Young, Wild & Free

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"Young, Wild & Free"
Young,Wild&Free.jpg
Single by Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa featuring Bruno Mars
from the album Mac & Devin Go to High School
Released October 11, 2011
Format
Genre
Length 3:27
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s) The Smeezingtons
Snoop Dogg singles chronology
"The Mack"
(2011)
"Young, Wild & Free"
(2011)
"I Drink I Smoke"
(2011)
"The Mack"
(2011)
"Young, Wild & Free"
(2011)
"I Drink I Smoke"
(2011)
Wiz Khalifa singles chronology
"5 O'Clock"
(2011) 5 O'Clock2011
"Young, Wild & Free"
(2011) Young, Wild & Free2011
"I'm On"
(2011) I'm On2011
Bruno Mars singles chronology
"It Will Rain"
(2011) It Will Rain2011
"Young, Wild & Free"
(2011) Young, Wild & Free2011
"Count On Me"
(2011) Count On Me2011

"Young, Wild & Free" is a song by American hip hop recording artists Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa, featuring a guest appearance by American singer-songwriter Bruno Mars. The track was first released on October 11, 2011 by Atlantic Records in the United States, as the lead single from the soundtrack of the film, Mac & Devin Go to High School. The song was produced by Mars, Philip Lawrence and Ari Levine, under their stage name, The Smeezingtons. It was initially written by Calvin Broadus, Cameron Thomaz, The Smeezingtons and Christopher Brown. However, since the single samples two different songs, "Toot It & Boot It" and "Sneakin' in the Back", more songwriting credits were added, making a total of seventeen. The composition of the song begun when The Smeezingtons where doing a freestyle session in the studio and while they thought the track was never going to see the light of the day, Aaron Bay-Shuck considered it was a "smash" and asked them to finish it. After its completion Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa were added.

"Young, Wild & Free" received mixed reviews by music critics, who noticed it for being musically different among other tracks on the soundtrack, mostly praising the change in style. Some critics praised Mars' pop nostalgic chorus, as well as Snoop Dogg's rap but criticized the Wiz Khalifa rap performance. The song's main structure relies on hip-hop drums and a piano hook. It was commercially successful reaching the top ten of several markets, including number seven on the Billboard Hot 100, number six in France and Switzerland. Furthermore, it was able to peak at number two in New Zealand and four in Australia. The single became certified four times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). It was certified one time platinum by the Recorded Music NZ (RMNZ).

The accompanying music video was filmed in Montclair, California on October 2011 and it was directed by Dylan Brown. It features both Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa having fun while they drive around in karts, skateboard and are surrounded by girls at a party, it is interpolated with footage from the film Mac & Devin Go to High School. "Young, Wild & Free" was performed at the several music festivals, including on the 2012 VMA Tour and Coachella 2012. It was also featured on Khalifa's American leg with Fall Out Boy, The Boys of Zummer (2015), Dogg's Puff Puff Pass Tour Part 2 (2016), and two collaborative tours by Dogg and Khalifa "High School" Tour (2011) and The High Road Summer Tour (2016). The song received a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Song at the 2013 ceremony and won "Most Performed Song" at the 2013 ASCAP Pop Music Awards.

Background and production[edit]

When speaking to American music magazine American Songwriter, Philip Lawrence confessed that "Young, Wild & Free" was "an after-thought" and that "there’s a lot of fun behind it". It all begun when The Smeezingtons were freestyling in the studio. This process usually starts with them getting behind the mic and singing, "until something sticks". While the team thought "it was just a little something", that was never going to be heard, Aaron Bay-Shuck after listening to it was perplexed. He told them the track was a "smash" and they had to finish it.[1] Afterwards Mars sent the song, due to Bay-Shuck, to Snoop Dogg who, eventually, showed it to Wiz Khalifa. The latter two loved the track and decided to record it. They sent the recording back to Mars, who put the finishing touches.[1][2]

"Young, Wild & Free" was written by Calvin Broadus, Cameron Thomaz, Peter Hernandez, Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine, Cristopher Brown, Ted Bluechel, Marlon Borrow, Tyrone Griffin, Keenon Jackson, Nye Lee and Marquise Newman. The latter five due to the elements sampled from the song "Toot It & Boot It" by American rapper YG featuring Ty Dolla Sign.[3] The latter track had already sampled the opening piano of "Songs in the Wind" by The Association, written by Bluechel, from their album Renaissance (1966).[4][5] "Young, Wild & Free" was re-registered in ASCAP with new writing credits, which included Max Bennett, Larry Carlton, John Guerin, Joe Sample and Tom Scott writers of another sampled song, "Sneakin' in the Back" taken from the album Tom Scott and The L.A. Express (1974).[6][7][8] The single was produced by Mars, Lawrence and Levine, under their stage name, The Smeezingtons. It was engineered by Levine, Andy Drucker and Travis "Shaggy" Marshall at Levcon Studios and Paramount Recording Studios, Los Angeles, California and DSR, Hollywood, California, respectively. The former mixed the track at Levcon Studios, while Chris Gehringer mastered it at Sterling Sound, New York City, New York.[3]

Composition and lyrical interpretation[edit]

"Young, Wild & Free" is a rap and pop song with a length of three minutes and twenty-seven seconds.[9][10][11] The length is the same in the explicit and clean version of the track.[11][12] The recording differs from the G-funk style used in other songs by Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa on the soundtrack, as it takes influences from pop music, mainly on the track's chorus.[13][14] According to the digital sheet music published by EMI Music Publishing, the song was composed in the key of D major with a tempo of 100 beats per minute. Dogg's vocal range spans from the low note of B2 to the high note of A4.[15] Its instrumentation consists of groovy and bouncy hip-hop drums overpowered by a revolving, chilled "twinkling" piano hook, with a "sprightly", "carefree choral hook" by Bruno Mars on top of it.[9][16] The song has a coughing sound, which makes the party vibe more believable.[17] Lyrically, the song is a weed anthem, reminiscing "hazy times" and the youth.[9][10][16] The latter is present in the verse "It's like I'm 17 again/ Peach fuzz on my face/Lookin', on the case /Trying to get a hella taste", while the former in the following verses "Roll joints bigger than King Kong's fingers/ And smoke them hoes down until they're stingers."[9][10] The pop-soul chorus by Mars evokes nostalgic times.[9][18][19] It features the lyrics "So what, we get drunk/So what, we smoke weed/We’re just having fun/We don’t care who sees/So what, we go out/That's how it's supposed to be/Living young and wild and free."[17]

Critical reception and accolades[edit]

"Young, Wild & Free" received mixed reviews by most music critics. Kyle Anderson writing for Entertainment Weekly praised the song by saying that evokes nostalgic sentiments due to the "sweet" Bruno Mars' hook. Anderson continued, his compliments, saying that it has "'song of summer' written all over it" and that "could have been a graduation anthem for stoners everywhere", if it was released in May.[18] MTV's Jenna Rubenstein gave a generally positive review as she strongly believes that is more than a "reckless party jam". The three singers don't care who judges them and Rubenstein thinks "that's the positive, family-friendly, family-friendly message we're taking".[17] Billboard magazine rated the song three and half out of five stars, calling it "a haze of nostalgia". The review acclaimed Snoop Dogg's effortless flow, although it criticized the flow by Whiz Khalifa labeled its delivery as "forceful" and "punchy" since it "gets on top of the beat and harshes the mellow laid-back production."[9] In a similar review, Lewis Corner from Digital Spy had a positive opinion towards Dogg's verses, while finding the single "cool and addictive". However, he felt that the flavor of the recording didn't last long.[16] In negative perspective, Shea Serrano from LA Weekly compared the track's atmospheric to the "inside of a cloud (smoke), a celebration or idea of what some teenagers who smoke pot would like". The reviewer continued by saying that you can't have a song where the protagonists are not young, wild & free, addressing such critics to Snoop Dogg.[20]

When reviewing the album, David Jeffries writing for AllMusic found "Young, Wild & Free" to have a more contemporary and friendly sound that the rest of the material on the album. Jeffries added that the single is "polished, bright and sunshine material".[13] In another album review, Michael Madden of Consequence of Sound thought the track was one of the few songs to be good enough for a soundtrack, due to the "smooth pop vocals of Bruno Mars and glitzy Hollywood production" of the recording.[21] The A.V. Club's Chris Martins highlighted the single, for its "sharp keys and lite Jackson 5 bounce", when comparing it to the other songs on the soundtrack which are all based on G-Funk.[14] The song received a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Song at the 2013 ceremony and at the 2013 ASCAP Pop Music Awards it was awarded "Most Performed Song".[22][23] According to a list compiled by Billboard, which measured the "inebriated energy on a scale of one (mildly buzzed) to 10 (totally stoned)" of a song, "Young, Wild & Free" had a seven and the Billboard Staff commented that it could be appreciated not only by "serious stoners" but also everyone else, due to its playfulness.[10]

Commercial performance[edit]

In the United States, "Young, Wild & Free" debuted at number ten on the Billboard Hot 100, selling 159,000 digital copies.[24] It gradually climbed up the Hot 100 and peaked at number seven.[25] The song was successful on the Billboard rhythmic and Hot Rap Songs charts. It reached number one on the Rhythmic Top 40 chart and stayed there for three weeks, while it peaked at number four on the latter chart.[26][27] The single peaked at number ten in the US Billboard Mainstream Top 40.[28] It placed at number 32 on the year-end ranking for Billboard Hot 100 in 2012.[29] In Canada, "Young, Wild & Free" was able to peak at number 13 on the Canadian Hot 100.[30] Not only was the track certified four times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), but also three times by Music Canada (MC).[31][32] As of September 2012, the song has sold 3,211,000 digital units.[33]

Across Europe, "Young, Wild & Free" reached the top ten of the charts in several countries. In France, the single entered at number 50, at the beginning, of November 2011, and later peaked at number six. It spent 48 weeks in the chart's country.[34] The song didn't enter Norway's VG-lista, chart until early 2012 when it debuted at number 20. It lasted 12 weeks and reached a peak position of six on its third week on the chart.[35] On Swiss Hitparade the single reached its peak of number six in its tenth week, leaving the chart twenty-six weeks later.[36] In the Ultratop 50 Flanders, Belgium, "Young, Wild & Free" peaked at number nine and spent seventeen weeks on that country's respective chart.[37] It was certified gold, with the same amount of sold copies, 15,000, in both countries by the IFPI Switzerland and the Belgian Entertainment Association, respectively.[38][39] On January 14, 2012, the track peaked at number 7 in its eight-week on the Dutch Top 40.[40] In Italy, the song peaked at number five and was certified twice platinum by FIMI.[41][42]

"Young, Wild & Free" debuted on the Australian Singles Chart at number 17 and entered the top ten in its sixth week on the chart at number five. The following two weeks were spent at its top peak position, number four, at the beginning of January 2012.[43] The song was certified four times platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA).[44] In New Zealand, the single debuted at number 21, the following week it rose to number 11. It peaked at number two for three straight weeks. It spent nine weeks inside of the top ten.[45] The song was certified platinum by the Recorded Music NZ (RMNZ).[46]

Music video[edit]

Filming sessions for an accompanying music video for "Young, Wild & Free" were held on October 19, 2011 at The Mission Tiki Drive-in Theater, in Montclair, California.[47] It was conducted by Dylan Brown, who also directed the film Mac & Devin Go to High School.[2] The clip was produced by Lucy Brown for The Yard Company.[48] Snoop Dogg told MTV that the video is about "the celebration of being young, wild, and free - having a good time".[2] On the behind the scenes video, Wiz Khalifa and Dogg were seen having fun while "driving go-karts, spinning through a zorb, and sliding down a Slip-n-Slide, while being "stoned out of their minds". Mars was not seen during these footages, which led to believe he would not be featured in the video.[49] The video premiered on October 26, 2011 across several MTV channels.[50]

In the music video, Dogg and Khalifa portray two students attending "N. Hale High School", a play on the word "inhale".[51] A "chilled out" Khalifa and an "easy going" Dogg are shown having a good time at a party, while skateboarding in a parking lot and later driving around it in a "souped-up off-road kart", with several girls in the cars. They also linger "on the hood of a car", hang out with tatted "hot babes", who are seen using a Slip-N-Slide.[51][52][2] The latter is seen driving his 1967 Pontiac Parisienne.[47] These scenes are interpolated with some "psychedelic" footage from the film Mac & Devin Go to High School, which feature a "nerded-out" Khalifa.[51][52] As it was already expected Mars is not featured in the video.[51]

Live Performances and reception[edit]

"Young, Wild & Free" was performed on several occasions. In late 2011, Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa embarked on a small joint tour, High School Tour (2011), to promote the soundtrack.[53] "Young, Wild & Free" was used as the show closing act.[54] In early 2012, Dogg and Khalifa appeared on "Power 106’s Big Boy’s Neighborhood" to perform the single.[55] Khalifa performed the song live on the 2012 VMA Tour.[56] Dogg performed the track during his set at Coachella 2012, where he invited Wiz Khalifa on the stage, who arrived with a giant joint.[57] Khalifa co-headlined with Fall Out Boy on the shows for the American Beauty/American Psycho Tour (2015), under the name The Boys of Zummer for North American leg.[58][59] Dogg and Khalifa partnered up for The High Road Summer Tour (2016), where they performed "Young, Wild & Free" together.[60] Dogg rapped the song as the final act during his Puff Puff Pass Tour Part 2 (2016).[61][62]

Rob Markman from MTV attended a show of the High School Tour (2011) and, "Young, Wild & Free" was closing the set, he commented that Snoop and Khalifa's "onstage chemistry was undeniable."[54] Brittany Spanos of Rolling Stone found Khalifa to be truthful "to his blunted rep", as during the performance, at the tour The Boys of Zummer, of the single he had two large inflatable joints that were tossed around.[58] Regarding The High Road Summer Tour, The Palm Beach Post's Corvaya Jeffries said "No one was seated. If they weren't dancing, they were still standing with phones in hand." Jeffries added, "fans sang the feel good chorus at the top of their lungs."[60] Cal Roach, from Milwaukee Record, attended a concert during Snoop Dogg's Puff Puff Pass Tour Part 2 and, when reviewing it, he stated that using "Young, Wild & Free" to close his set "felt preposterously appropriate".[62]

Track listing[edit]

Digital download[11]
No. Title Length
1. "Young, Wild & Free" (Explicit) (featuring Bruno Mars) 3:27
Digital download[12]
No. Title Length
1. "Young, Wild & Free" (Clean) (featuring Bruno Mars) 3:27
CD single[48]
No. Title Length
1. "Young, Wild & Free" (Explicit) (featuring Bruno Mars) 3:27
2. "Young, Wild & Free" (Music Video) (featuring Bruno Mars) 3:27

Credits and personnel[edit]

Mixing and mastering

  • Engineered at DSR, Hollywood, California, Levcon Studios and Paramount Recording Studios, Los Angeles, California; Mixed at Levcon Studios, Hollywood, California; mastered at Sterling Sound, New York City, New York.

Personnel

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Mac & Devin Go to High School (soundtrack), Atlantic, Rostrum, Doggystyle and Fontana Records and ASCAP.[3][6]

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[44] 4× Platinum 280,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[89] Gold 15,000*
Belgium (BEA)[39] Gold 15,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[32] 3× Platinum 240,000^
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[90] Gold 15,000^
Germany (BVMI)[91] Gold 200,000^
Italy (FIMI)[42] 2× Platinum 100,000*
Mexico (AMPROFON)[92] Gold 30,000*
New Zealand (RMNZ)[46] Platinum 15,000*
Sweden (GLF)[86] 2× Platinum 80,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[38] Gold 15,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[93] Silver 200,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[31] 4× Platinum 4,000,000double-dagger
Streaming
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[94] 2× Platinum 18,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

Release[edit]

Process[edit]

"Young, Wild & Free" was first released on October 11, 2011, by Rostrum and Atlantic Records in various countries.[11] On December 4, 2011, the single was liberated digitally in the United Kingdom and on February 3, 2012, and it was released with its accompanying music video in Germany, Austria and Switzerland by Atlantic Records.[95][48]

History[edit]

Region Date Format Label Ref
Various October 11, 2011 Digital download
  • Rostrum
  • Atlantic Records
[a]
United Kingdom December 4, 2011 N/A [95]
Germany February 3, 2012 CD single Atlantic Records [48]
Austria
Switzerland

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ On October 11, 2011 the single was released in various countries around the world.[11][12][96][97]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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