"I Cry" received mixed reviews from music critics, who criticized its lyrical content and production, and stated that it would have been better with a collaboration with Sia Furler, who previously collaborated with Flo Rida on the song, "Wild Ones". However, some critics were positive towards its catchiness and club-nature. The song received commercial success upon its release, peaking inside the top ten in many countries including Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States. A music video was released for the single on YouTube.
"I Cry" received generally mixed reviews from most music critics. Andy Gill from The Independent said that this track, along with "In My Mind (Part 2)" are "galloping grooves." Chris Payne from Billboard was favorable saying "After repeat listens "I Cry" might sound a good deal like the rest of "Wild Ones," but played in a club at the right time, it's got enough building beats and poppy climaxes to deliver."AbsolutePunk said that "I Cry" was a "decent dance cut, using a sample from the Bingo Players for the hook."
However, Melissa Maerz from Entertainment Weekly said, "Most bizarre is I Cry, which speeds up Brenda Russell's 1988 smooth-jazz cheesefest Piano in the Dark until it has all the emotional heft of an LMFAO track. You couldn't program a robot to cry to it." Gleen Glomboa from Newsday said the sample of "Piano in the Dark" was "off" and wanted it to "speed up a bit." Robert Copsey from Digital Spy gave it a rather scathing review, only awarding it one star out of five. He stated "But 'I Cry' is just sheer laziness [...] Flo waxes the usual lyrical nonsense about champagne buckets and his tattoo of Jimi Hendrix." Copsey also thought it would have been better as a collaboration with "Wild Ones" guest vocalist Sia Furler. He stated, "We've said it once and we'll say it again: Bring back Sia!"
"I Cry" was a commercial success upon its release, performing particularly well in European countries. The song first charted in Norway, debuting at number 8 on the Norwegian Singles Chart and rising to number 1 the following week, where it lasted for three weeks in total. In Denmark, the song debuted at number 9 for the chart week ending September 7, 2012, and reached a peak of number 8 on September 16. "I Cry" also performed strongly in Ireland and the United Kingdom: it reached number 16 in Ireland on September 13, 2012, and reached a peak of number 3 on the UK Singles Chart for the chart week dated September 30, 2012.
In Australia, "I Cry" first appeared and peaked on the Australian Singles Chart at number 3 on September 16, 2012, remaining at that position for two weeks in total. The song peaked at number ten in New Zealand, debuting at number 17 on September 17, 2012 and rising to its peak position the following week.
A music video for the song was released on September 30, 2012 directed by Marc Klasfeld. The video includes footage of Flo Rida visiting his home neighborhood in Carol City, Florida to tell his story of his struggle to fame and fortune while crying seeing the town's wealth. The music video premiered on BET's106 & Park on October 11, 2012, when Flo Rida visited the show.