When Mellencamp played this song about impending mortality to his wife and children, such are the starkness of the lyrics, they burst into tears. He commented to Rolling Stone magazine: "It's just a song! They took it so personally."
Explaining to Rolling Stone contributor Anthony DeCurtis why he penned a song about death, Mellencamp said. "I'm not a kid any more, and I have to accept the responsibility that comes with getting older and what that leads to. And if I'm having these thoughts, every boomer in the world probably is. Death is not exclusive to me."
"Crank That (Soulja Boy)" was the most successful digital track of 2007 in the US with 2,909,000 downloads. On January 6, 2008 it became the first song ever to sell 3 million digital copies in the States.