The song was composed by Enrique Iglesias, Pitbull, Lionel Richie, and RedOne. Iglesias and Pitbull wrote their lyrics, RedOne produced the music, and Richie's 1983 classic "All Night Long (All Night)" is interpolated after the first and third choruses. Richie said: "It's a song that when I wrote it and not much thought was more by sound." The song is written in the key of G Mixolydian, with the chord progression of G-F-Am-G (recorded in G# major). It is set in common time with a tempo of 129 beats per minute.
Pitbull's verse features a reference to the Tiger Woods and Jesse James scandals, joking that he was involved with both scandals. The official remix to the song was produced by Jaylien 2010 and features rapper T.I.
The song was also the official song of AirtelChampions League 2010 cricket tournament held in South Africa. Iglesias performed "I Like It" along with "Be With You" in the opening ceremony of Airtel Champions League 2010. The song was also the official song of the Spanish National Football team leading up to the World Cup 2010, partly due to Iglesias being Spanish.
"I Like It" has received generally mixed to positive reviews from critics. The song received an average review from Digital Spy's music editor Robert Copsey which gave 3 stars (out of 5) and say that "The verses may feature enough Auto-Tune to make Kesha feel vocally exposed, and the Eurodisco production courtesy of RedOne may have a hint of the Cascada to it, but it's the cheesy lyrics that ensure this stays an unmistakably Enrique affair."Bill Lamb editor of the website About.com gave a positive review and rated it with 3.5 stars (out of 5), enjoying: "Enrique's charming pop falsetto", "Lionel Richie "All Night Long" sample" and the "singalong chorus". Lamb concluded that: " "I Like It" features a retro disco-ish production from RedOne, guest raps from Latin star Pitbull, brief excerpts from Lionel Richie's party anthem "All Night Long," and a shout along chorus of "Baby, I like it!" The overall effect is hit single as churned out by committee. Still, despite the assembly line mentality, "I Like It" retains a certain pop charm.
Erika Berlin of Rolling Stone also gave the song 3.5 stars (out of 5), saying "Enrique is back with his most danceable fiesta since 'Bailamos,'" and added "Pitbull gives us insight into his bedroom: "Tiger Woods times Jesse James equals Pitbull all night long." Cheating never sounded so fun!"
The song reached number one on the Canadian Hot 100 and became a top-ten hit in a number of countries, including Australia, Belgium, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States, where it reached number four on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Iglesias' first solo top five hit in nearly eight years, the last being 2001's "Hero", which peaked at number three. The song peaked at number one in Canada, Australian Dance Charts, US Latin Pop Songs and US Hot Billboard Dance Club Songs. With this song Iglesias made history, tying with Michael Jackson and Prince as the male artist with most number-one hits at the Hot Dance Club Songs chart. It even reached #2 on American Top 40 for four weeks, (kept from #1 by Dynamite by Taio Cruz and the biggest hit of the summer, Teenage Dream by Katy Perry).
On the Billboard Hot 100, the song made its debut at number eighty-nine and has since reached number four, becoming his best single on the U.S. charts since "Hero". This marked Iglesias' first foray into the Billboard Hot 100 top 10 in nearly nine years. The track is Iglesias' fourth Hot 100 top 10 and his first since "Hero" reached number three in November 2001. The song reach its 4 million sales mark in the US in September 2013. As of June 2014, the song has sold 4,081,000 copies in the US.
The song reached number one on the Canadian Hot 100 on the chart issue 25 September 2010. It debuted at number four on the UK Singles Chart, his highest charting single in the UK since "Do You Know? (The Ping Pong Song)", which peaked at number three. On the Australian ARIA Charts, it has reached number two, his best Australian single since his 2001 hit "Hero", which topped the charts. On the European Hot 100, the song climbed the chart to number five. On the German Singles Chart, it debuted at No. 12 and reached its highest position, No. 10, in its 7th week on that chart.
Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull dancing in the music video.
A music video was filmed along with Pitbull directed by Wayne Isham. The music video was premiered on 19 May 2010 at The Sun's website. An alternate video featuring the MTV's Jersey Shore cast was also released, the music video for this version was released on 7 June 2010, directed by David Rousseau. As of 7 June 2015, the video has been viewed over 200 million times on YouTube. It is Iglesias' first music video to cross 100 million views on the site.