There’s no denying the ear-candy magic in Cee-Lo Green’s F-bomb-dropping kiss-off soul nugget “F— You.” But even the Goodie Mob/ Gnarls Barkley singer himself has been a bit surprised at the viral explosion set off by the lyrics-only video for the first single from his upcoming The Lady Killer album, which has rung up more than 2 million views since it was released last Thursday.
“It’s a pleasant surprise, I must say,” the singer told Entertainment Weekly’s Music Mix blog.
“I think it’s totally surpassed just about everyone’s expectations. We had a clue — I mean, it’s a very noticeable song — but this has been extraordinary.” Though he’s understating the shockingly catchy nature of the profanity-laced Motown-like ditty, the success is probably a bigger shock to the Smeezingtons production team behind it, which consists of the writing and production trio of Bruno Mars, Philip Lawrence and Ari Levine.
The song came together almost two years into the recording of the singer’s third solo effort and, according to EW, when the producers played him a rough sketch of it in the studio, they weren’t even sure it was worth finishing up. “When Bruno first sung ’F— You’ to me, they were still a bit indecisive on whether or not it could work at all,” Cee-Lo said. “I was like, ’I like it. Let’s record it.’ ”
Cee-Lo said he got heavily involved in finishing up the tune, pitching in many of the lyrics on the verses, which were somewhat based on his own experiences of being jilted by a lover who was looking for a man with deeper pockets. “I mean, it’s based on something true. … As far as me personally, it’s not a current event. It’s a figurative account. It’s not completely fictitious, though,” he said cryptically.
Clearly taken by surprise by the instant success of the low-rent video — which consists of the song’s lyrics printed out over solid color backgrounds — Cee-Lo said his team is working on cooking up a more elaborate clip as well as a profanity-stripped radio edit called “Forget You.”
Have you heard or seen the video for Cee-Lo’s “F— You”? Tell us what you think in the comments!