Hold Up (song)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
"Hold Up"
Single by Beyoncé
from the album Lemonade
ReleasedAugust 16, 2016 (2016-08-16)
StudioRecord Plant Studios, Los Angeles
  • Diplo
  • Beyoncé
  • Ezra Koenig
Beyoncé singles chronology
"Hold Up"
Music video
"Hold Up" on YouTube

"Hold Up" is a song recorded by American singer Beyoncé for her sixth studio album, Lemonade (2016). The song was serviced to rhythmic radios in the United States on August 16, 2016 as the third single from the album. It was written by Diplo, Ezra Koenig, Beyoncé, Emile Haynie, Josh Tillman, MNEK and MeLo-X.

The song contains a sample of "Can't Get Used to Losing You", written by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman; an interpolation of "Maps", performed by Yeah Yeah Yeahs and written by Brian Chase, Karen O and Nick Zinner; "Can't Get Used to Losing You" performed by Andy Williams and an interpolation of "Turn My Swag On", written by Soulja Boy, Antonio Randolph and Kevin McConnell.

"Hold Up" received a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Solo Performance at the 59th ceremony.


"Hold Up" is written in the key of C major in common time with a tempo of 84 beats per minute. The song follows a chord progression of C–F–D–G–D–F, and when it comes to Beyonce's vocals, they go from C3 to F5.[1] The track features a light reggae beat.[2]

A demo of "Hold Up" was first written and recorded by Diplo and Koenig in 2014, using a sample of "Maps" by Yeah Yeah Yeahs.[3] Koenig, the frontman for the indie rock band Vampire Weekend, had tweeted the lyrics "hold up...they don't love u like i love u" – interpolated from the chorus of "Maps" – in 2011. This tweet had confused people as the song was written in 2011 but, as he explained on Twitter, it was just a random tweet at the time.[3]

According to Koenig's interview on Beats One, the demo he and Diplo made was simple track with only chorus in it.[4] Beyonce gave this demo to various songwriters to get the best ideas, songwritings. MNEK said he wrote a full song over the demo, but Beyoncé only used 3 lines from his song, which were eventually used in the bridge.[5] he also mentioned the unique process of Beyoncé: "The way she works, she is a writer in herself. And then she pieces together stuff and she pieces together, you know, Diplo's going to work on the track; she's going to send it to me to do a melody idea. That's the process. And it worked because she's overlooking everything"[6]

Father John Misty also said Beyoncé contacted him after she heard his song through Emile Haynie. She gave him the simple demo track and he ended up writing first verse and refrain. "With 'Hold Up' they just sent me the beat and the hook. I wrote that first verse and the 'jealous and crazy' part." from his interview.[7] He didn't know if his part would be used or not but later Beyoncé told him in person that his part made the final cut at his 2015 Coachella set.[8]

In the outro of the song, Beyoncé sampled the hook from "Turn My Swag On" by Soulja Boy. She used the first two lines of the hook twice with slow falsetto vocals to express the feeling between denial and anger.

Critical reception[edit]

Pitchfork Media's Ryan Dombal named "Hold Up" as "Best New Track", calling Beyoncé's vocals "emotive" and stating "The music has no weight, no place, no time—a calypso dream heard through walls and generations...When Beyoncé works in the pained refrain of Yeah Yeah Yeahs' "Maps," she makes it glorious while allowing our memories to hint at the anguish underneath."[9]

Slant considered the song the 4th best one of 2016,[10] while Pitchfork named it the 28th best.[11] The song would later be voted in Village Voice's Pazz & Jop best in music in 2016, the 18th best single of the same period.[12] Billboard ranked "Hold Up" at number 23 on their "100 Best Pop Songs of 2016" list: "Beyonce's Lemonade was designed for memes… and tweets… and gifs. But ask anyone the image that defines the album, and you're likely to see a shot from "Hold Up"."[13]

Commercial performance[edit]

After the release of Lemonade, "Hold Up" debuted and peaked on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart at number 13.[14] "Hold Up" also entered on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop songs at number 8.[14] In overseas charts, the song entered in multiple digital charts in top 5: Denmark, Greece, Netherlands, New Zealand and Norway.

Music video[edit]

The song's music video is part of a one-hour film with the same title as its parent album, which originally aired on HBO and was also included with the purchase of the album itself. The Jonas Åkerlund-directed video features Beyoncé destroying multiple cars and security cameras using a baseball bat. The video is often compared by critics to that of Janet Jackson's video to her single Son of a Gun (I Betcha Think This Song Is About You) as well as the late 90s art film Ever Is Over All by Pipilotti Rist. According to Mashable, Knowles also makes reference of Oshun, a Yoruba orisha/goddess of water, fertility, love, sensuality.[15] It received two nominations at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards for Best Female Video and Best Art Direction, winning the former.[16][17] One week later, Beyoncé released the music video on her YouTube and Vevo channels.[18]

Live performances[edit]

"Hold Up" is part of the set list of the Formation World Tour with the first performance taking place in Miami at the Marlins Park on April 27, 2016.[19]

"Hold Up" was also performed as part of a medley of songs from Lemonade at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards on August 28, 2016, along with "Pray You Catch Me", "Sorry", "Don't Hurt Yourself", and "Formation".



Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[46] Gold 35,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[47] Silver 200,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[48] Platinum 1,000,000double-dagger

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

Radio and release history[edit]

Country Date Format Label Ref.
Germany May 12, 2016 Contemporary hit radio Sony [49]
United Kingdom RCA [50]
Italy May 27, 2016 Sony [51]
United States August 16, 2016 Rhythmic contemporary [52]
Urban contemporary [53]


  1. ^ Beyoncé. "Beyoncé "Hold Up" Sheet Music in C Major – Download & Print". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 2017-04-16.
  2. ^ "Beyoncé's Surprise 'Lemonade' Album: Instant Track-by-Track Analysis".
  3. ^ a b "Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig Explains How His Tweet About the Yeah Yeah Yeahs Became a Beyoncé Song". Pitchfork. April 25, 2016. Retrieved May 13, 2016.
  4. ^ "Ezra Koenig (Vampire Weekend) discusses "Hold Up" by Beyonce". Youtube. Retrieved 2017-11-09.
  5. ^ Lavin, Will (June 4, 2016). "MNEK: Meet Beyoncé, Madonna & JoJo's songwriting secret weapon". ibtimes. Retrieved 2017-11-09.
  6. ^ Hogan, Marc (April 28, 2016). "Beyoncé's Lemonade Collaborator MNEK Talks Lending "Hold Up" a Key Line". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2017-11-09.
  7. ^ Jones, Damian. "Father John Misty opens up about Beyoncé and Lady Gaga collaborations". NME. Retrieved 2017-11-09.
  8. ^ Grant, Sarah (April 26, 2016). "Father John Misty: 'I Went Crazy' on Beyonce's 'Lemonade'". RollingStone. Retrieved 2017-11-09.
  9. ^ "Beyoncé, Hold Up". Pitchfork Media. April 25, 2016. Retrieved May 23, 2016.
  10. ^ "The 25 Best Singles of 2016". Slant. December 7, 2016. Retrieved December 9, 2016.
  11. ^ "The 100 Best Songs of 2016". Pitchfork Media. December 12, 2016. Retrieved December 12, 2016.
  12. ^ "PAZZ+JOP 2016". Village Voice. January 25, 2017. Retrieved January 28, 2017.
  13. ^ "Billboard's 100 Best Pop Songs of 2016: Critics' Picks". Billboard. December 12, 2016. Retrieved December 12, 2016.
  14. ^ a b "All 12 of Beyonce's 'Lemonade' Tracks Debut on Hot 100". Billboard.biz. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  15. ^ Desta, Yohana. "Beyoncé's 'Lemonade' is a powerful tribute to black girls everywhere". Mashable. Retrieved 2016-05-08.
  16. ^ "Beyonce, Adele Lead Nominees for 2016 MTV Video Music Awards". Billboard. Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  17. ^ "VMAs 2016 Winners List". Billboard. August 28, 2016. Retrieved September 1, 2016.
  18. ^ "Hold Up". YouTube. September 3, 2016.
  19. ^ "Beyoncé Kicks Off 'Formation' Tour in Miami, Jay Z Shows Support But Doesn't Perform". ET. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  20. ^ "australian-charts.com – Beyoncé – Hold Up". Australian Recording Industry Association. Hung Medien. Retrieved July 23, 2016.
  21. ^ "ARIA Australian Top 40 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved May 9, 2016.
  22. ^ "ultratop.be – Beyoncé – Hold Up". Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved August 20, 2016.
  23. ^ "Beyonce Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  24. ^ "Beyonce Chart History (Canada CHR/Top 40)". Billboard. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
  25. ^ "Denmark Digital Songs". Billboard. May 2, 2016. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  26. ^ "Euro Digital Songs". Billboard. May 2, 2016. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  27. ^ "Beyoncé: Hold Up" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  28. ^ "Le Top de la semaine : Top Singles Téléchargés". SNEP. Retrieved April 29, 2016.
  29. ^ "Greece Digital Songs". Billboard. May 2, 2016. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  30. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Single (track) Top 40 lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége. Retrieved July 15, 2016.
  31. ^ "HBeyonce Chart History". RÚV. Retrieved May 24, 2017.
  32. ^ "Chart Track: Week 19, 2016". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved May 14, 2016.
  33. ^ "Netherlands Digital Songs". Billboard. May 2, 2016. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  34. ^ "New Zealand Hearseekers". RMNZdate=May 2, 2016. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  35. ^ "New Zealand Digital Songs". Billboard. May 2, 2016. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  36. ^ "Norway Digital Songs". Billboard. May 2, 2016. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  37. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 29, 2016.
  38. ^ http://www.sverigetopplistan.se/. Retrieved May 7, 2016.
  39. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 29, 2016.
  40. ^ "Official R&B Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved May 6, 2016.
  41. ^ "Desiigner Holds Off Drake Atop Hot 100, Prince & Beyonce Hit Top 10". Billboard. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
  42. ^ "Beyonce Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved March 19, 2016.
  43. ^ "Beyonce Chart History (Rhythmic)". Billboard. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
  44. ^ "ARIA Top 50 Urban Singles 2016". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved January 6, 2017.
  45. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 2016" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved December 27, 2016.
  46. ^ "CHART WATCH #378". auspOp. July 23, 2016. Retrieved July 23, 2016.
  47. ^ "British single certifications – Beyoncé – Hold Up". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved July 29, 2016. Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Hold Up in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  48. ^ "American single certifications – Beyonce – Hold Up". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved October 5, 2016. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  49. ^ "Neu in Funkhaus Europa Beyoncé: "Hold Up"". Westdeutscher Rundfunk (in German). Retrieved August 5, 2016.
  50. ^ "BBC – Radio 1 – Playlist". BBC Radio 1. BBC. Archived from the original on May 16, 2016. Retrieved August 20, 2016.
  51. ^ "Beyoncé "Hold" Up" (in Italian). Radio Airplay s.r.l. Retrieved August 20, 2016.
  52. ^ "FMQB: Radio Industry News, Music Industry Updates, Nielsen Ratings, Music News and more!". FMQB. Archived from the original on August 4, 2016. Retrieved August 4, 2016.
  53. ^ "Urban/UAC Future Releases". All Access. All Access Music Group. Archived from the original on August 17, 2016. Retrieved August 20, 2016.

External links[edit]