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"XXX" (stylized as "XXX.", pronounced "X-Rated") is a song by American rapper Kendrick Lamar, from his fourth studio album Damn, released on April 14, 2017. The eleventh track on the album (fourth on the Collector's Edition of Damn[2]), the song was written by Lamar, Mike Will Made It, DJ Dahi, Mark Spears a.k.a. Sounwave, Anthony Tiffith, Bono, the Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen Jr., and produced by Mike Will Made It, DJ Dahi, and Sounwave, with additional production by Top Dawg and Bēkon. The song features samples of the songs "America" by Bēkon and "American Soul" by Irish rock band U2.[3][4] Although not released as a single, the song charted in multiple countries in 2017.

"XXX"
Song by Kendrick Lamar featuring U2
from the album Damn
Recorded2017
StudioJungle City Studios
Genre
Length4:14
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
  • Mike Will Made It
  • DJ Dahi
  • Sounwave
  • Top Dawg
  • Bēkon
  • Jolyon Thomas

Contents

CompositionEdit

The lyrics of "XXX" are about speaking truth to power.[5] The first verse has Lamar talking about what he would do if anything happened to his family.[6] The chorus then features Bono, the lead singer of Irish rock band U2, singing a prominent refrain in the latter half of the song.[3] Lamar also references current U.S. President Donald Trump and President Barack Obama in the lyric, "Donald Trump's in office; we lost Barack, and promised to never doubt him again".[7]

Critical receptionEdit

"XXX" received widespread acclaim from music critics. Ian Servantes of Spin called the song "damn good."[7] Steven Hyden of Uproxx said that U2's cameo was "very un-U2-like" but in a good way.[8]

Live performancesEdit

Lamar performed "XXX" live, without U2,[9] at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on April 23, 2017.[10] Lamar has performed "XXX" on the Damn tour.[11] Lamar performed "XXX" live with U2 at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards in January 2018.[12] Lamar and U2 performed an excerpt before segueing into a verse from "DNA".[12]

Credits and personnelEdit

 
The four members of U2, the Irish rock band active since the 1970s, had never been featured on a hip hop song until their collaboration with Lamar on "XXX".

Credits adapted from the official Damn digital booklet.[1]

  • Kendrick Duckworth – songwriter, additional keys
  • Mike Will Made It – songwriter, producer
  • Dacoury Natche – songwriter, producer
  • Mark Spears – songwriter, producer
  • Anthony "Topdawg" Tiffith – songwriter, producer
  • Paul Hewson – songwriter, voice
  • David Evans – songwriter
  • Adam Clayton – songwriter
  • Larry Mullen Jr. – songwriter
  • Bēkon – additional production and vocals
  • Kid Capri – additional vocals
  • Derek Ali – mixing
  • Tyler Page – mix assistant
  • Cyrus Taghipour – mix assistant
  • Zeke Mishanic – additional recording
  • Brendan Silas Perry – additional recording

ChartsEdit

Chart (2017) Peak
position
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[13] 36
Czech Republic (Singles Digitál Top 100)[14] 78
France (SNEP)[15] 126
Ireland (IRMA)[16] 22
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[17] 60
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[18] 31
Portugal (AFP)[19] 30
Slovakia (Singles Digitál Top 100)[20] 46
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[21] 82
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[22] 50
US Billboard Hot 100[23] 33
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)[24] 19
US Hot Rap Songs (Billboard)[25] 15

CertificationsEdit

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United States (RIAA)[26] Gold 500,000 

 sales+streaming figures based on certification alone

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Digital Booklet - DAMN. copy.pdf". DocDroid. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  2. ^ India, Lindsey (December 8, 2017). "Kendrick Lamar Surprises Fans With 'Damn.' Collector's Edition". XXL. Retrieved December 9, 2017.
  3. ^ a b Yoo, Noah (April 14, 2017). "U2's Bono Features on Kendrick Lamar's New Song "XXX.": Listen". Pitchfork. Condé Nast. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  4. ^ Bono (interviewee) (6 September 2017). "Bono on new music, an Oasis reunion and more!". The No Repeat Guarantee with Andy Bush (Radio broadcast). Absolute Radio. Retrieved 6 September 2017.
  5. ^ Rhiannon, Alexis. "Kendrick Lamar & U2's "XXX" Lyrics Are About Speaking Truth To Power". Bustle. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  6. ^ "Review: Kendrick Lamar's Stark And Powerful DAMN.". Stereogum. April 14, 2017. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  7. ^ a b Servantes, Ian (April 14, 2017). "Kendrick Lamar and U2's "XXX." Is Actually Good". Spin. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  8. ^ Hyden, Steven (April 14, 2017). "Kendrick Lamar Used U2 On 'DAMN.' The Way U2 Once Used Johnny Cash". UPROXX. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  9. ^ "Kendrick Lamar sends off Coachella weekend 2 on a high note". USA Today. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  10. ^ "Kendrick Lamar Setlist at Coachella Festival 2017". setlist.fm. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  11. ^ Masley, Ed (July 13, 2017). "Kendrick Lamar launches DAMN. Tour in Glendale with triumphant one-man show of force". AZ Central. Retrieved October 30, 2017.
  12. ^ a b Seabrook III, Robby (January 28, 2018). "Kendrick Lamar Performs "XXX.," "DNA." at 2018 Grammy Awards". XXL. Retrieved February 7, 2018.
  13. ^ "Kendrick Lamar Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  14. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Czech). Hitparáda – Digital Top 100 Oficiální. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: Change the chart to CZ – SINGLES DIGITAL – TOP 100 and insert 201716 into search. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  15. ^ "Lescharts.com – Kendrick Lamar feat. U2 – XXX." (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved April 21, 2017.
  16. ^ "IRMA – Irish Charts". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved April 21, 2017.
  17. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Kendrick Lamar feat. U2 – XXX." (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved April 21, 2017.
  18. ^ "NZ Top 40 Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. April 24, 2017. Retrieved April 21, 2017.
  19. ^ "Portuguesecharts.com – Kendrick Lamar feat. U2 – XXX.". AFP Top 100 Singles. Retrieved April 28, 2017.
  20. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Slovak). Hitparáda – Singles Digital Top 100 Oficiálna. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: Select SINGLES DIGITAL - TOP 100 and insert 201716 into search. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  21. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Kendrick Lamar feat. U2 – XXX.". Singles Top 100. Retrieved April 21, 2017.
  22. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 22, 2017.
  23. ^ "Kendrick Lamar Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  24. ^ "Kendrick Lamar Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  25. ^ "Kendrick Lamar Chart History (Hot Rap Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  26. ^ "American single certifications – Kendrick Lamar – XXX". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved June 7, 2018. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 

External linksEdit