. 
  10. ^ "Kanye West and Jay-Z's 'Watch the Throne': A Track-by-Track Breakdown". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Retrieved December 27, 2011. 
  11. ^ Harvilla, Rob (August 10, 2011). "Jay-Z and Kanye West, 'Watch the Throne' (Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam/Roc Nation)". Spin. Spin Media. Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
  12. ^ Fisher, Tyler (August 10, 2011). "Jay-Z and Kanye West – Watch the Throne (staff review)". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 2011-08-11. 
  13. ^ Cole, Matthew (August 11, 2011). "Jay-Z and Kanye West: Watch the Throne". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 2011-08-12. 
  14. ^ Amidon, David (August 12, 2011). "Jay-Z & Kanye West: Watch the Throne". PopMatters. Retrieved 2011-08-12. 
  15. ^ a b c d "Watch the Throne >> Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. August 18, 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-19. 
  16. ^ "R&B/Hip-Hop Songs – 2012 Year End Charts". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2012-12-17. 
  17. ^ "Rap Songs – 2012 Year End Charts". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2012-12-17. 

External links[edit]