It Takes Two (Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock song)
|"It Takes Two"|
|Single by Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock|
|from the album It Takes Two|
|Length||5:00 (album version)
4:32 (radio edit)
|Writer(s)||Robert Ginyard, Rodney Bryce, Teddy Riley and James Brown|
|Producer(s)||Rob Base and William Hamilton|
|Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock singles chronology|
"It Takes Two" is a song by New York Hip house artists Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock that became a top 40 hit single was later certified platinum by the RIAA. Over the years the song has been covered and sampled by various recording artists. As stated by music critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine of the All Music Guide, "There are many critics and listeners who claim that Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock's "It Takes Two" is the greatest hip-hop single ever cut. It's hard to disagree with them."
Composition and background
The song samples heavily from Lyn Collins' 1972 song "Think (About It)", using multiple drum breaks, the well known "Yeah! Woo!" sample, as well as the lyric sung by Collins which gives It Takes Two its title. The famous introduction of the song is spoken over a sample of "Space Dust" by The Galactic Force Band (1978).
The music video "It Takes Two" was edited by Peter Lauer and Pam Thomas, who worked in MTV’s promotions department alongside Peter Dougherty, Ted Demme and Mark Pellington.
The music video was filmed in 16mm by Steven Gladstone and Ilona Lieberman. The majority of the music video was filmed on a variety of 16mm Fuji Film stocks, using two standard 16 Bolex cameras and a single constant speed electric motor that was shared between the two cameras.
The first scene, where the DJ and little boy are talking, was shot in a record store in Harlem.
The interior dance sequences were not part of the original production. The entire film "budget" was four 100 foot rolls of 16mm film, which did not result in there being enough coverage, which explains the use of the xerography, and the insertion of the shots from the dance hall that do not match the video. The shot of a lone figure in a graveyard introducing the song (before the music starts) was indeed taken in a cemetery. There was no lighting budget, so the D.P.'s Volkswagen Bus, which had suffered a collision during travel to the shoot location, was driven to the gate of the cemetery, and the vehicle's headlights were used to illuminate the shot. The artist is reported to have paid the "producer" $5,000 for the video, the production crew remains unpaid to this day, and it is unclear how much, if any, of the $5,000 was actually spent on making the video.
Sampling and covers
- Female dance trio Seduction used the chorus line in their single "Two to Make It Right".
- Jonathan Davis of Korn sings the first verse of the song live when Korn play "Ball Tongue".
- 1989/1990: Belgian Eurodance group Technotronic sampled the line "I wanna rock right now" in the last 40 seconds on the album version of their single "Get Up! (Before the Night Is Over)".
- 1990: The line "I Wanna Rock" was used as a premise single from Rob Base on the Rocky V album.
- 1990: Filipino rapper Francis Magalona covered this song in his debut album Yo.
- Prince and Rosie Gaines performed a short cover of the song during the Nude Tour as part of an extended "Alphabet St." jam.
- 1991: The song is featured in the title screen of the notorious NES multicart game, Action 52
- 1992: The song has been sampled by Mr. Lee on the track "Get Busy".
- 1993: The song was sampled by DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince in their song "I Wanna Rock" in their album Code Red.
- 1994: Gang Starr also sampled the song in "Suckas Need Bodyguards" from their album Hard to Earn.
- 2001: Run-D.M.C. feature lyrics that reference the song in "Rock Show" from their album Crown Royal.
- 2002: Lil Romeo covered the song as "2-Way" on his album Game Time.
- 2002: The "Yeah! Woo!" vocals are sampled and heavily processed on Modeselektor's Death Medley EP.
- 2006: Ciara's "Make It Last Forever" sampled the song on her second album, Ciara: The Evolution.
- 2006: Girl Talk samples the song for his song "Give and Go" on the album Night Ripper.
- 2008: French DJ and producer Mr. Oizo released "Two Takes It", a track with vocals by Carmen Castro, which is a cover of the song with altered lyrics and beats.
- 2009: The song's line "I wanna rock right now" has been repeatedly sampled on The Black Eyed Peas's single "Rock That Body" from their 5th studio album The E.N.D..
- The song is sampled in the techno song "The Question Is What Is The Question" by Scooter.
- 2009: Snoop Dogg sampled the song on his song "I Wanna Rock" on his album Malice n Wonderland.
- 2009: Korean artist BoA interpolated the song on her single "Bump Bump!" featuring Verbal of M-flo.
- British rapper Skepta references the lyrics in his song "Skepta".
- 2010: Chris Brown recorded his version as "I Wanna Rock" on his rap mixtape In My Zone.
- 2011: Fred Durst uses the line "I wanna rock right now" on Limp Bizkit's song "Back Porch" on their 2011 album Gold Cobra.
- 2012: The Outside Agency uses the line "1, 2, 3, get loose now" on the song "Backpack Wisdom" on their album "The Dogs Are Listening".
- 2015: Jimmy Fallon & Will Smith performed the song on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon
- Korea's Girl Group 2NE1's "I Am the Best" ("내가 제일 잘 나가") from 2nd Mini Album samples the famous "Yeah! Woo!" loop.
- The song has been sampled by Gigi Barocco with his remix for Breakdown's "Play With it".
- The ABC TV series Ugly Betty covered the song in the second season episode "A Thousand Words Before Friday".
- English rapper Maxsta heavily sampled the song in his song "I Wanna Rock", which he released in July 2012.
|UK Singles (The Official Charts Company)||24|
|US Hot 100 (Billboard)||36|
|US Hot Dance Club Play (Billboard)||3|
|US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)||17|
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock: It Takes Two: Composed by Robert Ginyard: Song Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
- Lester, Paul (11 July 2012). "New band of the week Maxsta (No 1,306)". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
- "Rob Base & DJ EZ- Rock's It Takes Two sample of Lyn Collins's Think (About It)". whosampled.com. Retrieved 5 July 2011.
- Steven Gladstone, Director of Photography for the music video of "It Takes Two"
- Rolfe, James. "AVGN: Action 52". Angry Video Game Nerd. Cinemassacre. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
- "Rob Base - Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-06-26.
- Music video on YouTube