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This Rodney Jerkins produced song is the lead single off Nelly Furtado's fourth English-language studio album, The Spirit Indestructible
. The LP was Furtado's first English record since 2006's Loose
. She released Spanish collection Mi Plan
in 2009 and a one-off single, "Night Is Young
" from The Best of Nelly Furtado
Furtado co-wrote every track on The Spirit Indestructible. She said: "I began writing these songs around the time I released my Spanish album Mi Plan. I was in a great headspace, feeling refreshed and ready to really deliver in English again.
This album is all about positivity, youth, good energy, and the relentlessness of the spirit. I want people to live this music the way we did when we wrote it. I want them to jump, dance, scream, laugh, cry, love and vibe to it, and to turn it up very loud everywhere."
Furtado shot the accompanying music video in downtown Los Angeles. It was directed by X, who previously worked with her on the clip for "Promiscuous
Nostalgia is a big theme on The Spirit Indestructible and Nelly described the song on her blog as, "my swagger-in-spades, rhyme-writing 14-year-old self finds liberation through hip-hop and r and b attending 'music jams' in suburban Victoria."
Sonically, this was partly inspired by the LA alternative hip hop collective Odd Future, whom Furtado had been listening to a few weeks before she crafted this tune. "I was inspired by how dark it sounded and how heavy and visceral and how it made your blood feel things," she recalled to MTV News. "And I just thought, 'Wow — that's really missing in music. We're missing that rawness, that energy and that power.'"
Lyrically, the song finds Furtado paying homage to her jewellery-loving teenself when she dreamed of becoming a pop star. "I think music can tap into a lot of powerful emotions, and I think in the studio on 'Big Hoops' I tapped into a really powerful memory of being 14 years old, completely in love with hip-hop and R&B along with all my friends, and putting on my sister's big hoop earrings and heading down to the mall to hang out with my backpack and jeans," Furtado recalled to MTV News.
Despite not yet having achieved fame, she felt famous: "I think when you're that age, you have your inner gumption already," Furtado said. "So 'Big Hoops' taps into that power."
When Furtado hooked up with Rodney Jerkins, the Candian songstress didn't realize he had been involved with much of the music she listened to as a young teenager. "I was completely immersed in the world of hip hop and R&B from watching Pump It Up
with Dee Barnes to buying Word Up!
Magazine and plastering my walls with pictures of everybody like De La Soul, Bell Biv Devoe, and Salt-n-Pepa," she recalled to Artist Direct
. "'Big Hoops' is an ode to that time in my life. I was around 14-years-old writing rhymes in my bedroom. I'd meet up with my friends in front of the wall and wear my big sister's hooped earrings. I felt like I was totally famous—although obviously I wasn't yet [Laughs]. When I was recording and writing the song, I went into that state of mind. Rodney had this nasty beat of course, and we let ourselves get carried away. A lot of times, that's what happens in the studio when you make something you feel excited about. It usually involves transporting yourself to another time. A couple days later, I walked the hallways and realized Rodney had been involved with some of the bands I'd referenced."
In an interview with You, the Daily Mail supplementary magazine for June 3, 2012, Furtado said of this song "My 14-year-old self had a lot of attitude. At that age, you already have your personality, but you haven't suffered any knocks. I remember putting on my big hoop earrings, my baggy trousers and my backpack and taking the bus downtown to hang out at the mall. As I would stand there and wait for my friends, I already felt like I was on a poster. I already felt like I was famous." (thanks, Alexander Baron - London, England)
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