"Break It Off" is a song by Barbadian recording artist Rihanna from her second studio album, A Girl Like Me (2006). It was written by Sean Paul, Donovan Bennett, K. Ford and Rihanna, while production was handled by Don Corleon. The song was released on November 13, 2006, as the album's fourth and final single. "Break It Off" is a futuristic "pop-dancehall" song, which is layered over an electro-reggaebeat.
Sean Paul co-wrote and provided vocals on "Break It Off".
"Break It Off" was recorded at 2 Hard Studios in Kingston, Jamaica. It was written by Donovan Bennett, Sean Paul Henriques (better known as Sean Paul), K. Ford and Rihanna, who is credited as Robyn Fenty. Production of the song was handled by Don Corleon. It was engineered by Jeremy Harding and Bennett, who also mixed the song. All instrumentation was provided by Bennett. Paul explained how he and Rihanna met in a 2011 interview with Rap-Up. During her visit to Jamaica, Rihanna was taken on a tour around the island by Paul, where he took her to some of the beaches and experienced the nightlife. He continued to explain that they spent a few days together and that he took her to the Bob Marley Museum, which was something she had "always wanted to do." Reminiscing on "Break It Off" and Rihanna, Paul stated that working with the singer and creating the song was "his most memorable collaboration." "Break It Off" was released as the fourth and final single from Rihanna's second studio album, A Girl like Me (2006). It was released to US Contemporary hit radio station playlists on November 13, 2006, by Def Jam Recordings. It was also made available to download digitally via iTunes in various countries around the world on February 27, 2007, including Australia, Austria, Belgium and Spain.
"Break It Off" garnered a positive response from music critics. David Jeffries for AllMusic was complimentary of "Break It Off", writing that it is "totally juiced" and that she provides good competition for Paul. Kelefa Sanneh for The New York Times praised the song, and described it as Rihanna's "triumphant return to her old formula." Quentin B. Huff for PopMatters lauded Sean Paul for his contribution to the song while praising Rihanna's hook, writing that "[Rihanna's] hook is so infectious that hers is the voice you ultimately remember. That's another dancehall-flavored song and another winner." Bill Lamb for About.com called "Break It Off", along with "Kisses Don't Lie", "candidates for widespread pop radio airplay".
"Break It Off" debuted at number 40 on the US Pop Songs chart in the issue dated November 18, 2006. The following week, it ascended to number 35, and again to number 32 in its third week on the chart. "Break It Off" climbed into the top 30 at number 28 in its fourth week on December 9, 2006, and to number 25 in its fifth week. On December 23, 2006, the song climbed again to number 21, and reached its 2006 peak of number 16 on December 30, 2006. In the first chart issue of Billboard in January 2007, "Break It Off" charted at number 14. It broke into the top 10 on February 3, 2007, and ascended to number seven the following week. "Break It Off" peaked at number six on February 24, 2007. The song remained on the Pop Songs chart for a total of 22 weeks. On December 9, 2006, "Break It Off" debuted on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart at number 95. The song climbed to number 52 on March 3, 2007, and surged 42 chart positions to number 10 the following week. In its fourteenth week on the chart, the song peaked at number nine, and was awarded with the Digital Gainer honor. On March 24, 2007, the song debuted and peaked at number 10 in the Flanders region of Belgium.