Kalpana Kalpana (Editor)

1, 2 Step

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LaFace Sho'nuff


October 23, 2004 (2004-10-23)

Digital download, CD single

2003?; Doppler Studios, Atlanta, Georgia, and Hit Factory Criteria, Miami, FL

"1, 2 Step" is a song recorded by American singer Ciara featuring female rapper Missy Elliott for Ciara's debut album, Goodies. Written by Ciara and Missy Elliott and produced by Jazze Pha, it was released as the album's second single on October 23, 2004 in the United States and the second quarter of 2005 internationally. It peaked within the top ten of the charts in several countries worldwide, including Germany, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. The song is heavily inspired by 1980s electro music production. Throughout the song, Ciara gives a description of how the song's beat feels as she demands party-goers to dance to the music. "1, 2 Step" was ranked 59th on Billboard's Top 100 Songs of the 2000s. In the United States, the song peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and stayed there for seven weeks.


The song also features Missy Elliott using an interpolation verse from Teena Marie's song "Square Biz".

Background and composition

"1, 2 Step" is one of four songs Ciara and Jazze Pha originally recorded at Doppler Studios in Atlanta two years before the release of Goodies. It's said that Ciara was inspired by Roscoe Blunt, leading to the creation of this song. "The two connected so well, that half of the album was made within eight days or so." Pha asked Missy Elliott to appear on the track and she accepted. Elliott recorded her rap verse at the Hit Factory Criteria in Miami.

"1, 2 Step" is a futuristic–R&B track, which is strongly influenced by 1980s electro music. The song was created on one of Jazze Pha's five Akai MPC3000s. Pha used laser pulses from E-mu Proteus 2000s that were used for old school hip hop songs and b-boy break dance tracks. "1, 2 Step" is inspired by Afrika Bambaataa's "Planet Rock." Jazze Pha thought about how he could create a more melodic version and "shared some interesting ideas on what kind of music he would like to produce with her. Let's put it this way, it would be epic."


"1, 2 Step" received favorable reviews from music critics. Contact Music gave the song three out of five stars and called it "arse shaking floor filling R&B" and a "wicked melodic souful twist." Jason Birchmeier of Allmusic was published that the track is "good, if not great." Gerardo E. wrote it's "a feel good track," something that is not overproduced but works its magic." Kate Watkins of The Situation called it "a funky song in the style we have come to expect from Missy." Fazed stated that the song is about "joys of dancing around with family." Slant thought that "1, 2 Step" was a "fun dance track."

"1, 2 Step" was nominated for the 2006 Grammy Award for "Best Rap/Sung Collaboration," but lost to "Numb/Encore" by Jay-Z and Linkin Park. The song also received a nomination at the Soul Train Lady of Soul Music Awards for "Best Dance Cut." The song was nominated for "Viewer's Choice" at the 2005 BET Awards, but lost to Omarion's "O." The song won the award "Best Performed Songs in the ASCAP Repertory for the 2005 Survey Year," which included the title track from the album as well as third single, "Oh." The song won the award for "Choice Music R&B/Hip Hop Track" at the 2005 Teen Choice Awards and "Best Collaboration" and "Viewer's Choice" at the BET Awards in 2005.

Chart performance

"1, 2 Step" debuted at seventy-four on the Billboard Hot 100. In the January 8, 2005, issue of Billboard, the song began a seven-week stay at No. 2 on the Hot 100 chart behind Mario's "Let Me Love You" and became Ciara's second top-ten single. "1, 2 Step" reached number one on the Billboard Pop 100 (the first on the then new chart), Hot Dance Airplay, Hot Digital Tracks, and Top 40 Mainstream charts. It peaked in the top five on the Hot Digital Songs, Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, Rhythmic Airplay and the Top 40 Tracks charts, and the top thirty on the Hot Dance Club Play chart. "1, 2 Step" was ranked No. 5 for the year on the Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 2005.

"1, 2 Step" was successful outside the U.S., reaching the top ten in several countries. In the United Kingdom and Ireland, "1, 2 Step" entered and peaked at number three on both the UK Singles Chart and Irish Singles Chart respectively. In Ireland, the single stayed at three for three weeks. The song reached number two in Australia for one week and New Zealand for two weeks. It peaked at number five in China and was a top thirty hit in Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Sweden.

Music video

The music video for "1, 2 Step" was directed by Benny Boom. It takes place in an Atlanta skating rink and on the streets. R&B boy band, B5, makes a short appearance in the video, along with Lloyd and Lil Scrappy. Ciara can be seen teaching others the song's title "one, two step" dance, which is similar to the traditional grapevine.


The video begins, with Ciara inserting her Goodies CD in a radio, setting it to the "1, 2 Step" track, and pressing play. As the song begins, you see Jazze Pha reciting the introduction, showing Elliott, and then finally Ciara herself. We see Ciara and her dancers, dancing in the Atlanta skating Rink, and certain shots of her teaching her female friend the "1, 2 Step". We then see a clip of Ciara meeting up with B5 and performing the 1, 2 Step. Later Ciara is seen dancing alone on the streets. While dancing in the skating rink, she looks behind her, and sees Elliott in the mirror, but thinks she is just seeing things. Then Elliott begins to rap her verse and they continue dancing with each other in front of the mirror, until the songs ends. During this time, we also see shots of Ciara teaching a group of young girls the dance and also, she meets a boy who is standing in front of his house and kind of gives him a flirtatious look. We also see four dancing skaters, three male, and one female skater, skating in the streets and a final shot of Ciara and her dancers.

Formats and track listings

These are the formats and track listings of major single releases of "1, 2 Step".


  • Ciara Harris — vocals, writer
  • Missy Elliott — vocals, writer
  • Jazze Pha — instruments, additional vocals, producer, writer
  • Pierre Medore for Tha Corner Boyz — vocal production
  • Leslie Brathwaite at Patchwerk Studios, Atlanta, Georgia — mixing
  • Kori Anders — mixing assistant
  • Sam Thomas at Doppler Studios, Atlanta, Georgia — recorder; recording studio
  • Carlos Bedoya at Hit Factory Criteria, Miami, Florida — recorder; recording studio
  • References

    1, 2 Step Wikipedia