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Hood Boy

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"Hood Boy"
An image of Fantasia posing in front of multiple lights while wearing a low-cut, glittery dress.
Single by Fantasia with Big Boi
from the album Fantasia
ReleasedNovember 14, 2006
Format
GenreR&B
Length3:34
LabelJ
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
Fantasia singles chronology
"Ain't Gon' Beg You"
(2005)
"Hood Boy"
(2006)
"When I See U"
(2007)
"Ain't Gon' Beg You"
(2005)
"Hood Boy"
(2006)
"When I See U"
(2007)
Big Boi singles chronology
"Girlfight"
(2005)
"Hood Boy"
(2006)
"Royal Flush"
(2008)

"Hood Boy" is a song by American singer Fantasia with American rapper Big Boi, from her second and eponymous studio album (2006). It was released as the album's lead single by J Records on November 14, 2006. "Hood Boy" was written by Johnta Austin, Frank DeVol, Holland-Dozier-Holland, Anthony McIntyre and Antwan Patton, and produced by Austin and the Canadian production team Tone Mason. It samples the introduction of the Supremes' 1967 single, "The Happening". An uptempo R&B song, "Hood Boy" explores Fantasia's appreciation for thugs.

The song's reception was mostly positive; music critics praised its composition and Fantasia's vocals. The single appeared on several United States Billboard charts, peaking at number three on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart. According to one commentator, the song was successful on urban radio. Its music video, directed by Norwegian photographer Ray Kay, was released on November 30, 2006. In the video, Fantasia sings and dances in a barbershop and in front of a neon sign and Big Boi performs his verses. To further promote "Hood Boy", Fantasia performed it at the 2011 Artscape festival and the 2018 Essence Music Festival.

Background and release[edit]

Big Boi dressed in black, with a gold chain and baseball cap turned sideways
American rapper Big Boi (pictured in 2012) co-wrote "Hood Boy" and contributes several verses;[1][2] he is credited as Antwan Patton, his legal name.[3]

Due to the lukewarm commercial performance of – and mixed critical response to – Fantasia's 2004 debut pop album (Free Yourself), she and J Records decided to record more R&B and hip hop for her second and eponymous album (2006).[1][4] In her biography of Fantasia, Liz Sonneborn wrote that the singer "purposely cultivated a more daring sound" on her follow-up record.[5] Fantasia attributed the change in her musical style as an escape from her painful past, which was featured on the American reality competition series American Idol: "I'm not sad anymore; I'm not hurting anymore. I'm able to show people what music is to me."[6]

"Hood Boy" was written by Johnta Austin, Frank DeVol, Holland-Dozier-Holland, Anthony McIntyre, Antwan Patton, and produced by Austin and the Canadian production team Tone Mason. The track was mixed by Manny Marroquin and engineered by Aaron Fessel, Tatsuya Sato, and Chris Caramouche.[3] It was released on November 14, 2006 as the lead single from Fantasia.[4][7][8] The song was released as an audio CD, which includes the radio edit and instrumental,[9] and as a digital download.[8] An 11-track remix extended play (EP), Dance Vault Mixes, was released on February 20, 2007 as a digital download.[10][11]

Composition and lyrics[edit]

"Hood Boy" is an uptempo three-minute, 34-second R&B song.[1][12][13] It samples the opening of the Supremes' 1967 song, "The Happening",[1][14] and has verses by the American rapper Big Boi.[1][2] The song's instrumentation includes an "opening salvo of horns".[12] Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic called it a modern interpretation of Ike & Tina Turner's music,[1] and AXS's Kareem Gantt described the track as "a buffet of neo-soul mixed in with hip-hop".[15] Slant Magazine's Sal Cinquemani cited the song as an example of the album's emphasis on production over vocals.[14] "Hood Boy"'s lyrics explore Fantasia's attraction to thugs, and Erlewine compared the song to Destiny's Child's 2004 single "Soldier".[1] Curve's Margaret Coble saw it as a "radio-friendly thug ode".[16] The track includes references to "wifebeaters and chains" and "some sexual innuendos and the 'N' word".[17]

Reception[edit]

Critical reaction to "Hood Boy" was positive, with Kareem Gantt including it on his list of top ten Fantasia songs.[15] Stephen Thomas Erlewine praised the singer's performance, writing that she "remakes herself into a vibrant, vital diva".[1] A Stereogum writer called Fantasia's voice a "raspy, divalicious vox".[2] Henry Goldblatt of Entertainment Weekly described "Hood Boy" as 2006's strongest R&B release,[12] and Michael Slezak called it "infectiously funky" and an "electrifying romp".[18][19] Clover Hope of Billboard praised Fantasia's connection to the song, calling the tracks on more mature subjects "right up [the singer's] alley".[4] However, Allison Steward of The Washington Post criticized "Hood Boy" as "credibility-shredding".[20]

The song appeared on several United States Billboard charts.[21][22][23] It peaked at number three on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart on December 30, 2006, and remained on the chart for four weeks. The song reached number 67 on Hot 100 Airplay in January 2007, and stayed on the chart for four weeks.[21] It peaked at number 21 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart on January 20, 2007, and remained on the chart for 19 weeks.[22] The song also reached number 21 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart that day, remaining on that chart for 16 weeks.[23] Jim Cantiello of MTV wrote that the single and its 2007 follow-up, "When I See U", were successful on urban radio.[24]

Music video and live performances[edit]

A music video for "Hood Boy", directed by Norwegian photographer Ray Kay, premiered on November 30, 2006 on BET.[2][7] It was filmed in Crenshaw, Los Angeles; when describing the location, Fantasia said: "If you want to find a 'hood boy, you got to go to the 'hood to find one, and no better place to do it than Crenshaw."[25] In the video, Fantasia performs in front of a pink neon sign displaying her name; Michael Slezak compared the scene to Roxie Hart in the 1972 musical, Chicago. The singer also wears a short skirt, dancing in a barbershop and riding a motorcycle. Fantasia has a fauxhawk and large false eyelashes in some scenes, and Big Boi appears in others. The video ends with the police stopping a dance and Fantasia strutting away. Slezak praised the singer's confidence in the video.[18]

To further promote the single, Fantasia performed it at the 2011 Artscape festival to a positive audience response.[26] She also sang it as part of the 2018 Essence Music Festival.[27]

Formats and track listings[edit]

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from Tidal.[3]

  • Performer – Fantasia
  • Composer – Eddie Holland, Jr., Frank DeVol, Brian Holland, Anthony McIntyre, Antwan Patton, Johntá Austin, Lamont Dozier
  • Lyricist – Brian Holland, Johntá Austin, Frank DeVol, Eddie Holland, Jr., Lamont Dozier, Antwan Patton, Anthony McIntyre
  • Producer – Tone Mason, Johntá Austin
  • Mixing Engineer – Manny Marroquin
  • Recording Engineer – Aaron Fessel, Tatsuya Sato, Chris Caramouche

Charts[edit]

Chart (2006-07) Peak
position
US Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100[21] 3
US Hot 100 Airplay (Billboard)[21] 67
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)[22] 21
US R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay (Billboard)[23] 21

Release history[edit]

Region Format Date Label
United States Audio CD, digital download[8][9] November 14, 2006 J
Remix package[10][11] February 20, 2007

References[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine". AllMusic. Archived from the original on November 5, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d "New Fantasia Video – "Hood Boy" (Feat. Big Boi)". Stereogum. November 30, 2006. Archived from the original on November 2, 2010.
  3. ^ a b c "Fantasia". Tidal. Archived from the original on May 23, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c Hope, Clover. "Reviews". Billboard. Archived from the original on January 8, 2018.
  5. ^ Sonneborn (2008): p. 39
  6. ^ Abbott, Jim (January 26, 2007). "Fantasia's newest songs don't have time for pain: 'I'm not sad anymore; I'm not hurting anymore. I'm able to show people what music is to me.' Fantasia". Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on January 8, 2018. (subscription required)
  7. ^ a b "Video: Fantasia Feat. Big Boy -"Hood Boy"". Rap-Up. November 29, 2006. Archived from the original on January 8, 2018.
  8. ^ a b c d "Hood Boy (Radio Edit) - Single [feat. Big Boi]". Apple Music. November 14, 2006. Archived from the original on January 8, 2018.
  9. ^ a b c "Hood boy feat. Big Boi". WorldCat. 2006. Archived from the original on January 8, 2018.
  10. ^ a b c "Dance Vault Mixes - Hood Boy". iHeartMedia. February 2007. Archived from the original on January 8, 2018.
  11. ^ a b c "Dance Vault Mixes: Hood Boy (feat. Big Boi)". Apple Music. February 20, 2007. Archived from the original on January 8, 2018.
  12. ^ a b c Goldblatt, Henry (January 4, 2007). "Fantasia". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on February 19, 2017.
  13. ^ George, Raphael (November 25, 2006). "Song Primes New Fantasia Album". Billboard. Archived from the original on January 8, 2018.
  14. ^ a b Cinquemani, Sal. "Fantasia". Slant Magazine. Archived from the original on December 7, 2013.
  15. ^ a b Gantt, Kareem (March 15, 2016). "The top 10 best Fantasia songs". AXS. Archived from the original on December 29, 2016.
  16. ^ Coble, Margaret (April 1, 2007). "Trying on some new sound: some artists never go out of style.(Children Running Through, Voila, Fantasia)(Sound recording review)". Curve. Retrieved January 7, 2018. (subscription required)
  17. ^ Kamen Goldmark, Kathi. "Fantasia". Common Sense Media. Retrieved March 7, 2018.
  18. ^ a b Slezak, Michael (November 30, 2006). "Snap judgment: Fantasia's 'Hood Boy' video". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on January 8, 2018.
  19. ^ Slezak, Michael (February 2, 2010). "Fantasia's 'Even Angels': The best 'American Idol' victory anthem the show has never had!". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on November 25, 2015.
  20. ^ Stewart, Allison (December 17, 2006). "Some Free Advice On Making That 'Idol' Time Pay Off". WP Company LLC. Archived from the original on January 8, 2018. (subscription required)
  21. ^ a b c d "Chart Search". Billboard. Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  22. ^ a b c "Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs". Billboard. Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  23. ^ a b c "R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay". Billboard. Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  24. ^ Cantiello, Jim (August 11, 2010). "Fantasia's Life is Still No 'Fairy Tale': Timeline". MTV. Archived from the original on May 15, 2015.
  25. ^ Moss, Corey (November 22, 2006). "Fantasia Unleashes Her Inner Rock Star: 'This Time It's My Own Vision'". MTV News. Archived from the original on December 1, 2015.
  26. ^ Chang, Hsia-Ting (July 16, 2011). "Review: Fantasia keeps it simple at Artscape". The Baltimore Sun. Archived from the original on November 22, 2017.
  27. ^ Davis, Rachaell (July 10, 2018). "Fantasia Had Everyone In Tears When She Brought Her Brother On Stage During Her Emotional Essence Fest Performance". Essence. Retrieved September 9, 2018.

Book sources[edit]

External links[edit]