"Say So" is a song by American rapper and singer Doja Cat from her second studio album, Hot Pink (2019). The song was written by Doja Cat with her manager Lydia Asrat, and Dr. Luke, who handled production for the song under the pseudonym Tyson Trax. Originally an album track, the song was serviced by Kemosabe and RCA Records in January 2020 as the record's fifth single after it gained traction on TikTok, where a dance set to the song went viral. A pop song, it features elements of 1970s funk, disco, and pop rap. Directed by Hannah Lux Davis, the music video earned praise for its matching retro 1970s aesthetic. In both the video and the song's lyrics, Doja Cat explores flirting and invites a stranger with whom she feels a connection to come over and talk to her.

"Say So"
Doja Cat with a short blonde wig, wearing a purple mini-dress and posing in front of a pink-tinted window. Written in a retro-style, pink font, Doja Cat's name and the song title "Say So" appear at the center of the cover art. The text that says "Doja Cat" is placed above "Say So".
Single by Doja Cat
from the album Hot Pink
ReleasedJanuary 17, 2020
Genre
Length3:58 (original version)
3:26 (Nicki Minaj remix)
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)Tyson Trax
Doja Cat singles chronology
"Cyber Sex"
(2019)
"Say So"
(2020)
"Boss Bitch"
(2020)
Music video
"Say So" on YouTube
Nicki Minaj remix cover
Cover artwork used for the remix.[1] The original version of the remix features the same artwork with different colors.[2]
Cover artwork used for the remix.[1] The original version of the remix features the same artwork with different colors.[2]
Nicki Minaj singles chronology
"Nice to Meet Ya"
(2020)
"Say So (Remix)"
(2020)
"Trollz"
(2020)
Lyric video
"Say So (Remix)" on YouTube

The solo version of "Say So" initially peaked at number four on the US Billboard Hot 100, before two remixes featuring Trinidadian-born rapper Nicki Minaj propelled the song to number one. With this, the track earned a Guinness World Record for becoming the first female rap duo to top the Hot 100, also earning both artists their first number-one song in the US. Elsewhere, the song reached the top ten in 25 countries including the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Ireland and New Zealand, becoming Doja Cat's first mainstream hit and her pop radio breakthrough. It has received several certifications, including a fivefold platinum from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA).

To promote "Say So", Doja Cat performed the song on many television programs and awards shows, including the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards, the 2020 Billboard Music Awards, and the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards, where the song was nominated in two categories: Record of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance. The song and its music video appeared on several year-end lists, although many critics were polarized by its success and described it as a comeback for its producer and co-writer Dr. Luke, following the 2014 Kesha v. Dr. Luke lawsuits.

BackgroundEdit

Recording and releaseEdit

"Say So" was written by Doja Cat and her manager Lydia Asrat,[3][4] as well as Dr. Luke, who handled production for the song under the pseudonym Tyson Trax.[4] Although uncredited, frequent collaborator Yeti Beats also served as an executive producer and co-writer.[5][6] "Say So" is one of eight songs co-written by Asrat on the parent album, Hot Pink, and is one of five produced by Trax.[7] A&R executives at RCA Records said that they "immediately" knew the song had hit potential, with Keith Naftaly stating: "A retro disco pop song with sweet vocals and flirtatious lyrics? …That song right there is gonna make you a global pop star."[3] On the creative process of the song, Doja Cat said that the melody came about before the lyrics, and that she was "noodling around" at her mother's home when it started coming together.[8][9]

When I got that beat I went home and I locked myself in my room, and I was like: "Let me just open this up on Logic." I opened it up, I thought, I mumbled it, that’s how I began, and it just fell together really nicely, lyrically I feel like. [...] I naturally write 70's kind of more vintage-y, funk-y music. I feel like that's kind of my bag and I love it so much. It's really fun to make.

— Doja Cat on the inception of "Say So" in an interview with MTV.[8]

The song was originally included as an album track on Doja Cat's second studio album Hot Pink (2019).[10][11] During late 2019 and early 2020, it gained popularity "out of nowhere"[3] on TikTok due to a viral dance challenge which featured the song and was created by TikTok user Haley Sharpe (@yodelinghaley).[12][13][14][11] Celebrities such as Dua Lipa,[12] Laura Dern,[15] Charli D'Amelio,[16] Mackenzie Ziegler,[17] and Sofia Wylie[17] posted their own videos of themselves performing the dance, ultimately helping it become "a go-to challenge for TikTok users".[17] "Say So" would later end up becoming the fifth most-used song on TikTok throughout the year 2020.[18][19] As a result of its initial traction, the song officially impacted contemporary hit radio on January 28, 2020, and rhythmic contemporary radio on February 4, in the United States.[20][21] Despite being the fifth single from the record, "Say So" was only the second single to be promoted to radio.[3]

RemixEdit

Doja Cat announced a remix of the song featuring Nicki Minaj a day before its release on May 1, 2020.[22][23] Tunji Balogun, an A&R executive at RCA Records, organised her feature on this remix.[3] Having expressed her admiration for Minaj, Doja Cat has said that the pairing for the remix came naturally.[24] The release of the track was received by fans as the end of a supposed feud between the two rappers,[25][26] which Doja Cat later simply deemed a misunderstanding.[27] Following rumors of the collaboration preceding its official announcement, the original version of the remix leaked online.[28] Minaj later said that this leaked version was an earlier demo of the remix, and that the officially released version was the "correct, updated" one.[29][30] Due to high demand by fans online, the leaked version was later officially released on May 8, 2020.[28] While no official music video was made for the Nicki Minaj version, a dance visual featuring three performers was posted to Minaj's official YouTube channel on May 2, 2020.[31]

Minaj performs an additional verse in the outro of the song in which she raps the lyric: "Why you talkin' 'bout who body fake? / With all them fillers in your face, you just full of hate". Following major speculation, the rapper disclosed that the verse was not directed at television personality Wendy Williams.[32][33] However fans continued to speculate that the verse was directed at Beyoncé, which Minaj later denied.[34][35] During a Twitter Q&A on May 8, 2020, as part of #SaySoRMXParty, Minaj first sparked rumors of her potential pregnancy with her husband Kenneth Petty,[36][37][38] before formally announcing that she was pregnant with her first child only two months later.[39]

MixingEdit

American recording engineer Clint Gibbs, Dr. Luke's chief engineer and occasional mixer under the latter's publishing company Prescription Songs, used Pro Tools to mix both the solo and Nicki Minaj versions of "Say So".[6] Gibbs aimed at recreating the chorus guitar sound used by American musician Nile Rodgers from the R&B band Chic.[40] He revealed that the Minaj remix came together "very last minute," and that her vocal engineer, Aubry "Big Juice" Delaine, sent him her vocals before the record label even told Gibbs that the remix was taking place.[40] While mixing, he would constantly be getting newer and updated versions of Minaj's vocals, and revealed that on "the day before the remix was supposed to come out, someone wanted to change the beat underneath her vocals. All of a sudden there was an emergency!". Tyson Trax (Dr. Luke) sent Gibbs the newer instrumental for Minaj's part, and he had only an hour to mix it before its release only a few hours later.[40] His final rough mix included nearly 100 tracks.[40]

Dr. Luke controversyEdit

 
Dr. Luke co-wrote the song and produced it under the pseudonym Tyson Trax.

The song's eventual commercial success saw several music critics disturbed by what they described as the "comeback" of Dr. Luke, following the series of lawsuits filed against him by singer Kesha in 2014.[41][42][43][44] Despite the fact that Doja Cat does not disclose the details of their relationship, she has previously liked tweets pointing out that she had signed with Dr. Luke before the lawsuits were issued.[45] Dr. Luke's multiple Grammy Award nominations for the song using a pseudonym faced further criticism from singer Fiona Apple, who called for the boycott of the award ceremony entirely.[46][47]

A number of writers from American music magazine Billboard shared their opinions on the matter. Andrew Unterberger described the song as one of "the year's best floor-fillers," but highlighted that "[it's Dr. Luke] who Doja's sharing the floor with on 'Say So,' an uncomfortable fact that shouldn't be ignored."[48] Denise Warner argued, "how does one support the success of 'Say So' without marginalizing Kesha's accusations or story?"[49] Gab Ginsberg stated, "If Doja has her own reasons for wanting to work with Luke, I don't have to like it, but that's her deal. I do wish there was a way to support Doja and not Luke, but the fact is he helped her make a hit, and I do enjoy it," while Unterberger opined, "it's something we have to keep reminding ourselves and each other about—and to continue to ask Doja and other present and future collaborators about—to make sure that everyone stays informed about [Lukasz] Gottwald's resumed presence in pop's mainstream, and can respond and demand general accountability accordingly."[49]

Composition and lyricsEdit

"Say So" is a pop, hip hop,[50] pop rap,[51][52] and disco song.[13][53][54][50] It features elements of 1970s funk,[55][16] and bubblegum pop.[56] The song is composed in 4
4
time
and in the key of D major, with a moderately fast tempo of 111 beats per minute (BPM) and a ii–V–I (two-five-one) chord progression of Em7A7–Dmaj7.[57] Doja Cat's vocals on the track span between the low note of F3 and the high note of D5, giving the song one octave and eight tones of vocal range.[57] The song is built around a "retro",[50] "grooving"[58] funk guitar riff,[59] an "iridescent" synthesizer,[60] syncopated handclaps,[40] "groovy" 808s,[61] and a funk-inspired walking bassline.[62][60][16] It is characterized by Doja Cat's floaty vocals and her rich, breathy harmonies.[16][60][63] Writing for Clash, Erin Bashford noted that the song "nods to the funk and grooves of the ‘70s with a modernised almost-house beat, all tied together with Doja’s always perfect vocal performance".[64] One critic wrote that its "psychedelic-rock vibe" complemented both her singing and rapping,[65] while another wrote that Doja Cat's "playful" delivery helps keep TikTok dancers on rhythm despite the absence of a conventional bass-heavy beat.[11]

Lyrically, the song is about flirting and "swapping gazes" with a person with whom you feel a connection.[66] On its origins, Doja Cat told MTV, "It's about when you go somewhere and you see someone and they don't approach you, but you're looking at each other and you both feel like there's something there."[66] Following the second chorus, Doja Cat breaks into a "steamy",[59] "swaggering"[67] rap verse and notably asks the person to admit their feelings to her and not to "beat around the bush". On her remix, Nicki Minaj adds a "slick",[68] "high-energy"[69] and "playful"[70] rap verse, while Doja Cat adds "sexy" background vocals.[70] Minaj makes a number of references to Naomi Campbell, Cassie, and Lauryn Hill by means of name-dropping,[71] while also alluding to the COVID-19 pandemic which was ongoing as she recorded her verse.[72] Produced by Dr. Luke, the instrumental is nearly identical to the original with additional 808s and a mix in the note progression for Minaj's part,[73][40] ultimately "turning the song's disco pulse into a spitting trap beat".[49] Minaj is credited as an additional co-writer on the remix.[4]

Critical receptionEdit

Solo versionEdit

Writing for Rolling Stone, Jon Dolan described "Say So" as "a high-gloss bit of Chic-biting retro disco, light and evanescent like the sun glistening off the ocean",[74] while David Renshaw of The Fader deemed it "a slinky ode to seizing romance in the moment".[59] Nerisha Penrose of Elle noted that the song "offers a healthy dose of nostalgia as Doja's hushed, airy voice floats over a bed of iridescent synths and a funky bassline".[60] In a review for Clash, Erin Bashford wrote that the song is "tied together with Doja's always perfect vocal performance".[75] Writers at CBC Music noted that by "switching between saccharine songbird and hard-hitting rapper, Doja Cat flexes her musical chops alongside a retro guitar riff tailor made for a '70s nightclub."[50]

Rachel Epstein of Marie Claire drew comparisons between "Say So" and the works of American pop singer Gwen Stefani,[76] while Heran Mamo of Billboard noted the resemblance between Gibbs' engineered chorus guitar sound on "Say So" and Nile Rodgers' guitarwork in the 1979 single "Good Times" by Chic.[61][40] Writing for Rolling Stone, Rob Sheffield also compared the song to the works of British new wave bands such as Kajagoogoo, Naked Eyes and Spandau Ballet.[77] Justin Curto of Vulture deemed the song "an undeniable throwback" and praised both its "grooving guitars" as well as Doja Cat's "breathy vocals that recall early Donna Summer".[58] Mamo described the song an "effortless dance floor-filler",[61] while Lucy Shanker of Consequence called it a "traditional pop hit" in her review of Hot Pink.[78] While reflecting on the music of 2020, Ben Beaumont-Thomas of The Guardian wrote that "Say So" was "rightly a pop-cultural phenomenon, though Dr Luke’s involvement in it will be controversial".[79]

RemixEdit

Althea Legapsi of Rolling Stone described the "retro-grooving pop song" as "sassy",[71] while in the same publication, Jon Dolan noted that Minaj provided "a welcome dose of zip" to the song.[74] Jackson Langford of NME praised her addition to the track, writing that "Minaj's high-energy verses bookend the remix".[80] Writing for Complex, Jessica McKinney noted that Minaj "adds more of a contemporary feel" to the song.[72] Following its chart placement,[45] McKinney described the remix as "special" since it "successfully disrupted a male-dominated industry, as two women sat together at the top of the charts."[72] Similarly, Aaron Williams of Uproxx wrote that the song opened "the floodgates [...] for long-thwarted female rappers to traipse right up to the top of the Hot 100."[81] In a more negative review, Chris Molanphy of Slate wrote that Minaj's "deftly delivered boasts feel about as organically integrated into the track as a Post-it note".[82]

Year-end listsEdit

Critical rankings for "Say So"
Publication Accolade Version Rank Ref.
Apple Music The 100 Best Songs of 2020 Solo version 11 [83]
Billboard The 100 Best Songs of 2020 Solo version 6 [61]
Complex The Best Songs of 2020 Nicki Minaj remix 47 [72]
Crack Magazine The Top 10 Music Videos of 2020 Music video placed [84]
Elite Daily The 10 Most Jaw-Dropping Music Videos Of 2020 Music video 7 [85]
The Fader The 100 best songs of 2020 Solo version 44 [59]
The Guardian Lanre Bakare's Best Tracks of 2020 Solo version placed [86]
Insider The 45 best music videos of 2020 Music video 29 [87]
Nylon The 10 Best Music Videos of 2020 Music video placed [88]
Rolling Stone The 50 Best Songs of 2020 Nicki Minaj remix 43 [74]
Rob Sheffield's Top 25 Songs of 2020 Nicki Minaj remix 22 [77]
Slate The Best Songs of 2020 Solo version 15 [89]
Stereogum The Top 40 Pop Songs Of 2020 Solo version 32 [90]
Uproxx The 50 Best Songs Of 2020 Solo version 7 [81]
Vulture The Best Dance and Disco Songs of 2020 Solo version placed [58]
XXL The 50 Best Hip-Hop Songs of 2020 Nicki Minaj remix placed [91]

Commercial performanceEdit

 
The remix version of "Say So" became Nicki Minaj's first ever number one hit on Billboard Hot 100, while being her 109th entry on the chart.[92]

In the United States, the solo version of "Say So" initially entered Billboard's Bubbling Under Hot 100 at number 19 on the chart issue dated January 4, 2020,[93] before moving up to number six the following week.[94] After two weeks, "Say So" earned Doja Cat her third Hot 100 entry,[95] debuting at number 95 on the chart dated January 18, 2020.[96][97] While gaining traction over the following weeks, it entered Billboard's Mainstream Top 40 (Pop Airplay) chart at number 33 and later spent six weeks at number 1 on this chart.[98] Following the release of its music video, "Say So" ascended 18 positions to number 33 on the Hot 100 in its eighth week charting.[99] "Say So" simultaneously earned Doja Cat her first top-five song on both the Hot 100 and Radio Songs charts, as well as her first top 10 on the Streaming Songs chart.[100] The song also reached number one on both Billboard's Rhythmic and Dance/Mix Show Airplay charts in the weeks dated April 18 and April 25 respectively.[101][102] The track would eventually be considered Doja Cat's pop radio breakthrough.[103][104][105] With approximately two billion audience impressions, "Say So" ranked as the tenth most popular radio song in the US in the year 2020.[106] iHeartRadio revealed that "Say So" had also achieved over 1.17 billion total audience spins on their platform in 2020.[107]

Following the release of the remix featuring Nicki Minaj, "Say So" moved from number six to number one on the Hot 100 chart dated May 16, 2020.[92] The song became the first collaboration between two female rappers to top the Hot 100.[49] It also marked the first number-one song on the Hot 100 chart for both Doja Cat and Minaj.[92] That same week, "Savage Remix" by Megan Thee Stallion and Beyoncé reached number two on the Hot 100 as well, making history becoming the first time that four black female solo artists occupied the top two spots on the Hot 100 chart.[108] The last time multiple black female artists occupied the number one and number two spots was in 2009, when "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" by Beyoncé occupied number one and the Rihanna featuring "Live Your Life" by T.I. took number two.[109]

Additionally, the song rose to number one on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and on the Hot R&B Songs charts, giving Doja Cat her first number one on each chart and giving Minaj her fifth and first, respectively.[92] Minaj was officially credited as a featured artist on the song as her remix contributed to a majority of the chart points that surged the song to the top, supported by a variety of bundles and videos,[110] which also helped the song top the Digital Songs Sales chart,[111] with a 966 percent increase in sales to 66,000 downloads sold.[92] On the Streaming Songs chart, the song rose from number ten to number four with an 87 percent increase.[92] However, after charting for two weeks as a featured artist, Billboard removed Minaj's credit since the chart issue dated May 30, 2020, with Doja Cat charting unaccompanied again.[112][113] Approximately 90 percent of the song's radio airplay was for the original solo version, therefore Minaj was not credited as an artist on any airplay charts at all.[92][82]

"Say So" became Doja Cat's first proper mainstream hit, and her second internationally charting single after "Candy" had reached modest peaks in Australia, Ireland, Canada and Greece in late 2019. In the United Kingdom, "Say So" debuted at number 83 on the UK Singles Chart on the issue dated January 3, 2020.[114] It gradually ascended to number ten on the chart dated May 1, 2020,[115] before the Nicki Minaj remix helped propel it to a peak of number two the following week, when it was beaten to the top of the chart by "Toosie Slide" by Drake.[116] In Canada, "Say So" peaked at number three and additionally topped the Canada CHR/Top 40 chart.[117][118] It peaked in the top ten in two dozen other national single charts including Australia's ARIA Singles Chart (No. 4),[119] the Irish Singles Chart (No. 4),[120] New Zealand's RMNZ Top 40 Singles chart (No. 3),[121] the French Singles Chart (No. 9),[122] the Netherlands' Dutch Single Top 100 chart,[123] Portugal's AFP Top 100 Singles Chart (No. 8),[124] and both Belgium's Flemish and Wallonia Ultratop charts (No. 5).[125][126]

In the United States, "Say So" became Doja Cat's first track to be certified both platinum and multi-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), in April 2020 and August 2020, respectively.[127][128][129] According to MRC Data's 2020 year-end report, "Say So" was the tenth most streamed song in the US, with 562.4 million on-demand streams.[106] It also was the second-most successful R&B song in the US in 2020 (behind "Blinding Lights" by The Weeknd),[106] and had the most viewed R&B music video of the year worldwide.[130] The song has been certified fivefold platinum in Australia by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) for track-equivalent sales of 350,000 units.[131] The British Phonographic Industry has certified the song double platinum in the United Kingdom for the track-equivalent sales of 1,200,000 units.[132] In Brazil, it is certified double-diamond by Pro-Música Brasil for the track-equivalent sales of 320,000 units.[133] Elsewhere, "Say So" has been certified diamond in France and Mexico,[134][135] double-platinum in Poland,[136] and platinum in New Zealand,[137] Norway,[138] Belgium,[139] and Switzerland among other territories.[140]

Music videoEdit

Background and releaseEdit

The music video for "Say So" was filmed during the basis of January 23-24, 2020 and was later released on February 27, 2020, when it premiering alongside a live performance of the song on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.[67][141][142] Doja Cat had announced its release on social media the day before, writing, "You bitches wanted it, now you’ll have it. Say So video tomorrow at 10AM ET."[17] The video was directed by Hannah Lux Davis and stars actor Josué de La Vega as Tony, Doja Cat's love interest.[143] It was filmed at the Sheats–Goldstein Residence in Beverly Crest, Los Angeles,[144] and features cameo appearances from TikTok stars Dontè Colley and Haley Sharpe, the latter of whom created the viral dance for the song.[145] The dance itself, which made the song popular, was featured in the music video.[146][17] Sharpe revealed that she was in art class on a Tuesday when she got an email notification with the subject "Say So music video inquiry", and that she arrived at the video shoot on the Friday of that same week.[52][147] She said that, during the shoot, Doja Cat had expressed her gratitude towards Sharpe for creating the dance.[147]

Synopsis and receptionEdit

 
Doja Cat dances with friends by this poolside at the Sheats–Goldstein Residence in Los Angeles, before attending a disco inside the mansion.

Several publications praised the music video for its 1970s disco theme,[148][149][150][151][142] with some calling it "groovy",[67] "psychedelic",[152] and "vibrant".[153] Others pointed out its "golden-hued"[67] aesthetic and filming style inspired by Super 8 film,[150] and noted that its 4x3 resolution made it look like an authentic "vintage movie".[154] Doja Cat appears in a total of four[155] different outfits which each were described as "shimmery",[144] "sparkly",[67] "sequinned",[148] and "glamorous".[156] During the day, she flirts with a "handsome handyman"[157] who fixes her record player at the mansion.[152][67][17] The video alternates between this scene and one where she dances in front of the Los Angeles skyline in a full-length dress with rhinestones, which Margaret Blatz of Elite Daily compared to Marilyn Monroe's gown from her 1962 performance of "Happy Birthday, Mr. President".[154] Here, she also sports aqua-coloured eyeshadow and a blowout which one writer compared to those commonly worn by American actress Farrah Fawcett.[158][154] Later that night Doja Cat challenges the handyman to a dance battle amongst a crowd of others at a disco in the same mansion.[152] In this scene, her outfit consists of a large blonde afro wig, glitter eyeshadow and a sequin-filled jumpsuit that resembles a disco-ball.[155][154] Between the indoor daytime scene and the disco scene, Doja Cat has "a quick poolside groove session with her friends" just outside the mansion, where she wears a purple headpiece and long blonde hair extensions.[155][149] Upon her arrival at the disco, Doja Cat can be seen using a leash to walk a real-life tiger named Schicka.[149][52] Writing for Teen Vogue, Allie Gemmill pointed out her familiarity with Doja Cat's "dynamic, playful" music videos, but noted that this one "might just be the best one yet".[17]

AccoladesEdit

Awards and nominations for "Say So" (Solo version)
Ceremony Year Award Result Ref.
American Music Awards 2020 Favorite Music Video Nominated [159]
BET Awards 2020 Video of the Year Nominated [160]
BMI Pop Awards 2021 Award-Winning Songs Won [161]
BMI R&B/Hip-Hop Awards 2021 Song of the Year Won [162]
Award-Winning Songs Won
Billboard Music Awards 2021 Top R&B Song Nominated [163]
GAFFA Awards (Denmark) 2021 International Song of the Year Nominated [164]
Grammy Awards 2021 Record of the Year Nominated [165]
Best Pop Solo Performance Nominated
Guinness World Records 2021 First female rap duo to reach No. 1 on the US singles chart[a] Won [166]
iHeartRadio Music Awards 2021 Favorite Music Video Choreography Nominated [167]
TikTok Bop of the Year Nominated
MTV Video Music Awards 2020 Song of the Year Nominated [168]
Best Direction Nominated
Song of Summer Nominated
MTV Video Music Awards Japan 2020 Best New International Artist Video Won [169]
MTV Video Play Awards 2020 Top 10 Music Videos Won [170]
NAACP Image Awards 2021 Outstanding New Artist Won [171]
NRJ Music Awards 2020 Video of the Year Nominated [172]
MTV Millennial Awards Brazil 2020 Global Hit[a] Nominated [173]
International Collaboration[a] Nominated
MVPA Awards 2021 Best Pop Video Nominated [174]
Best Cinematography in a Video Nominated
Best Colour Grading in a Video Won [175]
RTHK International Pop Poll Awards 2021 Top Ten International Gold Songs Won [176]

Live performancesEdit

Shortly after the premiere of the song's music video, Doja Cat performed "Say So" on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on February 26, 2020.[141] The performance features Doja Cat dressed in a baby pink bodysuit, along with two backup singer/dancers who execute disco-influenced choreography, which incorporated some of the dance moves from the viral TikTok routine.[177] In a new artist campaign organised by MTV titled Push, Doja Cat performed "Say So" on April 4, 2020.[66] In that same month, she performed an exclusive parody version of the song during the Nether Meant music festival, significantly changing the song's lyrics to relate to the video game Minecraft (2011).[178] A live performance of "Say So" was uploaded to YouTube in May 2020 as part of Vevo's 2020 Lift campaign for new artists.[179] The video features Doja Cat in a box-like structure room with pink carpeted walls as she performs the song in a one-piece fur outfit with cat ears to match.[180] On May 11, 2020, Doja Cat performed "Say So" on The Voice, wearing a pink '70s inspired costume and positioned on top of a giant disco ball.[181] On May 23, 2020, Doja Cat performed "Say So" at the virtual 2020 BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend music festival.[182] Her performance of the song on The Late Late Show with James Corden on June 17, 2020, took place in a scene described as "a fluffy pink slumber party with sparkling chiffon curtains and neon signs galore".[183]

On August 30, 2020, Doja Cat performed a medley of "Say So" and "Like That" at the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards.[184] The performance was science fiction themed and saw her wearing a reptilian full body suit.[185] It was also here that she first introduced the concept of her then-forthcoming third studio album Planet Her.[186] Doja Cat performed "Say So" in a Broadway-themed medley with "Juicy" and "Like That" at the 2020 Billboard Music Awards,[187] which some writers noted to be inspired by Roxie Hart from the musical Chicago.[188][189] At the 2020 MTV Europe Music Awards, Doja Cat performed a metal version of "Say So", where she re-created the scene of Samara Morgan crawling out of a television in the horror film The Ring (2002).[190][191] Australian guitarist Plini accused Doja Cat of using a guitar solo lifted from his song "Handmade Cities" without permission.[192] Regarding the alleged plagiarism, Plini stated "the lack of prior communication about it or proper credit upon release is disappointing but not particularly surprising in a sector of the industry that is usually more interested in clout than creativity. (it's being sorted now, but would have been cooler a million views ago)".[193] On December 12, 2020, Doja Cat performed the song at the 10th Streamy Awards.[194] Later that month, she performed it at iHeartRadio's 2020 Jingle Ball,[195] and at the annual Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve show.[196] At the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards in March 2021, Doja Cat performed "Say So" for what she said would be the last time,[197] and described the performance as the "funeral of 'Say So'" in an interview.[198]

In an interview with Rolling Stone in December 2021, while reflecting on the success of "Say So", she revealed that the COVID-19 pandemic "ruined" the relationship she had with her favorite song from Hot Pink, and that having to repetitively perform it virtually instead of on a stage in front of fans "just became a very sad and repetitive and underwhelming thing".[199]

Cover versionsEdit

  • A Japanese version of the song recorded by Indonesian YouTuber singer Rainych Ran was released on March 31, 2020.[200] The song was translated by fellow YouTuber Datenkou and mixed by Rainych herself.[200] The cover gained the attention of Doja Cat while on an Instagram livestream after a fan suggested that she listen to it.[201] During her reaction, Doja Cat called Ran's voice "beautiful" while dancing, saying that "she's fire. She knows exactly what the fuck she's doing."[202] Ran expressed her happiness on Twitter multiple times, thanking the fan that suggested the song,[203] and also writing that she was "smiling while crying" over the reaction.[204]
  • Lisa of the Korean girl group Blackpink performed "a slinky, showgirl cover"[205] of the song as part of the group's online concert titled The Show.[206] She added a self-written rap and self-choreographed dance break to her version.[207]
  • On June 23, 2020, South Korean singer Luna from the girl group f(x) released a Korean version of the song alongside an accompanying music video which includes Luna wearing a bra and bikini with two dancers, and has a "flirtatious and retro vibe".[208]
  • On April 29, 2020, R&B singer PJ covered the song in a trap and R&B style for her The Quarantine Tapes campaign.[209]

In other mediaEdit

A Fortnite emote featuring the song was released in September 2020.[210] "Say So" is featured on the dance rhythm game Just Dance 2021.[211][212]

Track listingEdit

Credits and personnelEdit

Credits adapted from "Say So" single liner notes.[4]

Solo versionEdit

Recording and management

Personnel

RemixEdit

Recording and management

  • Nicki Minaj's vocals recorded and mixed at Kingdom Recording (Beverly Hills, California)
  • Mixed at Threejonet Studios (Los Angeles, California)
  • Mastered at Bernie Grundman Mastering (Hollywood, California)
  • Doja Cat Music/Prescription Songs (BMI), Kasz Money Publishing (BMI), Desta Melodies (BMI), Universal Music Works/Ken & Barbie Music (BMI)

Personnel

  • Doja Cat – vocals, songwriting
  • Lukasz Gottwald – songwriting; production (as Tyson Trax for Prescription Songs)
  • Lydia Asrat – songwriting
  • Onika Tanya Maraj-Petty – songwriting
  • Aubry "Big Juice" Delaine – Nicki Minaj's vocals recording, Nicki Minaj's vocals mixing
  • Clint Gibbs – mixing
  • Mike Bozzi – mastering

ChartsEdit

CertificationsEdit

Certifications for "Say So"
Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[131] 5× Platinum 350,000 
Austria (IFPI Austria)[315] Platinum 30,000 
Belgium (BEA)[139] Platinum 40,000 
Brazil (Pro-Música Brasil)[133] 2× Diamond 320,000 
Canada (Music Canada)[316] 2× Platinum 160,000 
Denmark (IFPI Danmark)[317] Platinum 90,000 
France (SNEP)[134] Diamond 333,333 
Italy (FIMI)[318] Platinum 70,000 
Mexico (AMPROFON)[135] Diamond 300,000 
New Zealand (RMNZ)[137] 2× Platinum 60,000 
Norway (IFPI Norway)[138] Platinum 60,000 
Poland (ZPAV)[136] 3× Platinum 60,000 
Portugal (AFP)[319] Platinum 10,000 
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[140] Platinum 20,000 
United Kingdom (BPI)[132] 2× Platinum 1,200,000 
United States (RIAA)[129] 6× Platinum 6,000,000 

  Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Release historyEdit

Release history and formats for "Say So"
Region Date Format(s) Version(s) Label(s) Ref.
Various January 17, 2020 Jax Jones Midnight Snack remix [213]
January 18, 2020 Friend Within remix [214]
United States January 28, 2020 Contemporary hit radio Original [20]
Italy January 31, 2020 Radio airplay Sony [320]
United States February 4, 2020 Rhythmic radio
  • Kemosabe
  • RCA
[21]
Various April 3, 2020
  • Digital download
  • streaming
Snakehips remix [215]
May 1, 2020
[216][217]
  • Digital download
  • streaming
Remix featuring Nicki Minaj [22]
Canada Contemporary hit radio Sony [321]
Italy May 4, 2020 Radio airplay [322]
Various May 8, 2020
  • Digital download
  • streaming
Original remix featuring Nicki Minaj
  • Kemosabe
  • RCA
[2]
September 11, 2020 "Say So" / "Like That" Mashup [218]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Credited to the Nicki Minaj version.

CitationsEdit

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