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4x4 (song)

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"4x4"
Song by Miley Cyrus featuring Nelly
from the album Bangerz
Recorded 2013
Circle House Studios
(Miami, Florida)
Glenwood Studios
(Burbank, California)
Genre
Length 3:11
Label RCA
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s) Williams
Bangerz track listing
"SMS (Bangerz)"
(3)
"4x4"
(4)
"My Darlin'"
(5)

"4x4" is a song by American recording artist Miley Cyrus featuring American rapper Nelly from Cyrus' fourth studio album Bangerz (2013). It was written and produced by Pharrell Williams, with additional songwriting provided by Cyrus and Nelly. The song is a country rap track that discusses having fun through the metaphor of a 4x4 truck. The song is sampled in British indie rock band Alt-J's 2014 single "Hunger of the Pine".[1]

"4x4" received generally favorable reviews from contemporary music critics, who appreciated its overall production and individuality compared to the other tracks included on Bangerz. Despite not having been released as a single, it peaked at number 41 on the U.S. Billboard Pop Digital Songs chart. Cyrus first performed the song during her episode of MTV Unplugged in January 2014, and has also performed it during her Bangerz Tour. In August 2014, Ubisoft revealed that the song will appear in Just Dance 2015.[2]

Background and composition[edit]

In 2012, Cyrus announced plans to focus on her film career, effectively putting her musical endeavors on hiatus. That year, she appeared in the films LOL and So Undercover. She was also confirmed as a primary voice actress in the feature film Hotel Transylvania, but dropped out of the project to coordinate a musical comeback.[3] In January 2013, Cyrus ended her recording contract with Hollywood Records, under which she released the studio albums Meet Miley Cyrus (2007), Breakout (2008), Can't Be Tamed (2010), and the extended play (EP) The Time of Our Lives (2009). Later that month, she signed a recording contract with RCA Records.[4] In March, she confirmed that her fourth studio album would be released by the end of 2013.[5]

Nelly is featured on "4x4".

It was announced that Nelly would appear on Cyrus' album Bangerz (2013) when its track listing was confirmed on September 10.[6] Their collaboration, "4x4", was written by Cyrus, Nelly, and Pharrell Williams; it was produced by Williams and engineered by John Hanes. Andrew Coleman arranged, recorded, and edited the song with assistance from Todd Hurtt and Matthew Desrameaux; it was later mixed by Serban Ghenea.[7] Nelly commented that the track blends elements of pop, hip hop, and country music, and elaborated that "it's about having fun; kind of how a 4x4 truck symbolizes rebelliousness ... you know, mashing out, wanting to ride with the bad boys." He added that Cyrus "does a little rapping and a little singing" on the song, which he felt was a way in which she "expresses herself".[8]

Critical reception[edit]

"4x4" received generally favorable reviews from contemporary music critics. Writing for AllMusic, Heather Phares described the track as an "improbable but entertaining piece of country-rap", and distinguished it as a stand-out track from Bangerz.[9] Marah Eakin from The A.V. Club opined that its "progressive" production was similar to a "Scale-era Matthew Herbert", and commented that its lyrical content "[takes] the song in a silly Bonnie and Clyde direction".[10] Nick Catucci from Entertainment Weekly was complimentary towards the "winningly nutty Pharrell production",[11] while Kyle Fowle from Slant Magazine commented that Cyrus "explores ideas of femininity with a sinister, determined edge" by assuming the position of the "other woman" mentioned in "Before He Cheats" by Carrie Underwood.[12] Writing for PopMatters, Evan Sawdey described "4x4" as an "almost throwaway squaredance of a club song ... complete with some accordion work", and suggested that it was the most inventive track from the record because it was "absurd, ridiculous, and actually playful in a way in which these other Bangerz aren't."[13]

Live performances[edit]

An episode of MTV Unplugged starring Cyrus premiered through MTV on January 29, 2014;[14] she performed an acoustic version of "4x4", among several additional tracks from Bangerz. The entire episode followed a theme inspired by country music; during "4x4" in particular, Cyrus was dressed in red-checkered outfit with a blonde wig, white hat, and light blue purse. She made several provocative gestures throughout the performance, and additionally twerked on performers dressed in a large horse costume.[15] Later that year, Cyrus performed the track during her ongoing Bangerz Tour.[16] The performance received positive reviews from critics. Blake Hannon praised Cyrus' vocals and commented that he loved "the knee-slapping, country-inspired 4X4."[17] Cyrus returned to perform the song during the musical festival on June 21, 2014, Summertime Ball at Wembley Stadium of London, in front of 80,000 people.[18]

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Bangerz.[7]

Recording
Personnel
  • Andrew Coleman – arranger, recording, digital editing
  • Miley Cyrus – songwriter, vocals
  • Matthew Desrameaux – assistant recording
  • Serban Ghenea – mixer
  • John Hanes – mixing engineer
  • Todd Hurtt – assistant recording
  • Nelly – songwriter, vocals
  • Pharrell Williams – songwriter, producer

Charts[edit]

"4x4" debuted at number 41 on the U.S. Billboard Pop Digital Songs chart,[19] and reached number 64 on the Canadian Billboard Hot Digital Songs chart.[20] The track also charted at numbers 7 and 64 on the South Korean Gaon Chart and the Flanders Ultratip chart in Belgium, respectively.[21][22]

Chart (2013–14) Peak
position
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[21] 35
Canada Hot Digital Songs (Billboard)[20] 64
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[23] 56
South Korea (Gaon)[22] 7
US Pop Digital Songs (Billboard)[19] 41

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Alt-J say Miley Cyrus sample adds 'unexpected element' to comeback single". NME. 19 June 2014. Retrieved 24 June 2014. 
  2. ^ Sirani, Jordan (August 13, 2014). "GAMESCOM 2014: 8 MORE SONGS REVEALED FOR JUST DANCE 2015". IGN. Retrieved August 20, 2015. 
  3. ^ Shaun Kitchener (February 10, 2012). "Miley Cyrus Drops Out Of Film Role To Make Pop Comeback". Entertainmentwise. Gigwise. Archived from the original on September 7, 2014. Retrieved September 21, 2013. 
  4. ^ Andrew Hampp (January 30, 2013). "Miley Cyrus Signs With RCA, Will Work With Dr. Luke on New LP". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved January 26, 2014. 
  5. ^ Jason Lipshutz (March 7, 2013). "Miley Cyrus: 'My New Music Is Gonna Shut Everyone Up'". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  6. ^ Gil Kaufman (September 10, 2013). "Miley Cyrus Tweets Shock-Filled Bangerz Track List". MTV News. Viacom. Retrieved March 2, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b Bangerz (Media notes). Miley Cyrus. RCA Records. 2013. 
  8. ^ James Montgomery (September 13, 2013). "Miley's 'Mashing Out' With Nelly On Bangerz Track '4x4'". MTV News. Viacom. Retrieved March 2, 2014. 
  9. ^ Heather Phares (October 8, 2013). "Bangerz - Miley Cyrus". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved October 6, 2013. 
  10. ^ Mariah Eakin (October 8, 2013). "Miley Cyrus: Bangerz: Music: MusicalWork Review". The A.V. Club. The Onion. Retrieved October 10, 2013. 
  11. ^ Nick Catucci (October 1, 2013). "Bangerz - Miley Cyrus". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved October 1, 2013. 
  12. ^ Kyle Fowle (October 6, 2013). "Miley Cyrus: Bangerz: Music Review". Slant Magazine. Retrieved October 10, 2013. 
  13. ^ Evan Sawdey (October 6, 2013). "Miley Cyrus: Bangerz". PopMatters. Retrieved October 10, 2013. 
  14. ^ Rahman, Ray (January 21, 2014). "Miley Cyrus will star in her own 'MTV Unplugged'". CNN. Retrieved January 21, 2014. 
  15. ^ "Miley Unplugged". MTV Unplugged. January 29, 2014. MTV. Retrieved March 5, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Miley Cyrus Kisses Katy Perry, Sings With Flaming Lips at Los Angeles Concert: Video". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. February 23, 2014. Retrieved March 1, 2014. 
  17. ^ Hannon, Blake (August 10, 2014). "Review: Miley Cyrus at the Yum! Center in Louisville". Kentucky. Retrieved August 11, 2014. 
  18. ^ Cyrus, Miley (June 22, 2014). "Miley Cyrus Brings Her Naughty Side - And Her Sister - To The #CapitalSTB!". June 21, 2014. 
  19. ^ a b "Pop Digital Songs: Oct 26, 2013". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved January 3, 2014. 
  20. ^ a b "Hot Canadian Digital Songs: Oct 26, 2013". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved March 2, 2014. 
  21. ^ a b "Ultratop.be – Miley Cyrus feat. Nelly – 4x4" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved January 17, 2014.
  22. ^ a b "South Korea Gaon International Chart". Gaon Chart. Archived from the original on October 18, 2013. Retrieved January 3, 2014. 
  23. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Miley Cyrus feat. Nelly – 4x4" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved June 11, 2014.

External links[edit]