Back to Sleep

Album: Royalty (2015)
Charted: 20
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Songfacts®:

  • This old-school R&B track finds Chris Brown singing of flying back into town after playing a concert and "sexing" his girlfriend back to sleep. The song is also known by the less radio-friendly title of of "F--k You Back to Sleep."
  • August Rigo, whose credits include Justin Bieber's "U Smile" and Sean Kingston's "Party All Night (Sleep All Day)," wrote this song in 2014 after getting the beat from the production trio of Boi-1da, Allen Ritter and Vinylz, who supplied the atmospheric soundscape. Boi-1da is best known for being Drake's main beatmaker. His partnership with the younger Dominican-American producer Vinylz has resulted in a number of hits, including Drizzy's "Know Yourself" and DJ Khaled's "No New Friends." Yonkers, New York, native Allen Ritter also has credits on tracks by Meek Mill ("R.I.C.O.") and Rihanna ("Work").
  • In our interview with August Rigo, he explained how this song came together. "I was just hanging out at the studio, and I caught that kind of old-school soul vibe off of it, so I worked off of that," he said. "I was doing a little bit of freestyle, which is why I came up with the 'f--k you back to sleep' part, because I don't usually curse in songs.

    I guess it took me a couple of hours. I wrote this song and I was super excited about it. The first thing I did was I sent it to my cousin. I was like, 'Hey man, check this song out. Tell me if I'm buggin'. I think it's really dope.' And he was like, 'Oh, yeah, I think it's cool.' So, that's when I started sending it out to different A&Rs and publishers."

    The song first went to Adrian Marcel, who recorded it but decided not to release it. About a year later, Brown recorded the song after his A&R man, Mark Pitts, played it for him.
  • The video picks up where Brown's "Fine By Me" clip leaves off. In that clip, he is lured to a lair where he has to do some impressive dance fighting to escape; "Back to Sleep" finds him back on the street, making a booty call to his girl.
  • This sensual ballad bears a resemblance to Marvin Gaye's classic babymaking number "Sexual Healing" - the drum patterns on the two tunes are similar, and lyrically they share a common sentiment. Considering the Gaye family's successful lawsuit over the song "Blurred Lines," we wondered if the "Back to Sleep" writers were worried. "I wasn't really worried about it because I knew it wasn't a sample," August Rigo told us. "To be honest, it never even crossed my mind when I was writing the song, like, 'Oh man, this is Marvin Gaye.' It didn't even cross my mind at all."
  • Chris Brown dropped a sexually explicit remix featuring R&B singer Usher and former One Direction member Zayn. The new version finds Breezy yearning for his ex-girlfriend Karrueche Tran. The two split up in March 2015 after it was revealed that Brown had fathered a child with another woman.
  • Ritter told Genius about the song's production: "We made that beat randomly, two or three years ago. We were on a streak and said to ourselves, 'We're just going to make a bunch of different type of styles.' I did all the chords, bass line, the change. It got to Chris Brown, and he loved it."

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