Hey Mama (David Guetta song)

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"Hey Mama"
David Guetta - Hey Mama (feat. Nicki Minaj, Bebe Rexha and Afrojack).png
Single by David Guetta featuring Nicki Minaj, Bebe Rexha and Afrojack
from the album Listen
Released16 March 2015 (2015-03-16)
FormatDigital download
Recorded2014
Genre
Length3:12
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
  • Guetta
  • Afrojack
  • Giorgio Tuinfort
David Guetta singles chronology
"What I Did for Love"
(2015)
"Hey Mama"
(2015)
"Sun Goes Down"
(2015)
Nicki Minaj singles chronology
"Truffle Butter"
(2015)
"Hey Mama"
(2015)
"The Night Is Still Young"
(2015)
Bebe Rexha singles chronology
"Gone"
(2014)
"Hey Mama"
(2015)
"That's How You Know"
(2015)
Afrojack singles chronology
"Turn Up the Speakers"
(2014)
"Hey Mama"
(2015)
"SummerThing!"
(2015)
Music video
"Hey Mama" on YouTube

"Hey Mama" is a song recorded by French DJ and record producer David Guetta featuring vocals by Trinidadian-American rapper Nicki Minaj and American singer-songwriter Bebe Rexha, and co-produced by Dutch DJ and producer Afrojack. The song was released on 16 March 2015, as the fourth single from Guetta's sixth studio album, Listen (2014). It was written by Guetta, Rexha, Ester Dean, Sean Douglas, Giorgio Tuinfort, Onika Maraj and Nick van de Wall, and produced by the latter of the three.

The song peaked at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States, and peaked within the top 10 in numerous countries including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Lebanon, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

Background and composition[edit]

The artists co-wrote the song with Ester Dean, Sean Douglas, and Giorgio Tuinfort; the latter co-produced it with Guetta and Afrojack. The intro and post-chorus features a prominent sample from "Rosie", an Alan Lomax recording from the 1940s.[1]

Rexha explained to Billboard why she wasn't initially credited as a featured artist on the track: "We talked about it - I actually emailed Guetta about it. I really wanted to be featured on it, because, you know, I've been signed and dropped, and now signed a second time, so it's been hard. What ended up happening was that it looked like a lot of names on the title, so they wanted to keep as many low features as possible. That's what I was told, and it makes sense to me. I guess more than two [featured] names doesn't look good on the radio. It's tough hearing your voice on the radio, on a chorus, and knowing that people think it's another artist."[2] As of June 2015, Rexha is officially credited in all instances of the song's mention.[3]

"Hey Mama" is the third collaboration between Guetta and Minaj, following Nothing but the Beat singles "Where Them Girls At" (which features Minaj and Flo Rida) (2011) and the double-platinum "Turn Me On" (2011).[citation needed]

According to the sheet music published at Musicnotes.com, "Hey Mama" is written in the key of E minor with a tempo of 86 beats per minute. The vocals in the song span from A3 to E5.[4]

Critical reception[edit]

"Hey Mama" was well received by the critics, with many praising the discothèque nature of the song. Bianca Gracie of Idolator described it as "a crazed electro-house/trap sound", noting Minaj's "rap flow into a island-tinged romp."[5] It was described by Direct Lyrics as an "intelligently-produced radio-friendly EDM-island sound", whilst Richard Baxter of Popology Now complimented the track's electronic styles, describing Bebe Rexha as the "star" of "Hey Mama" with her "hook heavy chorus".[6]

Several music companies and reviewers chose "Hey Mama" as the highlight of the album, with Billboard describing it as a "bombastic island-flavored jam"[7][8] and the Associated Press stating Minaj and Afrojack had produced "a startling R&B bump and funk gem."[7] Minaj, in particular, received positive reviews for her vocals, with Newsday calling the track Minaj's "most undeniable hit" since her song "Super Bass",[9] and The Guardian describing Minaj's vocals as a highlight from the album.[10]

The song's lyrics, on the other hand, have been subject to criticism from feminist media, with many of them calling the lyrics sexist.[11][12][13][14] Katie Barnes of Feministing described the song's second verse ("Yes I do the cooking/ Yes I do the cleaning/ Plus I keep the na-na real sweet for your eating/ Yes you be the boss and yes I be respecting / Whatever that you tell me cause it's game you be spitting") as "pretty terrible," stating that, "It doesn’t matter if the verse is accompanied by a bumpin’ beat, the lyrics still present a retro ideal of what a woman should be and how she should treat her man."[13] Katherine Burks of The Lala called the lyrics "horribly misogynistic bullshit."[12] Alex Kritselis of Bustle found the lyrics "seriously groan-inducing," noting that "the whole 'I'll do whatever you want, whenever you want' vibe" made him "more than a little uneasy."[15]

Commercial performance[edit]

The song peaked at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Guetta's sixth top 10 in the US, also making Minaj's 12, Afrojack's second since Pitbull's "Give Me Everything", and Rexha's first as a singer but her second as a writer after the number one Billboard Hot 100 hit "The Monster" by Eminem featuring Rihanna. It spent six weeks in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 chart.[citation needed] "Hey Mama" spent five weeks within the top 10 of the UK Singles Chart. The song rose to number 10 and remained there for four weeks until it peaked at number nine. It peaked at number two in the UK R&B Chart.

Music video[edit]

The official video (directed by Hannah Lux Davis) was released on 19 May 2015. The video begins with Guetta walking through a desert with a group of people to find a machine inside the box. Scenes of a holographic Minaj intercut the video while other scenes include other people being shrouded in curtains and dancing while during the chorus, Guetta and the others are seen driving in their vehicles through the desert. During the chorus and bridge, everyone goes crazy while Minaj raps. The video ends with a video of a couple of sharks swimming around the underwater in the picture and to where the people dive through a neon heart light. The video ends with Guetta standing in the desert.[16] Afrojack also appears in the video.

As of March 2019, the video has received over 1.2 billion views.[17][18] It is Guetta's and Rexha's most viewed video, and Minaj's fourth.

Live performances[edit]

On 17 May 2015, Guetta and Minaj performed the song for the first on 2015 Billboard Music Awards along with "The Night Is Still Young".[19] On 30 May 2015, Minaj and Rexha also performed the song together for the first time on the iHeartRadio Summer Pool Party 2015 in Las Vegas, joined by Guetta on stage.[20]

Track listing[edit]

Digital download – Afrojack remix[21]
No.TitleLength
1."Hey Mama" (featuring Nicki Minaj, Bebe Rexha and Afrojack) (Afrojack Remix)3:17

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[71] Platinum 70,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[72] Gold 15,000*
Belgium (BEA)[73] 2× Platinum 60,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[74] 3× Platinum 240,000^
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[75] Platinum 60,000^
Germany (BVMI)[76] Platinum 400,000^
Italy (FIMI)[77] 3× Platinum 150,000double-dagger
New Zealand (RMNZ)[78] Platinum 15,000*
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[79] Gold 20,000^
Sweden (GLF)[80] 2× Platinum 80,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[81] Platinum 600,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[82] 3× Platinum 3,000,000double-dagger

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

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
Worldwide[21] 16 March 2015 Digital download What a Music
United States[83] 17 March 2015 Mainstream radio
United Kingdom[84] 4 May 2015 Parlophone
France[22] Digital download
Germany[23] 5 June 2015 CD single

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Event Prize Nominated work Result Ref.
2015 Teen Choice Awards Best Collaboration " Hey Mama " Nominated [85]
MTV Europe Music Awards Best Collaboration [86]
MTV Video Music Awards Song of Summer [citation needed]
NRJ Music Award Video of the Year
2016 iHeartRadio Music Awards Dance Song of the Year [87]
Billboard Music Award Top Dance/Electronic Song [88]
BMI London Awards Award-Winning Songs Won [citation needed]
Dance Song Award Won
BMI Pop Awards Award-Winning Songs Won
International Dance Music Awards Best Rap/Hip Hop/Trap Dance Track Won

References[edit]

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