End Game (song)

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"End Game"
End Game (Official Single Cover) by Taylor Swift.png
Single by Taylor Swift featuring Ed Sheeran and Future
from the album Reputation
ReleasedNovember 14, 2017 (2017-11-14)
Studio
Genre
Length4:04
LabelBig Machine
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
  • Max Martin
  • Shellback
Taylor Swift singles chronology
"...Ready for It?"
(2017)
"End Game"
(2017)
"New Year's Day"
(2017)
Ed Sheeran singles chronology
"Boa Me"
(2017)
"End Game"
(2017)
"Perfect Duet"
(2017)
Future singles chronology
"Real Thing"
(2017)
"End Game"
(2017)
"Patek Water"
(2017)
Music video
"End Game" on YouTube

"End Game" is a song by American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift, featuring British singer Ed Sheeran and American rapper Future, recorded for Swift's sixth studio album, Reputation (2017). The track, written by the trio of artists and producers Max Martin and Shellback, was first released to French contemporary pop radio as the album's third single on November 14, 2017, four days after Reputation was released.[1] It was later sent to contemporary hit radio on December 3, 2017 in the United States[2] and January 26, 2018 in the United Kingdom.[3] "End Game" is a hip hop, pop rap and R&B song that has been designated as a slow jam. Lyrically, the song sees Swift wanting to be the subject's partner till the end.

Upon release, "End Game" received positive reviews from music critics, who praised the catchy rhythm and Future's appearance; however, a few commentators criticized the production as bland. The song reached the top-ten in Belgium, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic and New Zealand, while peaking at number 18 on the US Billboard Hot 100, becoming the third consecutive top-twenty single from Reputation. It is certified Platinum in the US (RIAA) and Australia (ARIA).

Promotion and release[edit]

On November 14, 2017, the week Reputation was released, this song was released on contemporary hit radio in France. It was later sent to American contemporary hit radio on December 3, 2017. On January 11, 2018, Swift announced that the music video of "End Game" will release in midnight. "End Game" was then released on contemporary hit radio in the United Kingdom radio on January 26, 2018.

Writing and composition[edit]

Shellback (pictured in 2015) produced and co-wrote "End Game".

"End Game" was written by Swift, Max Martin and Shellback, and was produced by the latter two. It is a hip hop,[4][5] R&B,[5][6] pop-rap[7] and power pop[8] song, which runs for a duration of four minutes and four seconds and has a tempo of 80 beats per minute in cut time. Swift performs it in the key of A Minor in a vocal range span from D3 to E5.[9] "End Game" centers around the idea of Swift wanting to be some guy's "end game" or the one that he's aiming for. While she doesn't make it clear who this fellow is, the Internet seems to be conjecturing that since he has a large "reputation", he must be Ed Sheeran.[10]

Critical reception[edit]

The song received positive reviews from critics, who praised its production, as well as Future's verses and his appearance.

In a review by Pitchfork, one critic wrote that "End Game" is "a song that capably absorbs and regurgitates the hybridized sounds of 2017 rap and R&B." but also noted "there's something deeply uninspired in tasking Martin with assembling a bland composite, rather than going straight to the source—who wouldn't be at least a little curious as to what a Taylor Swift and Metro Boomin track would sound like?"[11] Vulture predicted it to be one of the more successful singles that the album would produce because of its catchy rhythm, especially because of the verses contributed by Future.[12]

In a positive review written by Time, it says that "End Game" is a "self-reflective, slow-jam style track."[13] A review from Spin suggested that although the song was "fine" in its depiction of finding love despite opposition, it had been bettered by previous songs, verses and albums by Future.[14]

Music video[edit]

In early December 2017, Sheeran confirmed that a music video for the song would be released.[15]

On January 10, 2018, Swift revealed through her social media app "The Swift Life" that the music video for the song would be released on January 12 and that the video's teaser would premiere on Good Morning America. She also posted a few pictures from the video as well. The next day, Swift posted the teaser for the video on social media.[16]

On January 12, 2018, the video debuted on Swift's Vevo channel. It is Swift's seventh video directed by Joseph Kahn. The video shows Swift partying in various locales - with Future on a yacht in Miami, Florida, with Sheeran at a nightclub in Tokyo, Japan, and with various friends on a double decker bus in London, England. In a Miami scene, Future is seen driving a Lamborghini Aventador worth $500,000. In one of the London scenes, Swift is seen sitting on a bar playing Snake on a handheld game console, riding a motorcycle through Tokyo while wearing a snakeskin suit, and sipping drinks through a snake straw, all references to her "snake" reputation.[17] The video gained 14.4 million views within 24 hours of upload on YouTube. As of January 2020, the video has over 220 million views.

Synopsis[edit]

The music video starts off slowly with Swift looking out the window of a high-rise building, but the video picks up speed as soon as the song does. Throughout the video, Swift goes to different cities, such as Miami, Tokyo and London. In all the cities, she parties with her co-singers Future and Ed Sheeran. As she moves from city to city, she also moves from being with Future to hanging out with Ed Sheeran. Swift dresses in all black when she is with Future, and when she is filmed with Ed Sheeran, she wears a flannel shirt and shorts. The video ends by Swift and Sheeran acting playfully towards each other, with Swift stealing Sheeran's glasses and the two dancing together under the night sky of London.

Chart performance[edit]

The song debuted at number 86 on the Billboard Hot 100 on the date ending December 9, 2017, moving up to number 83 the following week.[18] The track jumped to number 36 in its third week, giving Swift her 55th top forty entry, eventually peaking at number 18, becoming the third consecutive single from Reputation to reach the top 20.[19] The following week, it dropped to number 30. The song peaked at number 10 on the Billboard Mainstream Top 40, giving Swift her 15th top ten entry on the chart. It peaked at number 16 on the Adult Top 40 and number 25 on the Rhythmic Songs.

In Canada, the song initially reached number 53, but moved up to number 11 on the Canadian Hot 100 following the release of its music video.

In Australia, it peaked at number 36. The next week it dropped to number 40. In the UK, the song debuted at number 87 and later peaked at number 49.

Accolades[edit]

Year Organization Award Result Ref.
2018 Teen Choice Awards Choice Music Collaboration Nominated [20]
2019
BMI Awards Award Winning Song Won [21]
Publisher of the Year Won
BMI London Award Pop Award Won [22]

Live performances[edit]

Swift and Sheeran performed "End Game" for the first time during the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball on December 2, 2017.[23] A solo version of the song was also a regular part of her setlist for her Reputation Stadium Tour.[24]

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits are adapted from liner notes of Reputation.

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[58] Platinum 70,000*
Brazil (Pro-Música Brasil)[59] Gold 20,000double-dagger
Canada (Music Canada)[60] Gold 40,000double-dagger
United Kingdom (BPI)[61] Silver 200,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[62] Platinum 1,000,000double-dagger

*sales figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label Ref.
Various November 10, 2017 Big Machine [63]
United States December 3, 2017 Contemporary hit radio [64]
France November 14, 2017 [65][66]
United Kingdom January 26, 2018 [3]

References[edit]

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