The London singer-songwriter Joel Compass originally wrote this for a certain Bajan singer but was persuaded to keep it for himself. Talking to O2 Tracks, the Polydor signee revealed: "It happened one day when I was in the studio and someone told me to write a song for this big artist. It was Rihanna; but basically everyone said, 'No, its yours. You have to keep it. It's a big track.'"
This finds Compass singing about loving someone who wants to flee. The singer told O2 Tracks that he drew on his personal experiences for the track. "It's based on the father-son relationship I never really had," he said, "I never write about stuff like that, it's the most personal track I've ever written."
The song gained Compass a huge following, including American rapper Pusha T, who enjoyed the track so much he offered to jump on a remix and contributed two verses.
Fall Out Boy's "The Kids Aren't Alright" song title is not a reference to The Offspring's 1998 single of the same name. It actually alludes to The Who's 1979 rockumentary film called The Kids Are Alright.