Good Life (Kanye West song)

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"Good Life"
Good life cov low res.jpg
Single by Kanye West featuring T-Pain
from the album Graduation
B-side"Can't Tell Me Nothing" (Remix)
ReleasedOctober 2, 2007 (2007-10-02)
Format
Recorded2007
Genre
Length3:26
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
Kanye West singles chronology
"Stronger"
(2007)
"Good Life"
(2007)
"Pro Nails"
(2007)
T-Pain singles chronology
"Kiss Kiss"
(2007)
"Good Life"
(2007)
"Church"
(2007)
Music video
"Good Life" on YouTube

"Good Life" is a song by American rapper Kanye West released on October 2, 2007 as the third single for his third studio album Graduation (2007). The song features vocals by singer T-Pain and was produced by West and DJ Toomp. It contains a sample of the keyboard outro to "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)" performed by Michael Jackson. The song features additional drum programming by Timbaland and additional production by Mike Dean, as well as background vocals by John Legend and Ne-Yo.

The songs lyrics see West celebrating the finer things in life and acknowledging his success. "Good Life" peaked at number seven on the Billboard Hot 100 and number twenty-three on the UK Singles Chart. The music video was premiered on MTV Jams in September 2007. The song earned two nominations at the 50th Grammy Awards for Best Rap/Sung Performance and Best Rap Song, winning the latter. It was nominated for Best Collaboration and Video of the Year at the 2008 BET Awards, managing to win the former.

Composition and recording[edit]

The song samples the keyboard outro of the single "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)" performed by Michael Jackson, combined with layers of synths from Omar Edwards.[1][2][3] Producer DJ Toomp revealed that the song's creation started off with West playing with the sample and being like: "Yo, I always wanted to do something with this... I want to hear it in a different key" and Toomp played with the sample as well.[4] At Coachella in 2011, West performed it live with the sample chopped into the song.[5] John Legend and Ne-Yo sing the final refrains of "Good Life".[6] The lyrics focus on life being good and West celebrates his success.[7][1] West spins lyrics from 50 Cent's single "In Da Club" that originally were about Lloyd Banks giving 50 advice to being about 50 giving West advice instead.[8] It was revealed by T-Pain that even though he recorded multiple different hooks, none of them sounded right to West and he ended up making the hook out of a composite that was made up of all the hooks that had been recorded by T-Pain.[9] Working on the track in the studio was viewed as feeling like a party by Tomp and he also said that there was a lot of the GOOD Music crew in the studio for it.[4]

Music video[edit]

The rotoscoped forms of Kanye West and T-Pain against a white backdrop.

The music video for "Good Life" was directed by Jonas & François with animation by So-Me.[10] The video premiered on September 11, 2007 as MTV Jams' "Jam of the Week".[11] It features West and T-Pain performing with animated backdrops on a white background and often mouthing the words of the song lyrics, which appear in large letters.[10][12] The version of the song used in the video contains an additional twenty-four seconds that the album version does not have.[13] The music video features a cameo from rapper/model LoLa Monroe.[14] On set, West had to persuade T-Pain to listen to "Good Life" again before the shooting began.[9]

It managed to win the awards for both Best Hip-Hop Video at the 2008 BET Hip Hop Awards and Best Special Effects in a Video at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards. At the 2008 BET Awards, the video was nominated for Video of the Year, but lost to "International Players Anthem (I Choose You)" by Outkast featuring UGK.[15]

Chart performance[edit]

"Good Life" debuted at number sixty-three on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs during the chart week of September 22, 2007, where it eventually peaked at number three, becoming West's second top ten single from Graduation on the chart.[16][17] For the chart week of September 29, 2007, "Good Life" was the "Hot Shot Debut" of the week on the Billboard Hot 100, as it entered at number fourteen due to strong digital downloads.[18][19] The song climbed to the seventh position, becoming West's second consecutive top ten Hot 100 single from Graduation as well as T-Pain's sixth top ten single.[20][21] "Good Life" debuted on the Canadian Hot 100 at number thirty-nine and has peaked at number twenty-three.[22][23] The single generated a strong reaction from the MuchMusic Countdown, where it reached number-one.[24] "Good Life" was able to reach number thirty-three on the UK Singles Chart before it was officially released in the UK until November 5, 2007.[25] Upon its release, the single was able to rise and peak at the twenty-third position on the chart.[26]

Accolades[edit]

Media usage[edit]

The song was used in the ending credits of the HBO television series Entourage during season 4, episode 11, titled "No Cannes Do."[34] In the final moments of the episode, Kanye West makes an appearance and lets Vincent Chase and his crew use his plane to fly to Cannes as the song "Good Life" faded into the credits.[35]

Track listings[edit]

US CD single[36]

  1. "Good Life" (Explicit Album Version) – 3:30
  2. "Good Life" (Instrumental) – 3:24
  3. "Can't Tell Me Nothing" (Remix) [featuring Young Jeezy] – 4:09
  4. "Good Life" (Video) – 3:56

UK CD single[37]

  1. "Good Life" – 3:27
  2. "Can't Tell Me Nothing" (Remix) [featuring Young Jeezy] – 4:07

Personnel[edit]

Information taken from Graduation liner notes.[3]

  • Songwriters: Kanye West, Faheem Najm, James Ingram, Quincy Jones, Aldrin Davis
  • Producers: Kanye West, DJ Toomp
    • Additional drum programming: Timbaland
    • Additional production: Mike Dean
  • Recorders: Andrew Dawson, Anthony Kilhoffer, Paul Sheehy
  • Mix engineer: Mike Dean
  • Piano/synths: Omar Edwards
  • Violins: Eric Gorfain, Daphne Chen
  • Viola: Leah Katz, Alma Fernadez
  • Cello: Richard Dodd, John Krovoza
  • Background vocals: John Legend, Ne-Yo

Charts and certifications[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (2007–08) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[38] 21
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[39] 18
Belgium (Ultratip Wallonia)[40] 22
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[23] 23
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[41] 20
Germany (Official German Charts)[42] 78
Ireland (IRMA)[43] 24
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[44] 11
Slovakia (Rádio Top 100)[45] 79
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[46] 23
US Billboard Hot 100[20] 7
US Adult R&B Songs (Billboard)[47] 40
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)[17] 3
US Hot Rap Songs (Billboard)[48] 1
US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)[49] 18
US Pop 100 (Billboard)[50] 18
US Rhythmic (Billboard)[51] 3

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2007) Position
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[52] 147
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)[53] 69
Chart (2008) Position
US Billboard Hot 100[54] 79
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)[55] 38
US Hot Rap Songs (Billboard)[56] 11

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[57] Silver 200,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[58] 2× Platinum 2,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Rashad D. Grove (September 20, 2018). "10 hip-hop hits that sampled Quincy Jones' songs". REVOLT TV. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  2. ^ "Dissecting Kanye West's Good Life Beat". Reverb Machine. May 24, 2018. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  3. ^ a b Graduation (Media notes). Kanye West. Roc-A-Fella Records. 2007.
  4. ^ a b Linda Hobbs (November 22, 2012). "DJ Toomp Tells All: The Stories Behind His Classic Records". Complex. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  5. ^ Duncan Cooper (April 18, 2011). "Video: Kanye West Live at Coachella". The FADER. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  6. ^ Al Shipley (September 11, 2017). "Kanye West's 'Graduation': 10 Things You Didn't Know". Rolling Stone. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  7. ^ Liz Capobianco (April 15, 2017). "Kanye West Said It First: Life Is Good, This Is A Good Life". Odyssey. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  8. ^ Paul Thompson (January 15, 2016). "Every Pop-Culture Reference Kanye West Has Ever Made". Vulture. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  9. ^ a b Patrick Ryan (December 25, 2015). "T-Pain shares stories behind 10 of his biggest hits". USA Today. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
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  12. ^ Ernest Baker; Foster Kamer; Insanul Ahmed; Lauren Nostro; Tannis Spencer; Ted Simmons; Al Shipley (June 8, 2018). "Ranking All 43 of Kanye West's Music Videos". Complex. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
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  14. ^ Carmen Shardae Jobson (July 20, 2012). "9 Things You Need to Know About Lola Monroe". Vibe. Archived from the original on February 2, 2019. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
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    "2009 ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards: R&B/Hip-Hop Songs". ASCAP. 26 June 2009. Archived from the original on 5 August 2016. Retrieved 1 February 2019.
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    "Lil Wayne Tops BET Hip-Hop Award Nominations With 12 Nods". XXL Mag. 15 September 2008. Archived from the original on 12 December 2017. Retrieved 1 February 2019.
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  31. ^ "Grammys - Artist - Kanye West". Grammy. Archived from the original on 8 December 2018. Retrieved 2 February 2019.
  32. ^ "MTV Video Music Awards 2008 winners". Digital Spy. 8 September 2008. Archived from the original on 16 December 2017. Retrieved 2 February 2019.
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  34. ^ "Entourage Soundtrack - S4E11: No Cannes Do". TuneFind. August 26, 2007. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
  35. ^ Eric Sundermann (June 8, 2015). "The Kanye West Scene in 'Entourage' Is One of the Greatest Moments in Television History". Noisey Vice. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
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  38. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Kanye West feat. T-Pain – Good Life". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved December 27, 2014.
  39. ^ "Ultratop.be – Kanye West feat. T-Pain – Good Life" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved December 27, 2014.
  40. ^ "Ultratop.be – Kanye West feat. T-Pain – Good Life" (in French). Ultratip. Retrieved December 27, 2014.
  41. ^ "Kanye West feat. T-Pain: Good Life" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved December 27, 2014.
  42. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Kanye West feat. T-Pain – Good Life". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  43. ^ "Chart Track: Week 45, 2007". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved December 27, 2014.
  44. ^ "Charts.nz – Kanye West feat. T-Pain – Good Life". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved December 27, 2014.
  45. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Slovak). Hitparáda – Radio Top 100 Oficiálna. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 20088 into search. Retrieved December 27, 2014.
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  47. ^ "Kanye West Chart History (Adult R&B Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved December 27, 2014.
  48. ^ "Kanye West Chart History (Hot Rap Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved December 26, 2014.
  49. ^ "Kanye West Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved December 26, 2014.
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  51. ^ "Kanye West Chart History (Rhythmic)". Billboard. Retrieved December 26, 2014.
  52. ^ "UK Singles Chart 2007" (PDF). ChartsPlus. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
  53. ^ "R&B/Hip-Hop Songs - 2007 Year End Charts". Billboard. 2008. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
  54. ^ "Year End Charts – Hot 100 Songs (Issue Date: 2008)". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Archived from the original on June 24, 2013. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
  55. ^ "R&B/Hip-Hop Songs - 2008 Year End Charts". Billboard. 2008. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
  56. ^ "Year End Charts – Hot Rap Songs (Issue Date: 2008)". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Archived from the original on February 5, 2009. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
  57. ^ "British single certifications – Kanye West – Good Life". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved October 6, 2018. Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Good Life in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  58. ^ "American single certifications – Kanye West – Good Life". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 

External links[edit]