Run the World is a song recorded by Jennifer Lopez for her seventh studio album Love?
The song was written & produced by Terius "The-Dream" Nash and C. "Tricky" Stewart.
It was one of several songs recorded with the duo following her move from Epic Records to Island Records.
Originally, the track featured vocals from The-Dream and a rap verse from rapper Rick Ross however, the rap verse was removed during mastering process and The-Dream was credited with background vocals instead.
According to Jennifer, "Run the World" is about a "type of love when you come together you make each other better;" noting that she shared that love with her husband Marc Anthony.
Relating the song to Anthony, Jennifer said she believes that they have made each other better artists and people.
"Run the World" is a midtempo pop song that critics compared to Jennifer's 2002 single "Jenny From the Block."
The song received generally mixed reviews from music critics, who despite criticizing the mid-tempo production and reliance on auto-tune thought it to be single-worthy.
Song Production & Leak[edit | edit source]
"Run the World" was written and produced by Terius "The-Dream" Nash and Tricky Stewart.
Jennifer's vocals for the song were produced by Kuk Harrell, who also provided backing vocals alongside Anesha Birchett, Lauren Evans and The-Dream.
The vocals were recorded by Jim Annunziato, Josh Gudwin at Record Plant Recording Studios in Los Angeles, California, Larrabee Studios in Hollywood, California and MSR in New York City, New York.
Brian "B-Luv" Thomas and Chris "Tek" O'Ryan handled audio engineering of "Run the World" with additional engineering from Andrew Wuepper, Pat Thrall, Chris Galland and Chris Soper and assistance from Dustin Capulong, Nick Banns and Steven Dennis.
The song was later mixed by Jaycen Joshua with the assistance of Jesus Garnica at Larrabee Studios.
"Run the World" was leaked onto the internet on September 13, 2010.
The version that leaked featured guest vocals from American rapper Rick Ross as well as song's co-producer The-Dream.
The-Dream's featuring credit was demoted to backing vocals and Rick Ross' rap was removed from the mastered version of the song.
In a February 2011 article about the then-upcoming release of "Love?" conducted by Rap-Up, Jennifer called "Run the World" featuring Rick Ross one of her favorite songs on the album.
Rick Ross' rap from the song was later removed during the mastering process of the track.
Lyrical Interpretation[edit | edit source]
"Run the World" is a midtempo pop song with a length of three minutes and fifty-five seconds.
It was cited by Shane Phoenix of Hot Spots as "bringing back" the old school feel of Jennifer's single "Jenny from the Block."
The "feel and style that made 'The Girl from the Block' [Lopez] so famous."
The song contains "nice drum synchs with a real throw back feel" that will "get you tapping your foot and swaging back and forth."
Although Jennifer did not write the song herself, "Run the World" is based on her relationship with her ex-husband Marc Anthony.
The song is about a "type of love when you come together you make each other better."
Jennifer further stated that she believes that since her and Anthony have been together they have made each other better artists and better people — "and that's when you can really run the world."
Of working with Stewart and The-Dream, Jennifer stated that:
"What I love about great producers and writers is that they can take you and transport you right into this moment, but not change you. And that's what I feel like Tricky and Dream did with this record. They took that 'Jenny from the Block' side of me, which is still very much a part of who I am and will always be, and they put it right there on that track."
According to Scott Shetler of PopCrush, "Run the World" contains an optimistic message and upbeat melody.
Shetler particularly noted the lyric "Our love could run the world" as a good example of the optimism in the song.
Jennifer told MTV News at an album-release event in May of 2011, that out of all the songs on the album, she was most excited for people to hear "Run the World", "(What is) Love?," "One Love," "Papi" and "Starting Over."
Jennifer stated that:
"They all express different moments in love and that's what this album was about. You know, sometimes it's difficult, sometimes it's amazing, sometimes overwhelming, sometimes you just don't know what to do. And I hope that I captured all of that on this album."
MTV News noted that on the songs, Jennifer might be "giving us some insight about what she was dealing with in her personal life in the months before it was released."
Critical Response[edit | edit source]
"Run the World" received generally mixed reviews from music critics.
The song received a positive review from Digital Spy's Robert Copsey, who noted the song to be inspired by "J to tha L–O!: The Remixes" and concluded by stating that the song was worthy of a standalone release.
Monica Herrera from Billboard complimented The-Dream for the production of the song and his background vocals. She continued by calling "Run the World" refreshingly self-assured.
When the original version of the song leaked online, an editor from Vibe commented that with the help of The-Dream and Rick Ross, Jennifer "takes another shot at running the charts."
Shane Phoenix of Hot Spots said that the keys are "a little lost" and the synth clapping is over used, but the "breaks are amazing and the lyrics have something to say."
Poppy Reid of The Music Network criticized the song for its reliance on auto-tune and lyrics "you just don't expect (or want) from a 41-year-old."
UR Chicago's Neil Miller, Jr. also gave a negative review of the song, questioning if "Run the World" was meant for Jennifer, stating that:
"Because up until this point, it seemed like we were listening to the album that Brave was meant to be – a collection of tracks meant to make us dance, not ones that we’re supposed to blast out of our trunks."
Swagata Panjari of Radio and Music gave a negative review of the song, stating that it is "slow paced and has a miss on beats which leaves listeners wanting for more."
Personnel[edit | edit source]
- Anesha Birchett: backing vocals
- Kuk Harrell: backing vocals & vocal producer
- Lauren Evans: backing vocals
- Brian "B-Luv" Thomas: engineer
- Chris "Tek" O'Ryan: engineer
- Andrew Wuepper: additional engineering
- Pat Thrall: additional engineering
- Chris Galland: additional engineering
- Chris Soper: assistant engineering
- Dustin Capulong: assistant engineer
- Nick Banns: assistant engineer
- Steven Dennis: assistant engineer
- Jaycen Joshua: mixing engineer
- Jesus Garnica: assistant mixing engineer
- Jim Annunziato: vocal recording engineer
- Josh Gudwin: vocal recording engineer
- Tricky Stewart: songwriter, producer
- Terius "The-Dream" Nash: backing vocals, songwriter & producer