"Ayo Technology" is the fourth single from 50 Cent's third album, Curtis. The song, featuring Justin Timberlake and uncredited vocals from Timbaland, who also produced the song, peaked at number five on the Billboard Hot 100. Internationally, the song peaked within the top ten of the charts in many countries, including Australia, Denmark and the United Kingdom. The song has since been covered by Milow, a Belgian singer-songwriter whose version was successful in a number of countries, including Belgium, Spain, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands, Skyla, a British singer-songwriter whose version is popular in the dance genre and Katerine Avgoustakis, a Belgian singer, whose version was successful in Poland.
This section's factual accuracy is disputed. (October 2011)
HipHopDX reported that the song was renamed three times. It was first titled "Ayo Pornography" when it first leaked in May 2007, then "Ayo Technology" in June, and then "She Wants It" by July. Finally, the song title was reverted to "Ayo Technology." The song features Justin Timberlake and Timbaland, but most sources don't credit Timbaland for being on the song. In 2008, it was nominated for a Grammy for Best Rap Song. As revealed within its lyrics, Ayo Technology puts a strong emphasis on hot-blooded sexual fantasies, explicit body movements (such as when Timberlake utters the line "Why don't you sit down on top of me") and wild festivities at nightclubs. The intro and lead synth were created with the Elektron SidStation, an 8-bit sound synthesizer. Because of this, it is remarkably similar-sounding to the electronic music duo Crystal Castles' "Courtship Dating" from their self-titled album, released the following year although performed live since December 2006. Despite the album itself not being out until nearly a year after the public debut of "Ayo Technology," there was still minor controversy[dubious– discuss] over the alleged "sampling" of this song on "Ayo Technology" perhaps because of the negative reputation Timbaland has garnered over sampling 8-bit musicians uncredited.
Rob Sheffield was mixed: "The I-need-love pop tunes are not getting any better, even with Timbaland and Justin Timberlake in the stripper ditty "AYO Technology." Pitchfork was also mixed: "The album's only concession to modern pop trends-- the Timbaland-produced, Timberlake-hooked "Ayo Technology"—flies off the rails as 50, ripped from his comfort zone, falls behind the gurgling, video-game-blipping beat. Though he tries to force the track into more familiar territory with a cyborg-stripper theme, Justin nabs the spotlight without even trying." David Jeffries highlighted and wrote: "at ease is the Timbaland production "Ayo Technology" featuring Justin Timberlake, an obvious single that's "been there, done that" for all parties involved. This doesn't mean it's bland, just safe." A.V. Club was also positive: "Ayo Technology" follows the sexed-up template of "Candy Shop" and "Just A Li'l Bit" in providing strip clubs with the most perfunctory soundtrack possible."
The official remix features Hip-Hop & R&B artist Casely. Rapper Krayzie Bone created a remix called "Perfect Execution" off his 2008 mixtape "The Fixtape: Smoke on This". An acoustic cover of "Ayo Technology" performed by Belgian singer Milow was released in a number of European countries, topping the charts in the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland, and also charting well in countries such as Germany, where the song was certified with Platinum for being shipping 300,000 copies, and Romania. In September 2009, Skyla released a cover version of the song. In March 2009, Katerine also made a cover of the song which became her first international single and underwent a great success. It was number one for one week in Poland on the country's Official Airplay Chart by Nielsen. Rockabilly band The Baseballs include "Ayo Technology" as part of a medley including Poker Face and Jungle Drum whilst on tour. British 2 piece Jaqobi also recorded their own version of the song for their 2010 'Two brothers, a Guitar & a Bar' EP. British recording artist Craig David had also used the song to remix one of his own called "Hot Stuff (Let's Dance)".
The music video was premiered by BET on August 2, 2007, and was filmed in North London. 50 Cent described the music video to MTV. He said:
You can see this is not my normal uniform, or get-up, when I'm in a music video. But it's time for me to do something a little different, and this is the perfect time for me to actually change my look. You might see this on the red carpet, but not in an actual music video. The biggest challenges for the video are giving off a natural vibe and not seeming contrived at any moment. For you to actually be comfortable when you're actually doing it is a task. At some points you've got a room full of people looking at you at one time, just watching you to see what you're going to do. You've got to relax and just do it.
In the United States, "Ayo Technology" became 50 Cent's second highest debut on the Billboard Hot 100, entering at #22. The following week, it rose to #18, before falling to #21. One week after, "Ayo Technology" rose to #19. One week later, during the release of 50 Cent's Curtis and Kanye West's Graduation, the song skyrocketed to a peak of #5, becoming 50 Cent's eighth top-ten single as the lead artist, and eleventh overall. In the United Kingdom, the song debuted at #10 on the UK Singles Chart on downloads alone, becoming his eighth top ten single on the chart. It peaked at number two, becoming 50 Cent's highest charting single in Britain, beating out "In Da Club" and "Candy Shop" which both peaked at number three in March 2003 and March 2005 respectively. In New Zealand, the song debuted at number eight on the New Zealand Singles Chart, jumping to number one the following week where it stayed for three consecutive weeks. It stayed on the chart for 22 weeks and was certified Gold, selling over 7,500 copies.