Only U

Album: Concrete Rose (2004)
Charted: 2 13
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Songfacts®:

  • Concrete Rose was quite a departure for Ashanti, an R&B singer who shot to fame with the chart-topping "Foolish" in 2002, especially with "Only U," a sultry rock-edged number that finds the singer lusting after her crush. "I'm infatuated with this person," she explained in a 2004 interview. "The whole theme of the song is having this one person do all of these things to you, only that person can make you feel a certain way."
  • Ashanti wrote the song with Murder Inc. founder Irv Gotti, Selan Lerner, Jerry Barnes, and 7 Aurelius, who plays the song's distinctive distorted guitar riff. 7 Aurelius also co-wrote and co-produced "Foolish."
  • "We chose 'Only U' as the first single because it was something totally different for me," Ashanti told MTV. "We had recorded maybe four or five songs before we heard 'Only U.' We went to the studio and reunited with 7. He played the record for us. Me and Irv looked at each other like, 'Oh my God.' At first it was a little bit intimidating. It's hot, but it sounds very rock and roll - but the beat is just banging. It took me three days to write to that record because I didn't know what to do with it. Like, 'How do I make it mine? How do I make this an Ashanti record?' So I put my little lyrics together and my signature catchy melody. It already had the rock and roll element. It already had the hip-hop element. The vocals and the lyrics made it R&B. So it kind of captures all three."
  • The introduction samples Club Nouveau's 1987 hit "Why You Treat Me So Bad."
  • Prolific hip-hop video director Hype Williams helmed the video, which was shot in Vancouver and Mexico City. It features Ashanti modeling a series of glamorous outfits and dancing atop a skyscraper. A particularly challenging scene has the singer, wearing a dress made of mirror fragments, lying on a bed of shattered glass. "The glass was very scary," she explained in a behind-the-scenes video. "It took four people to get me into the dress. Three of them got cut, because it was real glass... and they literally laid me down on broken glass, like it was real broken glass."
  • This was also a hit on the R&B charts, peaking at #10 in the US and #1 in the UK.
  • This was used on the TV series Las Vegas in the 2005 episode "Magic Carpet Fred." It was also featured in the 2009 romantic drama Mammoth, starring Michelle Williams and Gael Garcia Bernal.

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