"Gotta Have It" is a song by Americanhip hop artists Kanye West and Jay-Z from their first collaborative album Watch the Throne (2011). The song was produced by West and The Neptunes, and samples three original compositions by James Brown: "Don’t Tell a Lie About Me and I Won’t Tell the Truth About You", "People Get Up and Drive Your Funky Soul" and "My Thang". The song explores themes of wealth, decadence and the economic stature in the US. The song received positive reviews from critics who complimented the production and the clever wordplay of the two rappers.
Jay-Z and Kanye West are both American rappers who have collaborated on several tracks together, such as singles like "Swagga Like Us", "Run This Town", and "Monster". In 2010, they began production and recording on a collaborative record Watch the Throne. "Gotta Have It" was produced by West and the production duo The Neptunes, and incorporates chopped-up James Brown vocal samples and Eastern flute melodies. The song samples three different song; "Don’t Tell a Lie About Me and I Won’t Tell the Truth About You", "People Get Up and Drive Your Funky Soul" and "My Thang" and was reportedly very expensive to produce. The track was released as the album's sixth single in the US, and it impacted Urban radio on December 6, 2011, and Rhythmic radio on January 31, 2012. The track was performed by West and Jay on their Watch the Throne tour. During Jay-Z's setlist at the 2012 Radio 1's Big Weekend festival, West joined Jay-Z to perform "Gotta Have It" and other Watch the Throne hits like "Niggas in Paris" and "No Church in the Wild".
"Gotta Have It" unites "Kanye and the Neptunes to crazily chop up James Brown vocal samples and Eastern flute melodies." The song contains "haunting backing vocals and an accompanying tambourine" with the two rappers trading verses with the vocal riff playing over them. The song features "diced-up vocal snippets and gut-punching bass back aggressive rhymes" and includes a reference to the Yung Chris song "Racks" which is a "nod to the contemporary rap trends the track both embraces and outpaces." While some tracks on Watch the Throne give the "star rappers turns at the mic," "Gotta Have It" is "pure tag-team hip-hop, with the two trading off verses and finishing each other's lines." The song contains moments of the two rappers "finishing each others' Ferris Bueller and Miami Heat jokes over a chopped-up James Brown yelps" provided by The Neptunes.
"Gotta Have It" received mostly positive reviews from music critics. Sputnikmusic's Tyler Fisher stated that "The Neptunes turn in their best beat in years on "Gotta Have It", sampling James Brown in a realm completely removed from funk and soul."Slant Magazine's Matthew Cole stated that "the duo volleys ball lines at each other on "Otis" and do call-and-response riffing on "Gotta Have It," sounding like a pair of hustlers who can't believe how much they've gotten away with. The chemistry between the two friends and self-described sibling rivals is conveyed perfectly on those two tracks." David Amidon of PopMatters commented that several songs on the album are a "hirlwind of excitement, particularly “Gotta Have It”, which finds Kanye and Jay spitting such decadent, pro-Black-laden material as “Maybachs on bachs on bachs on bachs on bachs / Who in that? / Oh, shit, it’s just blacks on blacks on blacks". Popdust's Emily Exton reported that that "he two trade lines instead of verses in what results in a surefire example of what can happen when two pros team up." The song peaked at number 69 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and at numbers 14 and 13 on the BillboardHot Rap Songs and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts respectively.