"Give It to Me" is a song performed by American producer, songwriter and rapper Timbaland, released as the first single from his second studio album Shock Value (2007). The song features vocals by Canadian singer and songwriter Nelly Furtado and American singer Justin Timberlake. All three artists co-wrote the song together with American rapper Attitude and American producer Danja, who produced the song with Timbaland. Mosley Music Group, in association with Blackground Records and Interscope Records, serviced the song to contemporary hit and rhythmic radios in the United States on 4 February 2007 and later to urban radios on 10 March 2007. "Give It to Me" is an electro song that embodies the sensibilities of club music. The song features the protagonists addressing their critics about their successes in the music industry.
The song has been noted for its notable diatribe in Timbaland's verse against American producer Scott Storch, who has worked with the producer in the past. It received positive reviews from music critics, many praising it for its club-oriented sound, Timbaland's production and the lyrics. The song experienced successful commercial outcomes in the United States as well as internationally. "Give It to Me" reached the top position on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming his first and only number one solo single in the United States (second overall after "Promiscuous"). It has sold nearly two million downloads in the United States, remaining as his third-best-selling single there. Critic George McCarthy has said that the track is the defining sound of his life, that it's beat is his heartbeat and the melodies run through his veins. he is the song and the song is him, a banger. The song also topped the charts in Denmark and the United Kingdom. It experienced a lengthy chart run in Austria and Switzerland, where the song attained top ten positions on the chart. The song also attained top ten positions in European countries like Germany, Ireland, and the Netherlands.
The accompanying music video was directed by Paul "Coy" Allen and Timbaland. It features footage of the singers performing live at the 2007 Grammy Awards and the singers in their tour bus and on a balcony. The single was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals at the 2008 Grammy Awards.
"Give It to Me" was written by Timbaland, Danja, Attitude, Justin Timberlake and Nelly Furtado. The song was also produced by Timbaland and Danja; the latter performed on the keyboard and bass while the former played the drums. Cuban sound engineer Demacio "Demo" Castellón recorded and programmed the song at Thomas Crown Studios in Virginia Beach, Virginia and Chalice Recording Studios in Los Angeles. Matty Green assisted Castellón in the mixing process for the song, which took place at Thomas Crown Studios in Virginia Beach, Virginia and The Village in Los Angeles. "Give It to Me" is the first single released from Shock Value (2007). Mosley Music Group, in association with Blackground Records and Interscope Records, serviced the song to urban radios on contemporary hit and rhythmic radios on 4 February 2007 in the United States. It was later serviced to urban radios on 10 March 2007 in the United States.
The song was released to the internet in November 2006 in a demo version and it was speculated as a possible single from Timbaland's new studio album. In late January 2007, it was confirmed as the first single from Timbaland's new album, which was confirmed to be released in March. Following the release of the single, a rivalry between Timbaland and record producer Scott Storch began to intensify. In the lyrics, Timbaland anonymously backlashes Storch: "I'm a real producer and you['re] just the piano man". In an interview, Timbaland confirmed that he was talking about Storch. The dispute partly stemmed from controversy regarding writing credits for Justin Timberlake's "Cry Me a River" (2003). Following the reported diss, Storch culminated a response song of his own called "Built Like That", where he addresses Timbaland for stealing credit from Danja and claims to be the true producer of "Cry Me a River".
"Give It to Me" is an electro and hip hop song with club music sensibilities. It features a space-age sound that it built up of skeletal synths, percussion bass, low range horns, breathless drums, digitized keyboards. Andy Kellman of Allmusic describes it as a "A leisurely club track full of swagger". David Hyland of WESH Orlando noted the song as "a mellow, slinky club jam that meshes odd, polyrhythmic drumming, a "Twilight Zone" countermelody and digitized keyboard belches with vocals supplied by Furtado and Timberlake." It begins with a heavy tribal beat and accompanying synths. Nelly begins with rhymes about her change in appearance for her third studio album with the lines "You love my ass and my abs and the video called 'Promiscuous' / My style is meticulous-s-s-s". After the chorus, Timbaland raps about his successes as a producer and songwriter while making disparaging remarks towards an unnamed producer, most notable in the lines "I get a half a mil' for my beats, you get a couple gra-an-and/Never gon' see the day that I ain't got the upper hand/I'm respected from Californ-I-A, way down to Japan" and "I'm a real producer and you just a piano man/Your songs don't top the charts, I heard 'em, I'm not a fa-an-an". Timberlake follows after the second chorus with his verse, where he addresses a rival about his chart success with "SexyBack", present in the lines, "If sexy never left, then why's everybody on my shi-i-i-t? / Don't hate on me just because you didn't come up with it".
"Give It to Me" received generally positive reviews from music critics. The song received a four star rating from Bill Lamb of About.com, praising it as an intoxicating song with a "mesmerizing rhythm figure and cheeky lyrics" that "easily sticks in the brain." Lamb, however, felt it was one-dimensial and repetitive, comparing it to Nelly Furtado's "Say It Right" and Justin Timberlake's "My Love", both produced and co-written by Timbaland. Andy Kellman of Allmusic writes that "it is immediate enough to connect on the first listen, while Tim also sneaks in enough subtle layers to make it increasingly insidious with each play." Houston Chronicle's Zharmer Hardimon, despite dismissing Timbaland's rapping, praises it as the album's best track. David Hyland of WESH Orlando defines the song as "an example of the outside-the-box approach to hit-making that has earned Tim his reputation" while also praising Furtado and Timberlake for their vocal performances, writing that they sound "seductive" and "convincing as a possible suitor" respectively. Kelefa Sanneh of New York Times compared "Give It to Me" to Scott Storch's "Built Like That" and declared Timbaland's song the winner, writing "It's an instantly addictive song built from a muscular rhythm and a few well-placed synthesizer notes." Norman Mayers of Prefix Magazine declared the song to be one of the album's best tracks, claiming that Timbaland's "fluttering grooves" and Furtado's and Timberlake's "boastful verses" merged perfectly.
PopMatters writer Mike Schiller describes the song as "a combination of every single beat on the Nelly Furtado album (Loose)" while later commenting that, with Timberlake's and Timbaland's vocals, it is an infectious all-star cut. Steve "Flash" Juon of RapReviews labeled it as a "triumverate of hip-pop perfection" while Jody Rosen praised it as the catchiest song on the album. Evan McGarvey of Stylus Magazine wrote "The song never comes together though, all of its constituent parts resemble diluted tools from other, more inspired Mosley moments." The Guardian's Alexis Petridis praised the song for its hooks, which he describes as irresistible, and its moments of unpredictability. The song was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards.
In the United States, "Give It to Me" debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 on the week ending 24 February 2007 at number eighty-seven. The song slowly rose the chart for weeks until the week ending 21 April 2007, when the song ascended forty-one places, from forty-two, to number one. The rise was caused by the strength of 248,000 downloads sold within that week, logging the second-best digital sales for a song's first week at the time, behind Justin Timberlake's "SexyBack". The song has, as of 23 July 2010, sold 1,880,000 downloads in the United States, standing as Timbaland's third best selling solo single behind "Apologize" and "The Way I Are". It also stands as his only solo single in the United States to attain the number one position on the Billboard Hot 100. In Canada, the song debuted on the Canadian Hot 100 at number two, where it peaked for one week, on the issue dated 7 June 2007. It lasted a total of thirteen weeks on the chart, spending its last week at number forty-four.
"Give It to Me" also had successful commercial outcomes internationally. In the United Kingdom, the song debuted at number eight on the UK Singles Chart on April 8, 2007 ― for the week ending date April 14, 2007 ― and rose seven places to the summit of the chart the following week. It fell off the position the next week, and accumulated a total of ten weeks in the top ten and twenty-six weeks in the top 100. In Ireland, "Give It to Me" debuted at number thirty-three on the Irish Singles Chart and fell off the next week. On April 12, 2007, two weeks later, the song reappeared on the chart at number six. It peaked on the chart at number two during its sixth week and lasted more than ten weeks in the top ten. The song experienced its most successful chart run in Switzerland, where it peaked at number six on the week ending July 1, 2007. It spent five non-consecutive weeks in the top ten and a total of forty-nine weeks on the chart, slowly descending the chart following the week at its peak position. In Germany the song reached its peak at number three and held the position for two nonconsecutive weeks. "Give It to Me" charted successfully in Austria, peaking at number three and logging a total of thirty-four weeks on the chart.
On 26 February 2007, the music video for "Give It to Me" was premiered on MTV's Total Request Live. It shows Timbaland, Furtado, and Timberlake performing the song at the 2007 Grammy Awards pre-show concert, and is intercut with footage from a studio recording session and from inside Timbaland's tour bus. The clip also shows Furtado singing on a balcony. The video was directed by Paul "Coy" Allen and Timbaland and appeared at number ninety-eight on BET's Notarized: Top 100 Videos of 2007 countdown.
CD Single (UK & Europe)
- "Give It to Me" (Radio Edit) – 3:33
- "Give It to Me" (Instrumental) – 3:57
Maxi Single (Europe & Australia)
"Give It to Me" (Explicit Album Version) – 3:58
"Give It to Me" (Radio Edit)/ (Clean Album Version) – 3:33
"Give It to Me" (Instrumental) – 3:57
"Give It to Me" (Laff At Em Remix)
- "Give It to Me" (Radio Edit) – 3:33
- "Give It to Me" (Instrumental) – 3:57
- "Come Around" (featuring M.I.A.) – 3:57
- "Give It to Me" (Video) – 3:58
Credits adapted from the liner notes of Shock Value, released through Mosley Music Group, in association with Blackground Records and Interscope Records.
Recording and mixingRecorded at Thomas Crown Studios in Virginia Beach, Virginia and Chalice Recording Studios in Los Angeles
Mixing at Thomas Crown Studios in Virginia Beach, Virginia and The Village in Los Angeles
PersonnelSongwriting – Tim Mosley, Nate Hills, Timothy Clayton, Justin Timberlake, Nelly Furtado
Production – Timbaland, Danja
Recording, mixing and programming – Demacio "Demo" Castellón
Mixing (assistant) – Matty Green
Drums – Timbaland
Keyboard and bass – Timbaland, Danja