Good Life (Kanye West song)

"Good Life" is a song by American rapper Kanye West released on October 2, 2007 as the third single for his third studio album Graduation (2007). The song features vocals by singer T-Pain and was produced by West and DJ Toomp. It contains a sample of the keyboard outro to "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)" performed by Michael Jackson. The song features additional drum programming by Timbaland and additional production by Mike Dean, as well as background vocals by John Legend and Ne-Yo.

"Good Life"
Good life cov low res.jpg
Single by Kanye West featuring T-Pain
from the album Graduation
B-side"Can't Tell Me Nothing" (Remix)
ReleasedOctober 2, 2007 (2007-10-02)
Recorded2007
Genre
Length3:26
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
Kanye West singles chronology
"Stronger"
(2007)
"Good Life"
(2007)
"Pro Nails"
(2007)
T-Pain singles chronology
"Kiss Kiss"
(2007)
"Good Life"
(2007)
"Church"
(2007)
Music video
"Good Life" on YouTube

The song's lyrics see West celebrating the finer things in life and acknowledging his success. "Good Life" peaked at number seven on the Billboard Hot 100 and number twenty-three on the UK Singles Chart. The music video was premiered on MTV Jams on September 11, 2007. The song earned two nominations at the 50th Grammy Awards for Best Rap/Sung Performance and Best Rap Song, winning the latter. It was nominated for Best Collaboration and Video of the Year at the 2008 BET Awards, managing to win the former.

Composition and recordingEdit

The song samples the keyboard outro of the single "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)" performed by Michael Jackson, combined with layers of synths from Omar Edwards.[1][2][3] Producer DJ Toomp revealed that the song's creation started off with West playing with the sample and being like: "Yo, I always wanted to do something with this... I want to hear it in a different key" and Toomp played with the sample as well.[4] John Legend and Ne-Yo sing the final refrains of "Good Life".[5] The lyrics focus on life being good and West celebrates his success.[1][6] West spins lyrics from 50 Cent's single "In Da Club" that originally were about Lloyd Banks giving 50 advice to being about 50 giving West advice instead.[7] It was revealed by T-Pain that even though he recorded multiple different hooks, none of them sounded right to West and he ended up making the hook out of a composite that was made up of all the hooks that had been recorded by T-Pain.[8] Working on the track in the studio was viewed as feeling like a party by Toomp and he also said that there was a lot of the GOOD Music crew in the studio for it.[4]

In a 2019 interview with Revolt, DJ Toomp commented on the creation of the song;

"Kanye came with the sample and I started making the beat around it. We wanted a professional keyboardist to bless that shit. John Legend was singing on the hook in one version. We went through about four different artists before we decided T-Pain was going to do the hook. Watching him go through so many different artists and different hooks, I learned about taking your time and not settling with what you hear the first time."[9]

Music videoEdit

 
The rotoscoped forms of Kanye West and T-Pain against a white backdrop.

The music video for "Good Life" was directed by Jonas & François with animation by So-Me.[10] The video premiered on September 11, 2007 as MTV Jams' "Jam of the Week".[11] It features West and T-Pain performing with animated backdrops on a white background and often mouthing the words of the song lyrics, which appear in large letters.[10][12] The version of the song used in the video contains an additional twenty-four seconds that the album version does not have.[13] The music video features a cameo from rapper/model LoLa Monroe.[14] On set, West had to persuade T-Pain to listen to "Good Life" again before the shooting began.[8]

Chart performanceEdit

"Good Life" debuted at number sixty-three on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs during the chart week of September 22, 2007, where it eventually peaked at number three, becoming West's second top ten single from Graduation on the chart.[15][16] For the chart week of September 29, 2007, "Good Life" was the "Hot Shot Debut" of the week on the Billboard Hot 100, as it entered at number fourteen due to strong digital downloads.[17][18] The song climbed to the seventh position, becoming West's second consecutive top ten Hot 100 single from Graduation as well as T-Pain's sixth top ten single.[19][20] "Good Life" debuted on the Canadian Hot 100 at number thirty-nine and has peaked at number twenty-three.[21][22] The single generated a strong reaction from the MuchMusic Countdown, where it reached number-one.[23] "Good Life" was able to reach number thirty-three on the UK Singles Chart before it was officially released in the UK until November 5, 2007.[24] Upon its release, the single was able to rise and peak at the twenty-third position on the chart.[25]

AccoladesEdit

Media usageEdit

The song was used in the ending credits of the HBO television series Entourage during season 4, episode 11, titled "No Cannes Do."[34] In the final moments of the episode, Kanye West makes an appearance and lets Vincent Chase and his crew use his plane to fly to Cannes as the song "Good Life" faded into the credits.[35] On August 31, 2017, Sammie released the song "Good Life" featuring Rick Ross, which includes an interpolation of the lyric "Welcome to the good life".[36]

Track listingsEdit

CD single (UK)[37]

  1. "Good Life" – 3:27
  2. "Can't Tell Me Nothing" (Remix) [featuring Young Jeezy] – 4:07

CD single (US)[38]

  1. "Good Life" (Explicit Album Version) – 3:30
  2. "Good Life" (Instrumental) – 3:24
  3. "Can't Tell Me Nothing" (Remix) [featuring Young Jeezy] – 4:09
  4. "Good Life" (Video-Track) – 3:56

Digital download (UK)[39]

  1. "Good Life" – 3:27
  2. "Can't Tell Me Nothing" (Remix) [featuring Young Jeezy] – 4:07

PersonnelEdit

Information taken from Graduation liner notes.[3]

  • Songwriters: Kanye West, Faheem Najm, James Ingram, Quincy Jones, Aldrin Davis
  • Producers: Kanye West, DJ Toomp
    • Additional drum programming: Timbaland
    • Additional production: Mike Dean
  • Recorders: Andrew Dawson, Anthony Kilhoffer, Paul Sheehy
  • Mix engineer: Mike Dean
  • Piano/synths: Omar Edwards
  • Violins: Eric Gorfain, Daphne Chen
  • Viola: Leah Katz, Alma Fernadez
  • Cello: Richard Dodd, John Krovoza
  • Background vocals: John Legend, Ne-Yo

ChartsEdit

CertificationsEdit

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[62] Silver 200,000 
United States (RIAA)[63]
Mastertone
Platinum 1,000,000*
United States (RIAA)[63] 3× Platinum 3,000,000 

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
  Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Release historyEdit

Region Date Format Label Ref.
United States October 2, 2007 Rhythmic contemporary radio [64]
United Kingdom Digital download [39]
November 5, 2007 CD single [37]
United States December 11, 2007 [38]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit