“Yeah!”

“Yeah!”

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Story Behind the Song

Sean Garrett
“Yeah!”

Written by Sean Garrett
Recorded by Usher featuring Lil Jon and Ludacris

This was my first big hit. I had just signed my publishing deal three months prior and, as a new writer, it was bizarre to have this opportunity. Usher was pretty much done with his album and I wanted to do a record for him so this was crazy.

L.A. Reid called to say, “You’re supposed to be hot and I need a smash for Usher and you’ve only got a few days to do it.” It was major pressure for me but I was very excited to be involved with such a big artist. I was a fan of both Usher and L.A. Reid and didn’t know what I was going to do. Everyone was expecting big things from me and I didn’t want to do a record for him like anything he’d already done. I wanted to give him something explosive and I was willing to win big or lose big.

I love Lil Jon beats and wanted to use them for Usher. We went to Lil Jon’s lawyer and he thought I was trippin’. He said that Usher is an R&B artist and Lil Jon doesn’t do R&B music. We kept trying but everyone thought I was crazy and we couldn’t get anywhere. Finally, a friend of mine who worked for him gave me ten of his tracks. The third track was exactly what I wanted. I worked on it all day, finished the song, recorded it and let my manager hear it.

He brought it to L.A. Reid, who thought it was pretty good but felt that the verses were crazy and he didn’t like the hook or having Lil Jon on the chorus. It was actually me doing an interpolation of Lil Jon. I told him that having all of these elements was like a circus and it had never been done before. I wanted it to be more like a movie. L.A. asked me to tweak the words so he could get a better sense of what “Yeah, yeah, yeah” means. I did that and, although he still wasn’t sure about the song, he let me cut it with Usher.

I went to Los Angeles and Usher didn’t like it either at first. He said, “It’s messin’ up my whole plan. The first single is ‘Burn’ and this doesn’t fit.” I asked him to trust me and we cut it. His mom heard it and wasn’t sure about it — but his little brother thought it was crazy! After Usher cut it and heard it back and heard his brother’s reaction, he said this might be it.

Usher did an excellent job. Lil Jon came to the studio while we were recording and heard it for the first time. When he heard me doing a version of him on the record, he said, “Who can do me better than me?!” He wasn’t happy doubling (copying) the extreme way I did his part, but finally he agreed to be featured.

I called Ludacris and put him on the record. The label still didn’t want to go with it. It was during the Christmas holidays and everyone was on vacation. Luckily for me, the record got leaked to radio and it immediately got 200 spins, which is really amazing. By the time people came back from the holidays, it was chaotic — the record was flying and people were going crazy over it.

The record company sent out a cease and desist to radio anyway but they couldn’t stop it. It was taking on a life of its own organically. It just exploded. It became one of the biggest records ever. It went to #1 in 42 countries and topped the charts here for 12 weeks. Now, of course, everyone wants to take credit for the song’s success but the reality is that if it hadn’t been leaked, it never would have happened.

“Yeah!”

[Usher:]

Peace up! A Town Down!

[Lil Jon:]

Yeah, (Yeah!) OK!

(Usher! Usher! Usher! Usher!)

[Lil Jon:]

Lil Jon!

[Usher:]

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah! Yeah, Yeah! Yeaah!

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah! Yeah, Yeah! Yeaah!

[Usher:]

Up in the club with my homies, tryna get a li’l V-I, but keep it down on the low key, ’cause you know how it is.

I saw Shorty, she was checkin’ up on me, from the game she was spittin’ in my ear you would think that she knew me.

So we decided to chill.

Conversation got heavy, she had me feelin’ like she’s ready to blow!

(Watch Out! Oh! Watch Out!)

She’s sayin’, “Come get me! Come get me,”

So I got up and followed her to the floor, she said “Baby, let’s go.”

That’s when I told her, I said,

[Usher:]

Yeah (yeah) Shorty got down low and said, “Come and get me”

Yeah (yeah) I got so caught up I forgot she told me

Yeah (yeah) Her and my girl used to be the best of homies

Yeah (yeah) Next thing I knew she was all up on me screamin’

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah! Yeah, Yeah! Yeaah!

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah! Yeah, Yeah! Yeaah!

[Usher:]

So she’s all up in my head now, got me thinkin’ that it might be a good idea to take her with me,

’Cause she’s ready to leave (ready to leave)

But I gotta keep it real now, ’cause on a one to ten she’s a certified twenty, but that just ain’t me. Hey.

Because I don’t know if I take that chance, just where it’s gonna lead,

But what I do know is the way she dance makes Shorty alright with me.

The way she (get low!)

I’m like yeah, just work that out for me.

She asked for one more dance and I’m

Like, yeah, “How the hell am I supposed to leave?”

And I said

Yeah (yeah) Shorty got down low and said, “Come and get me”

Yeah (yeah) I got so caught up I forgot she told me

Yeah (yeah) Her and my girl used to be the best of homies

Yeah (yeah) Next thing I knew she was all up on me screamin’

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah! Yeah, Yeah! Yeaah!

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah! Yeah, Yeah! Yeaah!

[Lil Jon:]

Hey, Luda!

[Ludacris:]

Watch out!

My outfit’s ridiculous, in the club lookin’ so conspicuous.

And Rowl! These women all on the prowl, if you hold the head steady I’m a milk the cow.

Forget about the game, I’m a spit the truth, I won’t stop till I get ’em in their birthday suits.

So gimmie the rhythm and it’ll be off with their clothes, then bend over to the front and touch your toes.

I left the Jag and I took the Rolls, if they ain’t cutting then I put em on foot patrol.

How ya like me now, when my pinky’s valued over three hundred thousand?

Let’s drank, you the one to please. Ludacris, fill cups like double D’s.

Me and Ush once more and we leave ’em dead, we want a lady in the street but a freak in the bed to say,

Yeah (yeah) Shorty got down low and said, “Come and get me”

Yeah (yeah) I got so caught up I forgot she told me

Yeah (yeah) Her and my girl used to be the best of homies

Yeah (yeah) Next thing I knew she was all up on me screamin’

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah! Yeah, Yeah! Yeaah!

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah! Yeah, Yeah! Yeaah!

[Ludacris:]

Take that and rewind it back, Lil Jon got the beat to make ya booty go (clap)

Take that and rewind it back, Usher got the voice to make ya booty go (clap)

Take that and rewind it back, Ludacris got the flow to make ya booty go (clap)

Take that and rewind it back, Lil Jon got the beat to make ya booty go (clap)

Written by Lil Jon, Sean Garrett, Patrick J. Que Smith, Ludacris, Robert McDowell, James Phillips, LaMarquis Jefferson. © SONGS OF TVT; CHRISTOPHER MATTHEW MUSIC, HITCO SOUTH; BASAJAMBA MUSIC; HITCO MUSIC; LUDACRIS MUSIC PUBLISHING INC; AIR CONTROL MUSIC; EMI APRIL MUSIC INC.; ME AND MARQ MUSIC; CHRISTOPHER GARRETT’S PUBLISHING.

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