Love Lockdown

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"Love Lockdown"
Single by Kanye West
from the album 808s & Heartbreak
Released September 18, 2008
Format Digital download, radio airplay, 12-inch single
Recorded 2008
Glenwood Studios
(Burbank, California)
Avex Recording Studio
(Honolulu, Hawaii)
Genre Pop
Length 4:30 (album version)
4:15 (radio edit)
Label Roc-A-Fella, Def Jam
Writer(s) Kanye West, Jeffrey Bhasker, Jenny-Bea Englishman, Malik Yusef, Jan Menzies
Producer(s) Kanye West, Jeff Bhasker
Kanye West singles chronology
"Swagga Like Us"
(2008)
"Love Lockdown"
(2008)
"Heartless"
(2008)

"Love Lockdown" is a song by American hip hop artist Kanye West, released September 18, 2008 as the lead single of his studio album 808s & Heartbreak. Written and produced by West and musician Jeff Bhasker, it was premiered by West at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards prior to its release as a single. Primarily a minimal pop song, "Love Lockdown" contains elements of synthpop and electronic music, and is characterized by the Roland TR-808 drum machine and auto-tune vocals sung by West.

Despite being a drastic departure from his previous work, the song was well received by critics, and was frequently cited as a highlight of the album. Time magazine critic Josh Tyrangiel named "Love Lockdown" the best song of 2008.[1] The single was also successful commercially, as it managed to debut at number three on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and went on to sell over three million copies.[2]

Background[edit]

Kanye West debuted "Love Lockdown" on September 7, 2008, as the closing performance of the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards. On September 18, he released it as the lead single of 808s & Heartbreak. After announcing it as the album's first single, West posted free copies of the song on his blog for fans to download. A week later, he also posted six downloadable stems, each featuring isolated song portions of "Love Lockdown", on his blog, with the intention of enabling fans to freely remix the song for themselves.[3] These portions include an a cappella, distorted background vocals, 808, percussion, piano, and the outro synth-beat.[4] The song is featured in the first episode edition of Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned on the in-game contemporary hip-hop radio station, The Beat 102.7 hosted by DJ Green Lantern.

Music and structure[edit]

Inspired by 1980s synth-pop icons such as Phil Collins, Gary Numan, and Boy George, "Love Lockdown," much like 808s as a whole, is composed as a brooding, electronic-tinged pop song sung by West using the auto-tune effect and produced with the Roland TR-808 drum machine.[5] The song is composed in the key of C#minor, written in common time and moves at 119.5 beats per minute. West's monotone vocal range for the song spans nearly two octaves, from G#2 to G#4. It is written in a verse-chorus form that expresses quiet-loud dynamics, featuring verses delivered in a low, somber tone before shifting into loud, chanting choruses.

Going further against the typical sound of hip hop beat, along with the 808, the track instead makes use of tribal drums for its instrumentation.[6] West stated his intention was to juxtapose the mechanical sounds of the auto-tune and 808s with the more traditional sounds of taiko drums and choir monks.[7] The song is minimal in nature, retaining a steady bassline before building into more layered sounds within the chorus.[5]

Chart performance[edit]

In the United States, Billboard confirmed that "Love Lockdown" sold 213,000 digital downloads in only four full days of release, therefore earning itself the title of a "Hot Shot Debut" at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 and a "Hot Shot Debut" on the Pop 100 at number thirteen, where it eventually reached the eighth spot in early January. It is the highest debut of West's career, and was the second highest debut on the Hot 100 of 2008, tied with David Cook's "The Time of My Life." "Love Lockdown" is also only the tenth song of the decade to debut in the top three, and only the second by an artist unaffiliated with American Idol.[8] The single also made a "Hot Shot Debut" at number five on the Canadian Hot 100.[9]

In Europe, "Love Lockdown" peaked at number eight the UK Singles Chart and at number four on the Irish Singles Chart. It also debuted at thirty-eight in Italy and thirty-nine in Sweden. In Australia, the song debuted in its first week at thirty-seven on the ARIA Charts and peaked at number eighteen. In New Zealand, it has peaked at the eleventh spot on the RIANZ chart. On the German Singles Chart, "Love Lockdown" debuted at number eight, giving West his first top ten and highest charting single in Germany to date.

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Love Lockdown" was directed by Simon Henwood and premiered on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Tuesday, October 7, 2008.[10] On BET J, the video appeared at #32 on the Last Call 2008! Top 50 Countdown. It was filmed in West's apartment and features him in an all-white room, also dressed in white singing the verses of the song. West claims he drew inspiration from Christian Bale's portrayal of Patrick Bateman in Mary Harron's 2000 film adaptation of the novel American Psycho, a homage that is echoed in the presentation of the video's interiors, which mirror Bateman's New York City apartment in the film.[11] During the song's choruses, African tribe members appear, beating on djembe drums to the rhythm of song. More and more tribal members are shown with each chorus, and near the end, two very tall female figures covered with body paint decorated with abstract tattoo patterns reminiscent of the Nazca Lines appear. Interspersed throughout the video are visuals of what appears to be a spacecraft. The video ends with West laying in fetal position on the couch in the white room, in a homage to 2001: A Space Odyssey.

The video was nominated for Video of the Year, Best Male Video, Best Hip-Hop Video, and Best Special Effects in a Video at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. It did not win any of the nominations.

Track listing[edit]

Personnel[edit]

Information taken from 808s & Heartbreak liner notes.[12]

  • Songwriters: Kanye West, Jeff Bhasker, Jenny-Bea Englishman, Malik Yusef, LaNeah Menzies
  • Producers: Kanye West and Jeff Bhasker
  • Keyboards: Jeff Bhasker
  • Drums/Percussion: Gibi, Zé Bruno, Lula Almeida and Rodney Dassis

Charts and sales[edit]

Chart precession and succession[edit]

Preceded by
"Miss Independent" by Ne-Yo
UK R&B Chart number-one single
November 1, 2008
Succeeded by
"If I Were A Boy" by Beyoncé

Covers & Remixes[edit]

  • Jin created a remix to one of the early versions of "Love Lockdown".
  • Tonedeff released a remix titled "Warden", produced by Chew Fu.[35]
  • Kanye West posted a remix of "Love Lockdown" featuring R. Kelly on his official blog. (November 7, 2008)
  • Fall Out Boy lead vocalist Patrick Stump recorded a cover version of "Love Lockdown"
  • White Lies recorded a cover of "Love Lockdown" in a Live Lounge session for Jo Whiley's BBC Radio 1 show on January 14, 2009 and released it as a b-side to their single "Farewell to the Fairground."
  • Tiesto posted a remix of "Love Lockdown" on 23 January 2009
  • Trey Songz has a freestyle using "Love Lockdown"'s beat.
  • Solange Knowles has performed a snippet of the song at recent live performances.
  • Mark Holiday posted his remix on December 2008 on his official Myspace under his stage name "Trendsetter".[36]
  • LMFAO released a remix with new original verses. The remix resembles a techno-house remake.
  • Royce Da 5'9' has a remix called "Shot Down".
  • Apathy has a remix of his own called "Love Locked Ap"
  • Janina Gavankar recorded what she calls a "flip" of this song.[37]
  • My Dear Disco released a remix of "Love Lockdown" on their album The Remixes.[38]
  • Drama Beats, a.k.a.Christopher Pfaff, posted a remix on YouTube on September 29, 2008.
  • This song was sung by Pentatonix, a group on the television show "The Sing-Off."
  • Macy Gray covered it on her album Covered, which was released March 27, 2012
  • The X Factor contestant Harmony Hood sang the song for their audition.

Other[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Time, December 22, 2008, pages 47-8.
  2. ^ a b "RIAA – Gold & Platinum". Recording Industry Association of America. Nielsen Business Media Inc. 2010-08-18. Retrieved 2011-01-01. 
  3. ^ Kreps, Daniel (2008-09-25). "Kanye West Lets Fans Remix "Love Lockdown" For Free". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2008-09-25. 
  4. ^ West, Kanye (2008-09-25). "LOVE LOCK DOWN STEMS!!!". Kanye West/Mascotte Holdings. Retrieved 2008-09-25. 
  5. ^ a b "MTV News RAW: Kanye West". MTV. Retrieved 2008-11-23. 
  6. ^ Shaheem, Reid (2008-10-15). "Kanye West's 808s & Heartbreak Album Preview: More Drums, More Singing, 'No Typical Hip-Hop Beats'". MTV. Retrieved 2008-11-02. 
  7. ^ "Video: Kanye West Visits Conan O’Brien". Rap Up. Retrieved 2008-11-26. 
  8. ^ Bonson, Fred (2008-09-25). "Chart Beat". Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved 2008-09-25. [dead link]
  9. ^ [vnu_content_id=1003854860]
  10. ^ DeGeneres, Ellen (2008-10-07). "Kanye West's World Premiere Video!". WAD Productions. Retrieved 2008-10-07. [dead link]
  11. ^ World Entertainment News Network (2008-10-08). "Kanye West Inspired By Christian Bale's 'American Psycho'". Starpulse.com. Retrieved 2008-10-08. 
  12. ^ 808s & Heartbreak (Media notes). Kanye West. Roc-A-Fella Records. 2008. 0-06025-1791919-8. 
  13. ^ Top 50 Singles Chart - Australian Recording Industry Association
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h "Kanye West – Love Lockdown". aCharts.us. Retrieved 2009-05-09. 
  15. ^ ultratop.be - Kanye West - Love Lockdown
  16. ^ "Canadian Hot 100 – Love Lockdown". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 2009-03-07. Retrieved 2009-03-07. [dead link]
  17. ^ "Denmark – Love Lockdown". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 2008-12-06. Retrieved 2008-12-06. [dead link]
  18. ^ "European Hot 100 Singles – Love Lockdown". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 2008-11-22. Retrieved 2008-11-22. [dead link]
  19. ^ "Finland – Love Lockdown". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 2008-11-22. Retrieved 2008-11-22. [dead link]
  20. ^ Süddeutsche Zeitung: Farin Urlaub stürmt auf Platz zwei der Charts, retrieved 2008-11-11.
  21. ^ Mahasz: Hungarian Singles Chart, retrieved 2010-03-13.
  22. ^ "Media Forest - International radio songs airplays". mediaforest.biz. 2009-01-04. Retrieved 2009-01-10. 
  23. ^ "Sweden – Love Lockdown". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 2008-12-20. Retrieved 2008-12-20. [dead link]
  24. ^ "The Billboard Hot 100 – Love Lockdown". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 2009-03-07. Retrieved 2009-03-07. [dead link]
  25. ^ "Hot Dance Club Play – Love Lockdown". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 2009-03-28. Retrieved 2009-03-28. [dead link]
  26. ^ "Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs – Love Lockdown". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 2009-01-31. Retrieved 2009-01-31. [dead link]
  27. ^ "Pop 100 – Love Lockdown". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 2009-04-11. Retrieved 2009-04-11. [dead link]
  28. ^ http://www.billboard.com/artist/276709/kanye+west/chart?f=381
  29. ^ "Rhythmic Top 40 – Love Lockdown". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 2009-02-14. Retrieved 2009-02-14. [dead link]
  30. ^ "Éves összesített listák - MAHASZ Rádiós TOP 100 (súlyozott)". Mahasz. Mahasz. 
  31. ^ "Charts Plus Year end 2009" (PDF). Charts Plus. Retrieved 2010-07-19. 
  32. ^ "Year End Charts - Year-end songs - The Billboard Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved November 11, 2010. 
  33. ^ "Top 40 Urban Albums & Singles Chart". ARIA. Australian Recording Industry Association Ltd. 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  34. ^ "Chart #1651: Love Lockdown Gold certification". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. rianz.org.nz. 2009-01-12. Retrieved 2009-01-12. 
  35. ^ (October 13, 2008). Tondeff Explains Kanye West Edit, 2009 For QN5
  36. ^ (December 7, 2008) Trendsetter aka Mark Holiday official myspace
  37. ^ YouTube - Janina Gavankar - Love Lockdown
  38. ^ (August 21, 2010)
  39. ^ http://degrassiblog.com/2010/08/20/djgeneral-interviews-stephen-stohn-pt-2-degrassi-episode-titles-1025-1044/

External links[edit]