Low (Flo Rida song)
|Single by Flo Rida featuring T-Pain|
|from the album Mail on Sunday and Step Up 2: The Streets (soundtrack)|
|Released||October 9, 2007|
|Flo Rida singles chronology|
|T-Pain singles chronology|
"Low" is the debut single by American rapper Flo Rida, featured on his debut studio album Mail on Sunday and also featured on the soundtrack to the 2008 film Step Up 2: The Streets. The song features and was co-written by fellow American rapper T-Pain. There is also a remix in which the hook is sung by Nelly rather than T-Pain. An official remix was made which features Pitbull and T-Pain. The song peaked at number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.
The song was a massive success worldwide and was the longest-running number-one single of 2008 in the United States, spending ten consecutive weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100. With over six million digital downloads, it has been certified 8× Platinum by the RIAA, and was the most downloaded single of the 2000s decade, measured by paid digital downloads. The song was named third on the Billboard Hot 100 Songs of the Decade.
Music and lyrics
Several of T-Pain's stylistic effects are present in this song, including Auto-Tune and call and answer during the chorus. It contains electronic elements featuring 808-style drums and an arpeggiated note sequence instead of a chord progression. Flo Rida has sexually charged (but not explicit) lyrics, for example he refers to a woman's buttocks as "birthday cakes" which "stole the show". T-Pain also relies heavily on synthesizers. The song is written in the key of E♭ minor. A Harmonic minor melody is played over the E♭ minor, and at different times different instrumentation cycles, i.e. sometimes only the synthesizer plays, sometimes only the bass, sometimes only the vocals. Flo Rida uses a style that is common in 1990s hip-hop party music. "Low" is written in common time with a moderate tempo of 120 beats per minute while T-Pain's vocal range spans nearly two octaves from B♭2 to F♯4.
The song makes references to a "Shawty" in a club, focusing on her outfit and style of dancing. The song takes its name from how Shawty "gets low", meaning a partial squat and twerking position. Also mentioned is pole dancing and pop and lock dancing. The first Shawty is wearing Apple Bottom jeans and boots with fur. A separately described Shawty wears baggy sweat pants and Reebok brand shoes. This is supposed to contrast two different styles that women adopt in the club: the first outfit consists of high-end, tight-fitting, and name-brand articles of clothing, while the latter is loose-fitting streetwear. This reflects the differing preferences of the song's two singers, which T-Pain described as a "classy lady" and "lazy bitch" respectively. This is humorously contradicted in the second verse, where he sings that he "prefers them no clothes".
The music video of "Low" was directed by Bernard Gourley and contains certain clips from Step Up 2: The Streets. It also contains cameos from Rick Ross, DJ Khaled, Cool & Dre, Briana Evigan, Torch and Gunplay of Triple C's and Jermaine Dupri. Also, T-Pain and Flo Rida are in a nightclub in a few scenes. The music video reached the number one spot on 106 & Park for five days and 22 days on TRL. The music video was also nominated at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards for Best Male Video and Best Hip-Hop Video, but lost to Chris Brown's "With You" (Best Male Video) and Lil Wayne's "Lollipop" (Best Hip-Hop Video) music videos.
European CD single
- "Low" – 3:53
- "Low" (Travis Barker Remix) – 4:15
- "Low" – 3:53
- "Low" (Instrumental) – 3:53
- "Birthday" (Amended Version)
- "Low" (Video)
The song debuted at number 91 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 for the week of November 6, 2007, and reached number one for the week of December 30, 2007. The song generated the second greatest one-week digital sales in the history of Billboard's Digital Songs chart (behind Flo Rida's "Right Round"), with 467,000 digital copies in one week. "Low" was number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for ten weeks and remained in the top ten of the chart for 23 weeks, making it both T-Pain and Flo Rida's most successful single to date. The song stayed on the Hot 100 for 39 weeks, before dropping out in June 2008.
As the first number one on the Hot 100 of 2008, "Low" held the top position longer than any song did in 2008 (see List of Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles of 2008), and was the longest-running Hot 100 number one single since Beyoncé's "Irreplaceable." The song is also the longest-running number one single in the history of the Billboard Digital Songs chart, topping the chart for 13 weeks, and also on the now-defunct Pop 100 chart, where it ruled for 12 weeks. For the week of June 29, 2008, it became the first song ever to sell four million digital copies in the US, and then for the week of June 21, 2009, the first to sell over five million copies. It was best-selling digitally-downloaded song of all time until it was surpassed by The Black Eyed Peas' "I Gotta Feeling" in May 2010. The song sold over six million in digital sales by August 7, 2011, and reached its seven millionth sales mark in sales in June 2014.
The physical release of the single occurred in the UK for the week of March 24, 2008. For the week of July 20, 2008, the song moved up to number 19 on the UK Singles Chart, several months after its official release. Although it failed to reach number one in the UK, it amassed 53 weeks inside the UK top 75 (making it the joint 20th longest-runner of all-time), and 75 weeks inside the top 100. As of January 2012, the song has sold 613,434 copies in the UK.
The song was ranked at number 26 on Billboard's All Time Hot 100. The song was also ranked the number-one song for 2008 in Billboard's ranking of the Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 2008. For the week of December 28, 2008, it was listed at number 11 on the UK Singles Chart year-end countdown and was named the highest-selling single in Australia in 2008.
Charts and certifications
Cover versions and media usage
The song was performed live with the band Simple Plan at the 2008 MuchMusic Video Awards. Albuquerque, New Mexico based Crunkcore group Brokencyde released a cover of this song on "THA $C3N3 MiXTaPe" in 2008. Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker added a drum version cover of the song. On October 23, 2012, the cast of The Big Bang Theory made a flashmob during the live taping of an episode, featuring the song as well as others. The song was featured in Suburgatory. The song was also featured in Tropic Thunder and Zookeeper.
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- List of number-one R&B/hip-hop songs of 2008 (U.S.)
- List of Canadian Hot 100 number-one singles of 2008
- List of number-one singles of 2008 (Australia)
- List of number-one singles of 2008 (New Zealand)
- List of number-one singles of 2008 (Ireland)
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