All I Have is a song recorded by Jennifer Lopez featuring rapper LL Cool J.
The song was written by Jennifer, Makeba Riddick, Curtis Richardson and Ron G and produced by Cory Rooney, Ron G * Dave McPherson.
The song was released in December of 2002 as the second single from Jennifer's third studio album This Is Me... Then.
The song samples Debra Laws' song "Very Special" who later filed a lawsuit in 2003 against Sony Music Entertainment for "misappropriating her voice" in the song and her name in the credits.
The song is a midtempo R&B and hip-hop ballad about moving on after a breakup.
It received favorable reviews from music critics who applauded the chemistry between Lopez and LL Cool J.
The song was a huge success on the charts, reaching number one in the United States (remaining at the top for four weeks) and New Zealand and entering the top five and the top ten in several countries.
After the success of "All I Have" with LL Cool J, the track was included on the re-issue of his album 10.
The song was ranked as the 15th most successful song on the Billboard Hot 100 of 2003.
Song Background & Release
While recording for her new album, Jennifer stated:
"Every album I do, I've noticed that it's really indicative of what you're going through," she said. "Who you are at that time, what kind of music you like, what kind of beats you're into, what kind of state of mind you're in, what you're attracted to... it's all very telling of where you are in your life at that point... Twenty years from now, if I give this [album] to one of my kids, I'll be like, 'This was me then, at that moment."
On October 19, 2002, in an interview for BBC Radio 1, LL Cool J revealed that he recorded a song for Jennifer's then-upcoming album, stating, "Just did a record with Jennifer Lopez two days ago."
LL Cool J revealed:
"We did a new song for her album. Well it's actually, I think, going to be her next single - it's a lot of fun, a lot of fun. It's got like a mid-tempo beat, pretty melody, you know what I'm saying. I'm rapping, she's singing. We go back and forth with stuff. It's kind of cool, it's fly."
"All I Have" was released as the second single from "This Is Me... Then" on February 11, 2003 in some countries and on March 10, 2003 around the world.
Following the success of her hit "Jenny From the Block" (2002) and his hit "Luv U Better," LL Cool J later added the song to the special edition of his album "10", and did another song with Jennifer entitled "Control Myself" for his 2006 album "Todd Smith."
"All I Have" was written by Jennifer, James Todd Smith, Makeba Riddick, Curtis Richardson, Ron G and Dave McPherson.
The production was handled by Cory Rooney, Ron G and McPherson.
The song features sample from Debra Laws's song "Very Special", written by Lisa Peters and William Jeffrey.
"All I Have" is a midtempo R&B and hip hop ballad about keeping your head up after breaking up with someone with Jennifer trying to end her relationship with LL Cool J, while he tries to "make up" with her.
Although not explicit, rumours pointed out that "All I Have" conjures up Jennifer's public split with P. Diddy.
The music video for the single (directed by Dave Meyers) was shot in New York City in November of 2002 and released on January 6, 2003.
According to a synopsis provided by Meyers' production company, "'They keep seeing visions of each other, and you get the feeling that they are still very much in love, yet they don't get back together because they feel that this is the best thing for them. It will have a very happy winter wonderland-type feel, but a sad vibe."
The video was shot right before Thanksgiving, but it didn't premiere on television until after Christmas.
The video features Jennifer and LL as former lovers now broken up.
The two recall the good and bad times while dealing with being alone for the holidays.
Jennifer shows up to LL's house with a gift. With him not there, she puts the gift under the tree.
LL later sees the gift under the tree and realizes it was from Lopez. He opens the gift and sees a golden key.
Upset at the relationship being over, LL throws the key in the fireplace while a tearful Jennifer gets help from her friends with her things.
While analyzing Jennifer's DVD "The Reel Me" (which contains her music videos), Jason Shawhan of About.com called it a "Christmastime breakup theme" and "a nice shout-out to 'No Me Ames' in terms of its hyperexaggerated emotions, but the most notable aspect of the audiovisual experience is the Debra Laws's "Very Special" sample which runs counterpoint to the Lopez/LL Cool J interplay."
Tom Sinclair of Entertainment Weekly praised "LL Cool J's "high-spirited guest" on "All I Have" while Sal Cinquemani of Slant Magazine wrote that both "playfully interpolate Debra and Ronnie Laws' Very Special."
Michael Blaszkowski of 411 Mania wrote that the song "hits and although it sounds similar to the first tracks [of This Is Me Then...], it has a certain 'listenableness' (a word the author coined) to it."
Controversy & Lawsuit
Even with the success of the song in March 2003, Debra Laws sued Sony Music Entertainment/Epic Records in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, claiming that the use of samples from "Very Special" without her consent even though the writers of "Very Special" and Elektra Entertainment Group—successor to Elektra/Asylum Records (which had released the original recording of "Very Special") had given their consent to the use of the samples) violated her statutory and common law right of publicity under California law.
In November of 2003, Judge Lourdes Baird granted Sony Music's motion for summary judgment on the ground that Laws's state law claims were preempted by Section 301 of the United States Copyright Act.
In 2006, that decision was affirmed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
The song was certified Gold in New Zealand & Platinum in Australia.