Over (Drake song)
|Single by Drake|
|from the album Thank Me Later|
|Released||March 8, 2010|
|Drake singles chronology|
"Over" is a song by Canadian recording artist, Drake. The song serves as the lead single from his debut album, Thank Me Later. It was written by Drake with Boi-1da, and produced by the latter and Al Khaaliq (Nick Brongers). The orchestral samples were composed and arranged by Brongers. The single was released for digital download on March 8, 2010. The song is midtempo hip-hop featuring an orchestral backdrop and lyrically about an introduction to fame. The song received positive reviews, commending the lyrics among other content.
It has peaked in the top twenty of the United States and Canada, becoming Drake's fourth consecutive top twenty hit in the U.S. It also charted within the top five on the U.S. R&B and rap charts, becoming Drake's fourth consecutive top five on those respective charts. The song has also charted in the United Kingdom and its R&B chart. The song's accompanying music video features Drake reflecting on an experience, and the struggle between his old life and the new. Several artists have made a freestyle over the track, including Eminem, Trey Songz, and Diggy Simmons, among others. Drake performed the song a number of times, including at the 2010 MuchMusic Video Awards. The track received a nomination for Best Rap Solo Performance at the 53rd Grammy Awards. The song is also featured on the NBA 2K11 soundtrack.
On choosing his lead single, Drake told Rap-Up, "It’s gotta be a real great song. It’s gotta be something that I feel is timeless and is better than anything that I’ve ever done." Drake exclusively revealed to Rap-Up on February 15, 2010 that "Over" would be the lead single from his debut album, Thank Me Later, and would be produced by Boi-1da, producer of his previous singles "Best I Ever Had" and "Forever". Drake chose to premiere the song on his hometown Toronto's radio station Flow 93.5. In an interview session with the station, Drake said, "I went with 'Over' as the first look because of the words in the hook," he said. "The hook being the most repetitive part. I got a lot of great songs on my album. I got songs for women who wanna feel special. I got songs for dudes — if you ever thought my music was too soft, this is one you will enjoy. I got a lot of variety on there, but the biggest thing was that opening line on the hook: 'I know way too many people here right now that I didn't know last year'." He went on to explain that the record sums up where he is in his career right now, and called it a "great first impression". Drake did a lot of work for the song and also the album in Jamaica, during which he called the "calm before the storm", and called "Over" the storm. He said, "It's the moment. I wanted to emerge at first from this album and just let people know 'This is how I'm coming out in the public eye. I'm ready for anything." He then went to explain that after the album people will be like "he's still human" or "he's still thinking the same way", and said he wanted people to "understand I could have lost it. He said, "'Over' could have been my entire album. Just 'cause that's what this industry and game will do to you if you lose yourself." Drake later said that the song was a "warm-up record". He went on to say,
"I love the song. I love the message in the song. It's funny, because 'Over' is the fourth song on the album and it's the turning point in the album. It's like, you get three songs of me sort of trying to paint the picture of what the last year has been like for me — trying to fill you in, almost let you into my world as much as I can. 'Over' is that moment where you're almost worried on the album. 'Is this kid about to ... ? What's happening? Is he changing?' I wanted that to come out first. I wanted people to be a little nervous. This whole journey could have changed me drastically. Fortunately I'm able to step out of my shoes and reflect on it and give you some great music. 'Over' is a great alter-ego moment. It's the dark side of things and I really wanted that to come out first."
Music and lyrics
A 30-second sample of "Over" featuring the chorus, hook, and beginning of the verse by Drake.
Problems playing this file? See media help.
According to MTV News, the song "touches on Drake reaction to fame and stardom". Drake told MTV News, that the song was "definitely" a choice of his for releasing as a single, and that it was a song he did for himself. Brad Wete of Entertainment Weekly called the song, "a prideful track about a guy who fought for notoriety, gained it, and now struggles with what comes with it: criticism, groupies, and the pressure of expected greatness." The song makes heavy use of an orchestral backdrop, while Drake delivers confident, aggressive raps in a paced fashion. Drake makes references to film critics Roger Ebert & Richard Roeper, as well as actress Jada Pinkett Smith and her 1996 film, Set It Off. According to Michael Craggg of MusicOMH, the song contains three hooks. Several lines in the second verse are actually a flip of hip-hop group Dead Prez's "Hip-Hop", from their 2000 debut, Let's Get Free. Ironically, Dead Prez's track is meant as a jab at media controlled artists like Drake, stating, "One thing about music when it hits you feel no pain/ White folks say it controls your brain/ I know better than that/ It's just game", to which Drake stated when asked about it, "I love that flow. So I took that flow and flipped it in the second verse." He also references Michael Jackson's iconic attire in his "Thriller" video, though the lines, "'Bout to go 'Thriller' Mike Jackson on these niggas/ All I need is a fucking red jacket with some zippers." [sic] On the reference, Drake said,
"That was sort of my reference point; that phenomenon of Michael. He was young and had the world excited and anticipating his every move. That was my homage to him and the impact that he had on the world that I live in. It's also ... great for people to say. Especially, unfortunately what happened to him, just to honor him was great."
The video was shot on March 12, 2010 in Los Angeles, directed by Anthony Mandler. Mandler previously worked with Drake on the video for his collaboration with Mary J. Blige, "The One". It premiered on VEVO on April 12, 2010. In an exclusive with Rap-Up, when asked about how the connection came about, Mandler said, "I’m a big fan of Drake and I was really excited when he called me about doing it, and really put a lot into making it special and capturing what I think is an image he hasn’t had yet. Here’s a guy whose lyrical presence does not equal his visual presence yet, by any means. That’s something that he and I spoke a lot about. He felt strongly that nobody had really captured him, and some of the videos that had been done were less iconic than he would like to be represented as." On Drake and the song he said, "It’s so refreshing that he’s confident, but he’s not arrogant. I think that dimensionality is so important in a genre that is very one note with words like “bravado” and “swagger” and “arrogance” and “promiscuity.” Here’s a guy that’s finally putting a duality to the words and saying, “Yeah, I have all that and I do all that, but I’m also somebody that’s asking, is that what I should be doing with my life?" When asked of the concept of the "Over" video, Mandler said that it was something that would not be expected. Mandler explained, "Drake and I were very conscious about trying to push the limits and trying to push things forward. He came to me because he wanted to throw away the conventions of a medium, and take chances and be daring and take certain themes that are relevant to him and try to visualize them in not the obvious way".
In an interview with MTV News on the set of the video shoot, Drake said, "I've shot a lot of videos before, but this is my first attempt to establish myself as Drake the artist." Confronting the criticism of his past videos, notably the one for "Best I Ever Had", Drake said, "I really don't care what other people think about them, they were great experiences for me. I've learned a lot from them", and he explained that he was working on that day with Mandler, someone he respects and looks up to. On the video, Drake said, "We talked colors, we talked epic, emotion-evoking visuals." He called the story of the video interesting and the song tells "sort of a love story". He explained that the video has a lot to do with his debut album, stating "The album is about finding love, feeling 'Have I sold my soul' as far as 'Will I ever be able to gain the trust of a woman? Will I only be able to be around the dark, evil women? Will I ever find that pure love?' Those elements are in the video." In a separate interview on his Away From Home Tour, with MTV News, Drake said the video takes the song to "another place". He said it offers up a different look to the song. He explained,
"This video is what I was really thinking about. The song is like a bad dream — but it's not a bad dream, it's not a terrible dream. It's a little evil. The video really reflects that. It's a struggle between the purities of my past life and what this new life has to offer. Even in the video, you see me looking back and forth between the two and deciding. At the end of the video I don't necessarily make a decision, but when you get the album, you'll see what choice I make."
Synopsis and reception
British singer, Rita Ora, plays Drake's distant love interest in the video. It begins with Drake dressed sitting in a room on a bed, reflecting on his new life. Several images including explosions and cityscapes are shown on him and on the wall before the performance begins. Drake is later shown throughout the video in front of a gray backdrop, as he seems to be thinking about two women in his visions, Ora, who seems to portray the good girl, and another woman, who remained yet to be seen fully, portrayed as dangerous as she dances provocatively in the background. Brad Wete of Entertainment Weekly called the video "artistically contradictory", however said that the scenes of Drake sitting "alone in his bedroom as flashing images of busy streets and crowds of strangers float around him, pensive and rebellious", and called them "controlled chaos", but said that it worked in the video. Wete also pointed out that "He chose not to go the cliche rap-video route and fill his four-minute flick with nearly naked women, Ciroc bottles, and Beamers", and that he stuck with "one leading lady".
Several artists have remixed or made a freestyle over the beat, including Eminem, B.o.B, Sean Kingston, Royce da 5'9", Trey Songz, Fat Joe, Teairra Marí, and Diggy Simmons. Simmons, the first to release a freestyle over the track told Vibe, “With that freestyle, I heard the track, loved it, then got the instrumental from a friend of mine and just did it on the whim. It wasn’t really anything I planned. I wasn’t even ready for this to be a big thing because I’ve had tracks out before. I put my all into everything, but sometimes some tracks come out better than others. It got such a big buzz maybe because it came out the day after and people enjoyed it.”
Drake performed the song at MTV's Spring Break 2010 in Acapulco, Mexico, and at the 2010 Juno Awards. He also performed the song at the 2010 MuchMusic Video Awards. "Over" was also performed alongside "BedRock" with Nicki Minaj on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on June 25, 2010. Drake also performed the song at the 2010 BET Awards on June 27, 2010, in a medley along with "Fireworks" and a remix of Young Jeezy's "Lose My Mind".
Mariel Conception of Billboard said that the single lived up to its expectations, and that "Drake continues to prove he's worthy of the hype." She commented, "It definitely isn't over for Drake-this is only the beginning.". Chris Ryan of MTV News said the song sounded "very much a first single" and that Drake "is almost overwhelmed by the opportunity to officially go off". Ryan also said that "it sounds like he's pouring all of himself into every corner of the song". Ryan Dombal of Pitchfork Media said the song "does not back down" as the album's lead track, with "royal fanfare-- strings, horns, the works", which he called "an emperor's welcome".
Henry Adaso of About.com dismissed the song, giving it two out of five stars, not pleased with the chorus, and called the rhymes and metaphors "redundant" and "proposterous". While he called the lead single a "disappointment", he said that it raises expectations for his album, hoping that "he's saving the gems for his album" and also called the "distracting music" a pro of the song.
The song debuted at number thirty-five on the Billboard Hot 100, and eventually peaked at fourteen on the chart. While it peaked at number one on the Rap Songs chart, it charted at number two on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. In Drake's native Canada, the song debuted at fifty-six, later peaking at seventeen. The song peaked at number fifty in the United Kingdom, and at eighteen on the UK R&B Chart. In Germany, the song peaked at seventeen on the German Black Chart.
Credits and personnel
- Songwriting - Drake, Boi-1da, Nick Brongers, Noah "40" Shebib
- Production - Boi-1da, co-produced by Al Khaaliq
- Mixing - Noah "40" Shebib, assisted by Dale Dizzle Virgo and Tandra Jhagroo
- Engineering - Noah "40" Shebib
- Drum programming - Boi-1da
- Keys, Strings and Horns - Al-Khaaliq, additional by Noah "40" Shebib
|United States (RIAA)||3× Platinum||3,000,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone
|United States||March 8, 2010||Digital download|
|United Kingdom||March 22, 2010 ||Digital download (Clean)|
|May 21, 2010||Digital download (Explicit)|
- Boi-1da [@Boi1da] (5 March 2010). "SHOUT OUT TO MY BROTHER DRIZZY DRAKE FOR MAKING HISTORY YET AGAIN!! NICK BRONGERS AKA AL KHAALIQ I COULDNT DO IT WITHOUT YOU!!! #OVER #OVER" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
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