2012 (It Ain't the End)

Album: Hit The Lights (2010)
Charted: 9 31
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Songfacts®:

  • This is the first single from British R&B artist Jay Sean's fourth studio album. The song's lyrical concept is that Sean is going to party as if it's the end of the world:
    "We gonna party like/Party like/ Like its the end of the world/We gonna party like/Like it's 2012."
    It shares similarities with Prince's 1983 hit anti-nuclear war single "1999," in which the purple maestro sings about partying before a pre-millennium apocalypse: "two thousand zero zero party over/ oops out of time/So tonight I'm gonna party like it's 1999."
  • Jay Sean told Entertainment Weekly "I like to make music that makes people feel good. I'm a very positive person myself." He added: "'2012,' is a real feel-good [song]."
  • Sean's Cash Money labelmate Nicki Minaj contributes a few bars on this song. "I've been wanting to work with Nicki for the longest time," he told MTV News. "I'm so excited that she's on this song because she absolutely murdered it. She came with a different swagger on it, and a different flow. Just real fun. And her voice just really fits the song."
  • The song's music video is set in a hip-hop club scene environment then zooms out to show parties in three worldwide cities. Erik White, who's also made videos for T.I., Chris Brown and Diddy, directed the clip. Sean explained to MTV News: "The concept of the video is basically all about throwing the biggest party, celebrating life. It's basically going around the world, from London to Tokyo to New York, seeing people celebrating good times."
  • Sean told MTV News that the song was inspired by the sci-fi movie 2012 and theories about the world ending. "I saw the film ... and I started to hear about the actual conspiracy theory and I was like, 'OK, so here we go. It's that whole Y2K thing again,' " the singer said . "And that didn't happen, clearly."
    Sean added that he wanted the track to inspire fans to jam like the world is ending but also to remember that it's not. "Sometimes you need to remind people to let go of all the heaviness they're carrying through the day. Yes, you had a stressful day but it ain't the end there. That's why it's called '2012 (It Ain't the End),' " he explained. "It ain't the end of your day, it ain't the end of the world. It ain't the end of anything. It ain't the end of your relationship. If things are going bad, you can always fix it. That's what the whole point of this song [is], to just enjoy the moments."
  • Sean told MTV News of his surprise to get a phone call from Minaj. "It was actually a surprise for me," the UK singer said. "Nicki Minaj heard ['2012'], she called me and ... she was like, 'I love it! It's sick. I'm going in on this!' I'm a fan of Nicki's. I think she's incredible," he continued. "And I had wanted to work with her for a while. But when she picked this song out herself, I was like, 'Go ahead. Bless it. Please.'"
    Sean added that he was impressed with the way she attacked the song with a swagger different from her usual form. "A testament to a great artist is the fact that they are able to interpret the song for what it is," Sean said. "Now, Nicki is a rapper. This is a pop record. She took the message of having fun and enjoying yourself, living like it's the end, living every minute like it's the last, and she put that vibe and that swagger on the track ... and that voice is fun and playful on it. It was great."

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