|Single by Janet Jackson featuring Khia|
|from the album 20 Y.O.|
|B-side||"Call on Me"|
|Released||August 28, 2006|
|Recorded||2006, Flyte Tyme Studios
(Santa Barbara, California)
"So Excited" is a song recorded by American singer-songwriter Janet Jackson featuring guest vocals from rapper Khia. It was released in August 2006 on Virgin Records as the second single from Jackson's ninth studio album, 20 Y.O.. The song was written by Jackson, Jermaine Dupri, James Phillips, Johntá Austin, James Harris III, Terry Lewis and Khia Chambers, with Herbie Hancock, Michael Beinhorn and Bill Laswell also receiving songwriting credits for sampling Hancock's 1983 song "Rockit". Production for "So Excited" was handled by Dupri, LRoc, Jam, Lewis and Jackson. "So Excited" is musically a hip hop and dance song which lyrically expresses submission from a woman to her lover.
It received mixed reviews from music critics, with some considering the song the highlight from 20 Y.O. while others found it disappointing. "So Excited" performed poorly on the US Billboard Hot 100, reaching number 90, but managed to become Jackson's seventeenth number-one dance hit in the country. It also was successful in Europe, reaching the top ten and the top thirty in seçected regions. The music video for the song was directed by Joseph Kahn. It depicts Jackson's clothes disappearing through a complex dance routine. After the rapper was given a diminished role in the music video, she criticized Jackson online. Jackson performed the song on Today, the 2006 Billboard Music Awards, and the 2008 Rock Witchu Tour.
Background and composition
In 2005, Jackson started working on her ninth studio album, 20 Y.O., with her then partner, record producer Jermaine Dupri, who was commissioned as the executive producer. The discussion between the producers turned to how Jackson was feeling at the time her third studio album Control (1986) was recorded. "I started asking questions like, 'What was the feeling of life when you were 20?' I was so intrigued with what was going on in her life then that I just thought her album should be called that", Dupri commented. Jackson wanted to maintain a R&B sound from her most recent albums, but with an emphasis on dance music.
29-second sample from the song's chorus.
|Problems playing this file? See media help.|
"So Excited" was written by Jackson, Jermaine Dupri, James Phillips, Johntá Austin, James Harris III, Terry Lewis and Khia Chambers, and was produced by Dupri, LRoc, Jam, Lewis and Jackson. The song is a hip hop and dance track which samples the drum break and turntable scratches from Herbie Hancock's 1983 song "Rockit", with Hancock, Michael Beinhorn and Bill Laswell also receiving writing credits. In "So Excited", Jackson promises submission for her lover, singing, "I'll open my spot for you / Anytime you want me to".
"So Excited" received mixed reviews from music critics. Thomas Inskeep from Stylus Magazine criticized 20 Y.O., but enjoyed the track, calling it a "sticky ear-candy" song. He further commented that the "sexed-up" number carries a "throwaway contribution from Khia to, if not ultimate satisfaction, [gives the listener] at least a half-decent orgasm". Miles Marshall Lewis from The Village Voice was also positive, saying that Dupri "girds 'So Excited' with 'Rockit' scratches, coaching guest-rapper Khia to sound like Da Brat on the naughty hook. Serviceable enough, it's surprisingly the highlight" of the album. Spence D. from IGN felt that "So Excited" was like a "glorious slice of radio ready '80s churban soul" wrapped up and delivered for a current audience.
Glenn Gamboa, writer for Newsday, commented that "So Excited" was a "good indicator of what to expect from the current incarnation of Jackson. It's streetwise, lighthearted and easily digestible". Sasha Frere-Jones, writer from The New Yorker was enthusiastic with the song, calling it a "loud dance tune that is reminiscent of the songs on Control", although she criticized some lyrics. For Don Baiocchi from Blogcritics, the song was not "the flawless dance floor anthem" her fans were hoping for. Chuck Taylor from Billboard called it disappointing, and felt it was bland and lacked innovation. Similarly, Evan Serpick, writing for Rolling Stone, stated, "Almost all of the tunes here (particularly 'So Excited') try to replicate Jackson's early work, with diminishing returns".
"So Excited" debuted at its peak of number 90 on the Billboard Hot 100, on the issue dated October 5, 2006. It debuted on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs at number 75, eventually peaking at number 34, becoming her 39th top forty single on the chart. Nevertheless, on the Hot Dance Club Play chart, "So Excited" became Jackson's 22nd consecutive top ten single and her 17th number-one hit on the chart. It was well received in Europe. The song debuted at its peak of number 14 in Belgium's Flanders region. In Wallonia, it reached number five. In Finland, "So Excited" debuted at its peak of number nine, remaining in the chart for two issues. In Italy, it reached number 28, while peaking at number 13 in Spain.
The accompanying music video for "So Excited" was directed by Joseph Kahn, with choreography done by Gil Duldulao; it premiered on September 13, 2006 on BET's Access Granted. A group called X1FX handled VFX visual effects for the video. In the video, Jackson's clothes disappear through a complex dance routine with her female dancers. Also, occasional skeleton people appear in an X-ray effect, and on the 2 minute mark, Jackson is seen inside a yellow sports car eating a strawberry. The video received positive reviews from critics, who considered it a departure from the video for her previous single, but some scenes were criticized. They were also surprised with Jackson naked in the video, after her Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show controversy in 2004.
After Khia was given a diminished role in the music video, she went to her MySpace account to say she was not pleased with her scenes being displayed in a TV during the music video, and criticized Jackson. Despite that, Khia said years later that the situation was calmed down, and wrote a song with Jackson in mind. However, she did not regret the feedback she gave the singer, stating, "I don't say anything that I don't mean. I meant every word that I said. People mix the truth with hate, but no I didn't appreciate her putting me on the television. A lot of people blew that out of proportion like, 'Oh my god, Khia's hating on Janet,' but she called me and we were okay. It's just me voicing the situation to my fans".
On September 9, 2006, Jackson went to France to perform "So Excited" at NRJ's Back to School concert, along with past single "Nasty". While on The Oprah Winfrey Show, she was interviewed and performed both tracks again, with this being the first time a performance of "So Excited" was broadcast on television. The show aired on September 25. On December 4, 2006, Jackson opened the 2006 Billboard Music Awards with a medley of past song "The Pleasure Principle" and "So Excited", with "Control" serving as an introduction to the number. She was accompanied by white, black and red-clad dancers. The song was included on the setlist for the Rock Witchu Tour in 2008 and the Unbreakable World Tour. She was dressed in a gold and black glam hip hop-inspired track suit, and one gold glove.
UK CD 1
UK CD 2
US / European promo CD single
US 12" promo single
US promo CD single
US 12" single
Credits and personnel
- Janet Jackson – vocals, songwriter, producer
- Jermaine Dupri – songwriter, producer, mixing, additional vocals
- James Phillips – songwriter, producer
- Johnta Austin – songwriter
- James Harris III – songwriter, producer, additional music
- Terry Lewis – songwriter, producer, additional music
- Khia Chambers – vocals, songwriter
- Herbie Hancock – songwriter
- Michael Beinhorn – songwriter
- Bill Laswell – songwriter
- Phil Tan – mixing
- Ian Cross – recording at Flyte Tyme Studios, Santa Barbara, California
- John Horesco IV – engineering at Flyte Tyme Studios, Santa Barbara, California
- Josh Houghkirk – engineer, mixing assistant
Credits adapted from 20 Y.O. album liner notes.
|Belgian Singles Chart (Flanders)||14|
|Belgian Singles Chart (Wallonia)||9|
|Finnish Singles Chart||9|
|Italian Singles Chart||28|
|Spanish Singles Chart||13|
|UK Singles Chart||114|
|UK R&B Singles Chart||14|
|US Billboard Hot 100||90|
|US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs||34|
|US Billboard Pop 100||93|
|US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play||1|
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