DoYaThing

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For similarly titled songs, see Do Ya Thang (disambiguation).
"DoYaThing"
From left to right: James Murphy as a monkey in a karate outfit, 2D in a black outfit wearing a hat, Murdoc Niccals dribbling a basketball at the waist level, and Andre 3000 wearing a black mask
Single by Gorillaz featuring James Murphy and André 3000
Released 23 February 2012 (2012-02-23)
Format
Length
  • 4:26 (radio edit)
  • 13:04 (full version)
Label Converse
Writer(s)
Producer(s)
  • Damon Albarn
  • James Murphy
  • André Benjamin
Gorillaz singles chronology
"Revolving Doors/Amarillo"
(2011)
"DoYaThing"
(2012)
James Murphy singles chronology
"Drunk Girls"
(2010)
"DoYaThing"
(2012)
André 3000 singles chronology
"I Do"
(2012)
"DoYaThing"
(2012)
"Sorry"
(2012)
Music video
"DoYaThing" on YouTube

"DoYaThing" is a song by alternative rock virtual band Gorillaz, featuring LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy and André 3000 of Outkast. The song was released on 23 February 2012. It was commissioned by Converse as a part of their "Three Artists. One Song" project where three artists collaborate on a track. The song is also the starting point for a limited edition Chuck Taylor All-Stars collection designed by Gorillaz artist Jamie Hewlett. The shoe designs feature artwork from other projects related to Gorillaz.[1] It was released in two different versions: the approximately 4-and-a-half-minute radio edit, and the explicit 13-minute version.[2] The former was released as a free download on Converse's website,[3] while the latter was released for streaming on Gorillaz's website.[2] The cover features a baboon representing Murphy and a masked figure representing André 3000, referencing the single cover for "I'm a Goner" by Matt and Kim.[1][2][4]

This song did not see a release on iTunes.

Background and recording[edit]

A man holds a microphone with his left hand and puts his right hand up.
Damon Albarn
A man sings to a microphone while holding drum sticks.
James Murphy
A man speaks to a microphone at the San Diego Comic Con.
André 3000

The idea for "DoYaThing" started when Converse asked Gorillaz creators Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett to design an exclusive shoe collection that would feature artwork influenced by Gorillaz. After the design was finished, Converse and Cornerstone, the company that promotes products from the "Three Artists. One Song." campaign, persuaded Albarn to broaden their partnership to a collaborative track. Albarn accepted, and invited LCD Soundsystem leader James Murphy and Outkast member André 3000, who both signed on.[3]

Instead of recording the song by sending it via e-mail, as Murphy initially feared, the three met in Albarn's London studio to record the track.[5] Despite the three only knowing each other through their music, Albarn described the experience of meeting them as "very natural", saying "We were comfortable with each other immediately." The song was written and recorded over three days, with the 13-minute version being recorded on the last one.[3][5]

Speaking further about the collaboration Albarn said: "I only knew these guys through their work before we got together. The 12-minute version represents what we did over three days-- it's quite an insane progression. That version evolved out of just a drum beat and a guitar, and then André just started going, and there was no sense that he was ever going to stop, it was a very exhilarating ride. It's live: I'm playing guitar, the drum machine is going, James is playing bass, and André just goes off. And what he's saying just gets more and more ridiculous. It finished on its own will, we really had nothing to do with it."[6]

Composition[edit]

The song features Albarn playing guitar, Murphy playing bass guitar, and André 3000 rapping with a drum machine in the background. The song's lyrics are abstract, as Albarn said it was hard to write them based on a shoe.[5] Albarn starts the song rapping in his "2D voice", ad-libbed. Murphy then sings the chorus in falsetto with an organ playing in the background. His vocals on the song have been likened to Alexis Taylor of Hot Chip.[7] Two minutes into the song,[8] André 3000 starts rapping around the title line "Do ya damn thang."[7][9]

The song was originally only a drum beat and a guitar. Because of this, the 13 minute version of the song was seen as a progression of the song by Albarn. It was recorded on the trio's last day of recording together. This version of DoYaThing continues from the 5 minute edit, with André 3000 improvising and the song building to a noisy, krautrock-esque climax, reminiscent of Murphy's former band, LCD Soundsystem's "Crass version" of "Yeah".[5] During the five-minute climax, André 3000 repeatedly yells the phrase "I'm the shit", followed by boasts like "The Moon is jealous of me, The Sun is jealous of me".[5][10] The lyric was based on an encounter Albarn had with a bicycling by Brian Eno (Whom Albarn would later collaborate with on his debut solo album Everyday Robots, on the tracks "You and Me" and "Heavy Seas of Love") who responded to Albarn's "How's it going Brian?" by telling him "Everything I'm working on is coming out great." [11] The three likened the response to saying "Oh, it's great – I'm the shit." Albarn and Murphy both thought this version was a good representation of their work on the song; Albarn stated "It's a nice narrative."[5]

Reception[edit]

The song received positive reviews from music critics. Jon Dolan of Rolling Stone gave the song three and a half stars out of five, writing "Putting this many visionary types in one studio could’ve made for a mess, but they lock in for a three-man weave – like the Bird-McHale-Parish of avant-R&B."[12] The Michigan Daily criticized the beat as "awkward", Albarn's rapping as a "fail[ure]", and Murphy's chorus as "weird and warbling". However, the newspaper highly praised André 3000's rapping, as they stated "His lines are sick, his pacing is Gatling-gun quick, and he dominates in comparison [to Murphy and Albarn]." As a whole, they gave the track three and a half stars out of five.[8]

In a positive review, NME complimented the duo of Damon Albarn and André 3000. Writer Priya Elan stated "Murphy makes a brilliant backstage star, but the song is all about the Damon and Andre moment."[7] Beats Per Minute named the track the best one so far of the "Three Artists. One Song." project, calling it "a potent reminder of the power of collaborative music." They gave the track 9 out of 10, saying the artists "play off of each other remarkably well."[13] The Huffington Post wrote that the track was "one of the best collaborations we've heard in a while," saying it "merges three genre pools, but still highlights the traits distinctive to each musician."[14]

Music video[edit]

The video for "DoYaThing" was directed by Jamie Hewlett and was released on 29 February 2012. The video uses a mix of 2-D and CGI characters combined with live-action footage. The house used for filming is 212 Hammersmithgrove, in Hammersmith, West London.[15][16]

The music video opens to a video of a crocodile scaring a herd of antelope. It then cuts to a scene where 2D wakes up and changes clothes in 212 Wobble Street, London, SW21 7QJ. He exits his room and checks another one, finding other band member Noodle fast asleep. After that, he looks in a bathroom and finds a masked figure representing André 3000,[1][17] surrounded by light blue-skinned "sweat collectors". Disgusted, 2D looks in another room that turns out to be shrouded in complete darkness with the sounds of sheep, chickens and a man crying, which in turn is a reference to a Motorola commercial which band member Murdoc Niccals appeared in.[18] Murdoc then scares 2D by popping up in the room, and he proceeds to go down the stairs using a stair lift as 2D goes to the living room as the Doncamatic submarine makes a cameo appearance behind him, and finds a previous character from the album Plastic Beach named the Boogeyman reading a newspaper (while the DARE music video plays on the TV).[2][17] He goes down to the kitchen and opens a cabinet, only to find the masked figure stuffed inside it. Calmly shutting the door on him, he cooks toast and puts it on his plate along with, without realizing, a human ear from a bowl of them near the toaster. 2D then opens a refrigerator and finds the masked figure stuffed inside it, who gives 2D a milk carton and jelly. At the dining table, he reads a fictional newspaper comic entitled "The Gorillaz", showing comics called "The Funnies" which features a comic of Murdoc hugging 2D. Murdoc, having finally finished going down the stairs, goes up to 2D and angrily hits him with a Gorillaz Converse shoe, unlike the comic, leaving the former very upset. 2D decides against eating the toast upon realising that it has an ear on it, turns off the radio (which also cuts the song) and leaves the house, while Murdoc starts a transmission from his radio station, playing the intro to the Gorillaz song "5/4". Once outside, he receives a notice of eviction from a baboon mailman representing James Murphy, and smiles, looking relieved. The car from the Stylo video is "parked" outside. The camera points up, revealing a still-giant Russel Hobbs sleeping on the roof of the house and the remains of the windmill island (nicknamed "The Slowboat") from the "Feel Good Inc." and "El Mañana" music videos floating in the sky.[2][17][19]

Track listing[edit]

Promotional CD single
  1. "DoYaThing" (radio edit) – 4:27
  2. "DoYaThing" (full-length version) – 13:04
10" Record Store Day vinyl
  1. "DoYaThing" (full-length version) – 13:09

Personnel[edit]