Turn Down for What

Turn Down for What

"Turn Down for What"
Single by DJ Snake and Lil Jon
Released December 18, 2013
Recorded 2013
Genre
Length 3:33
Label Columbia
Writer(s) DJ Snake
Producer(s)
Certification 5x Platinum (RIAA)
DJ Snake singles chronology
"Turn Down for What"
(2013)
"Get Low"
(2014)
Lil Jon chronology
"Hard White (Up in the Club)"
(2011)
"Turn Down for What"
(2013)
"Bend Ova"
(2014)
Music video
"Turn Down For What" on YouTube

"Turn Down for What" is a single by DJ Snake and Lil Jon released on December 18, 2013. It was co-produced by both artists and Tchami, who is listed as a co-writer of the song and is also credited as a mixing/mastering engineer.[1] The song and its viral music video popularized the use of the phrase.[2][3]

Release

Lil Jon and DJ Snake had met several years prior to recording the song.[4] In December 2013, "Turn Down for What" was released on Columbia Records.[5] In an interview about the song, DJ Snake said,
When I hit up the big homie Jon and asked him if he wanted to be on the track, this song is a pretty balling song. He heard the beat and was instantly down with the vision. What he sent me back, though, absolutely blew my mind. I knew Jon was one of the best to do it when it comes to hooks, but he absolutely killed it on this joint.[6]
Lil Jon said in an interview,
When DJ Snake sent me the track with a sample of Redman saying 'bang the underground,' he wanted me to redo it with my voice. When I heard the song I was like this beat is too crazy for that sample. I wanted to make it hip and current, and the first thing that came to mind was the phrase 'Turn Down for What!'[6]

Composition

"Turn Down for What" runs for three minutes and thirty-three seconds. It contains the lyrics of Lil Jon yelling "Fire up that loud, another round of shots" and "Turn down for what" throughout the song. It also contains trap music elements, a synthesized male voice, and bass.

"Turn Down for What" is written in the E Phrygian mode, and is set in common time at a moderate tempo of 100 beats per minute.

Chart performance

"Turn Down for What" entered the top 10 on Billboard's Dance/Electronic chart during the last week of December.[7] In January 2014, the single entered the top 5 on the Dance/Electronic chart and debuted at No. 38 on Billboard's Hot 100.[8] It peaked at number 4 on the chart, becoming DJ Snake's first and Lil Jon's ninth top ten, and was certified gold in February 2014.[9][10] It reached its first million copies sold in the U.S. in March 2014.[11] The song reached its 3 million sales mark in July 2014.[12] It became the seventh best-selling song of 2014 in the US with 3,449,000 copies sold for the year.[13]

The song has also charted in New Zealand, debuting at number 27 and has so far peaked at number 10 on the New Zealand Singles Chart.

Critical response

"Turn Down for What" received generally positive reviews from music critics and publications. Rolling Stone voted "Turn Down For What" as the 2nd best song of the year 2014, saying that, "The year's nutsiest party jam was also the perfect protest banger for a generation fed up with everything. DJ Snake brings the synapse-rattling EDM and Southern trap music; Lil Jon brings the dragon-fire holler for a hilarious, glorious, glowstick-punk fuck you." [14] In January 2015, "Turn Down for What" was ranked at number nine, tied with Beyonce‍ '​s "Flawless," on The Village Voice‍ '​s annual year-end Pazz & Jop critics' poll.

Music video

An accompanying music video for "Turn Down for What" was directed by the filmmaking duo DANIELS,[15] composed of Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, and released on March 13, 2014. The clip stars co-director Daniel Kwan with Sunita Mani. He explained: "For a while Daniel and I had been wanting to explore male sexuality in a really weird way. For some reason our brains came up with this image, and this other universe where dudes are so pumped up on their own dicks—and they’re so into their testosterone—that the way that they show that is by breaking shit with their dicks. So, whatever happens, that would just be a funny logical progression."[15]

Jason Newman of Rolling Stone described the video as "perfect insanity" and added: "It's hard to pinpoint specifically what makes the video for DJ Snake and Lil Jon's 'Turn Down for What' so compelling and ripe for repeat viewings."[16] Edwin Ortiz of Complex called it "incredibly absurd and awesome" and wrote: "The hard-hitting EDM record delivers an undeniable vibe that listeners can't help but mosh out to, and that's clearly evident in the accompanying music video."[17] Writing for Idolator, Robbie Daw said: the video "takes things to a whole new level of WTF-ness not quite seen before."[18]

The music video won Best Direction for DANIELS and was nominated for MTV Clubland Award, Best Art Direction and Best Visual Effects at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards.

Remixes

On April 26, 2014, the official remix featuring Juicy J, 2 Chainz and French Montana was released, followed by the second official remix on April 28, 2014, titled the Dancehall Remix, featuring Chi Ching Ching, Assassin and Konshens, and a third release on May 7, 2014 titled "Turn Down for What (Lil Jon Remix)", featuring Pitbull and Ludacris.[19][20][21]

Usage in media

"Turn Down for What" has been featured in various films, commercials and television programs. Uses include a TV commercial for Sol Republic, to introduce a wireless speaker, which aired in October 2013.[22] The song was used in the films 22 Jump Street and, briefly, Furious 7, and in the trailers for Horrible Bosses 2[23]and Brick Mansions. In May 2014, Jimmy Fallon, Seth Rogen and Zac Efron danced dressed as girls to the song during an episode of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.[24] In July 2014, Robin Wright also danced to the song during an appearance on The Tonight Show.[25]

Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres created a spoof of the Lincoln Motor Company commercial starring Matthew McConaughey using a portion of the song.

In October 2014, Lil Jon and various other celebrities appeared in an online video that featured a remix of the song, renamed to "Turn Out for What", that was organized by Rock the Vote and intended to encourage young people to vote in the upcoming elections.[26]

On October 15, 2014, Let's Move! healthy lifestyle campaign [29]

In December 2014, a portion of the song was used in an AT&T Wireless commercial announcing the "completion" of their network export's goal of providing improved LTE connectivity.[30]

Charts and certifications

Weekly charts

Chart (2014) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[31] 13
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[32] 35
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[33] 41
Belgium Dance (Ultratop Flanders)[34] 39
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[35] 18
Belgium Dance (Ultratop Wallonia)[36] 10
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[37] 11
Canada CHR/Top 40 (Billboard)[38] 8
Czech Republic (Singles Digitál Top 100)[39] 34
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[40] 13
France (SNEP)[41] 19
Germany (Official German Charts)[42] 31
Ireland (IRMA)[43] 42
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[44] 21
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[45] 23
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[46] 10
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[47] 20
Slovakia (Rádio Top 100)[48] 58
Slovakia (Singles Digitál Top 100)[49] 41
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[50] 26
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[51] 36
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[52] 23
UK Dance (Official Charts Company)[53] 10
US Billboard Hot 100[54] 4
US Hot Dance/Electronic Songs (Billboard)[55] 1
US Dance/Mix Show Airplay (Billboard)[56] 2
US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)[57] 5
US R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay (Billboard)[58] 30
US Rhythmic (Billboard)[59] 1

Year-end charts

Chart (2014) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[60] 49
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[61] 46
Germany (Official German Charts)[62] 97
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[63] 62
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[64] 40
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[65] 96
US Billboard Hot 100[66] 15

Certifications

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[67] 2× Platinum 140,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[68] 3× Platinum 240,000^
Italy (FIMI)[69] Gold 15,000double-dagger
New Zealand (RMNZ)[70] Gold 7,500*
Sweden (GLF)[71] Platinum 40,000x
United Kingdom (BPI)[72] Silver 200,000^
United States (RIAA)[73] 5× Platinumdagger 3,449,000[13]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales/streaming figures based on certification alone

dagger Since May 2013 RIAA certifications for digital singles include on-demand audio and/or video song streams in addition to downloads.[74]

References

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