Speechless (Alicia Keys song)

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"Speechless"
Speechless (Alicia Keys song).jpg
Song by Alicia Keys featuring Eve
Released December 27, 2010
Format Download
Recorded 2010
Genre R&B, hip hop
Length 4:07
Label J
Writer Alicia Keys, Kassim Dean, Eve Jeffers
Producer Swizz Beatz

"Speechless" is a song by American recording artist Alicia Keys and features additional vocals from American rapper Eve. It was written by Keys, Eve and Swizz Beatz, while production was handled by the latter. A dedication to her son Egypt, whom she gave birth to in New York City on October 14, 2010, the freestyle collaboration was released as a holiday gift for Keys's fans on Beatz's Monster Mondays program on December 27, 2010. It samples Kanye West’s “Devil in a New Dress” from his 2010 album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and upon its unofficial release, charted on number 71 the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart in early 2011.

Background[edit]

In May 2009, music producer Swizz Beatz announced that he and Keys were romantically involved,[1] and in May 2010, a representative for Keys and Swizz Beatz confirmed that they were engaged and expecting a child together.[2] During the time of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the couple took part of a union and had the unborn child blessed in a Zulu ceremony, which took place in the Illovo suburb of Johannesburg, South Africa.[3] Keys and Beatz were married on the French island of Corsica on July 31, 2010.[4][5] On October 14, 2010, Keys gave birth to a son, Egypt Daoud Ibarr Dean, in New York City.[6] The same month, the singer revealed on her official blog that motherhood had inspired her to craft new music in a post titled "I feel a song coming on."[7] On December 27, 2010, Beatz debuted "Speechless" on his website as part of his Monster Mondays program.[8] In a behind-the-scenes video which documented the recording process and was also posted on the site, Beatz noted that the song would not be included on her upcoming album and it was just a fun little gift to Keys' fans. "This should be a treat for the fans [...] almost like a day in the life," he said. "This will be a treat."[8] Keys took to social networking site Twitter to make clear that "Speechless" was just "a little freestyle treat" for the holidays, writing "It’s not a new album, not a single, it's something special for you!”[9]

Composition and lyrics[edit]

"Speechless" marked Keys' first reunion with rapper Eve since 2002's "Gangsta Lovin'".

"Speechless" samples elements from Kanye West’s “Devil in a New Dress” featuring Rick Ross. The song appears on his 2010 album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.[8] Lyrically, "Speechless" finds Keys singing about love. "I'm at a brand-new time in my life and a brand new feeling, and it's like this little guy, man, he takes my breath away," she says on the track before starting the first verse.[8] According to Jocelyn Vena of MTV News, "the piano-heavy tune gets funky once the chorus kicks in", on which Keys expresses her joy over the new love of her life, singing, "Makes you speechless, baby/ Don't know what to say/ I'm just speechless, baby/ The poet in me has gone away."[8] Midway through the track, rapper Eve makes an appearance. "Speechless" marked the pairs' first collaboration in over eight years, having previously appeared together on Eve's 2002 single "Gangsta Lovin'" from her album Eve-Olution.[7] Vena found that the "tough rapper shows her soft side, spitting rhymes like, "In the morning when I rise up/ Go to the window and I smile, put my eyes up/ Stare in the clouds, like, 'Wow, look at my luck.'"[8]

Reception[edit]

In a review, Idolator found that Keys "may have rushed it out — ”Speechless” comes off as a little generic, despite surely heartfelt lyrics and the rock-guitar fuzz under Alicia’s piano. And the verse from the typically tough-talking Eve doesn’t add much."[10]

Charts[edit]

Chart (2011) Peak
position
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)[11] 71

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Alicia Keys dating rapper". The Boston Globe. 2009-05-18. Archived from the original on January 11, 2010. Retrieved 2009-12-04. 
  2. ^ Laudadio, Marisa (May 27, 2010). "Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz Are Engaged – and Expecting!". People. Time. Archived from the original on May 28, 2010. Retrieved May 27, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Alicia Keys and Swizz Haseeb Receive Zulu Blessing in Africa". Rap-Up. Archived from the original on June 26, 2010. Retrieved August 2, 2010. 
  4. ^ Baertlein, Lisa (August 2, 2010). "Alicia Keys Marries Swizz Beatz". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. Archived from the original on August 5, 2010. Retrieved August 2, 2010. 
  5. ^ Serpe, Gina (August 1, 2010). "Call Her Mrs. Beatz: Alicia Keys Weds!". EOnline. EOnline. Archived from the original on August 2, 2010. Retrieved August 1, 2010. 
  6. ^ Greer, Carlos (October 15, 2010). "Alicia Keys Has a Baby Boy". People. People. Archived from the original on October 20, 2010. Retrieved October 15, 2010. 
  7. ^ a b Ziegbe, Mawuse (2010-10-27). "Alicia Keys Says Son Egypt Inspiring New Music". MTV News. Viacom. Retrieved 2012-10-16. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f Vena, Jocelyn (2010-10-28). "Alicia Keys Drops New Song 'Speechless'". MTV News. Viacom. Retrieved 2012-10-16. 
  9. ^ "New Music: Alicia Keys f/ Eve – ‘Speechless’". Rap-Up. 2010-10-27. Retrieved 2012-10-16. 
  10. ^ "Alicia Keys Is "Speechless" In New Tribute To Motherhood". Idolator. 2010-10-28. Retrieved 2012-10-16. 
  11. ^ "Alicia Keys Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for Alicia Keys. Retrieved 2012-10-16.