Love Lockdown

Album: 808s & Heartbreak (2008)
Charted: 8 3


  • This was debuted at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards. Reportedly West penned the song less than ten days before performing it at the awards show. After the VMAs, it was quickly withdrawn following a widespread negative reaction, with West rushing back into the studio to re-record his vocals from scratch and adding new Japanese drums.
  • This was West's first ever single to feature no rapping, just singing.
  • The song was West's 24th chart entry in the US. It entered the Hot 100 at #3 making it the highest debuting single of West's career to date. His previous highest entry had been in the previous week, when " Swagga Like Us" by Jay-Z & T.I. featuring Kanye West & Lil Wayne opened at #5.
  • Kanye West told Ellen DeGeneres, when he debuted this song's music video on her talk show, that the clip's modern look was inspired by the lead character in the movie American Psycho. He explained: "You know at the end of the movie that he [Patrick Bateman] didn't really kill anyone. I just liked the clean aesthetic and the way he was all about labels. I wanted to express all of that in the video."
  • Veteran producer Mike Dean, who co-mixed the album, told MTV News that West enforced stringent requirements during the three weeks of recording of 808s & Heartbreak in Hawaii. He explained: "Every song has got to have an 808 [drum pattern] in it. A keyboard part, no typical hip-hop beats. They've gotta be tribal drums. They're all singing."
  • This song was inspired, like most of the other tracks on 808s & Heartbreak, by West's break-up with the designer Alexis Phifer. He commented to The Observer November 30, 2008 that he thinks people will be surprised by the album because, "it's so personal and so heartfelt. It was just pouring out of my soul. It was therapeutic.'" West added that it was an attempt to get the hurt out of his system, "by screaming at the top of my lungs about what I'm going through."
  • West told The Daily Telegraph November 21, 2008 that there are no natural drum sounds on 808s & Heartbreak. He explained: "I've called the album 808s & Heartbreak because all the drum sounds are made by the Roland TR-808 drum machine which was really big in the 1980s. Most drum machines use samples of real human drumming but the Roland doesn't so you've got that MTV-in-the-1980s feel throughout the whole album."
  • The song's video was directed by Simon Henwood. West explained to Clash Magazine January 2008 how the two of them ended up working together: "Well Simon actually designed the Glow In The Dark tour I did this time last year. The original run. He designed that run and so we became really good friends and we worked on different ideas and projects together, hanging out. We were always supposed to do a video and when it came to this I was like 'Simon, lets do this'."

Comments: 4

  • Jeana from Sterling Heights, Mino way is this about his about sexuality it talks about how how much he loves someone but is not sure if he can keep going with it...and that it's taking him out of control
  • Will from Boston, MaI don't think it's about homosexuality, either. I also agree with the idea that the vibe can be "wrong" when you love someone. Obviously, this song was written about Kanye's breakup with Alexis Phifer in August, hence the name 808's & Heartbreak for his new upcoming album, (808's refers to the Roland TR-808 drum machine made in the 80's). Anyways, in my oppinion, what Kanye is trying to say is that he's been in this relationship for nearly 5 years and he wants to end it but is afraid he'll regret it and never be able to get her back. He wants to move on in life because they're just not headed in the same direction but being in the limelight you don't want everyone to know how bad the relationship actually is. I think the line "I can't keep myself, and still keep you too" is really what Kanye is trying to get across here. Also, Kanye has rapped girl on girl stuff before so I don't know what you are trying to make out of two girls touching eacho ther.
  • Fatima from Norfolk, VaI don't think it's about homosexuality. He sounds depressed. For one the vibe can be "wrong" even if you do love someone. He's saying he has love for her but it doesn't always feel good. "It haunted me on the way home" is the bad feelings he has that are mixed with the pleasant ones, he's struggling to make sense of his relationship. The whole keep it a secret Love Lockdown is about being in the limelight but Kanye's talking about not wanting everyone to know how bad the relationship is. Plus, he's not crazy enough to be a rapper that comes out of the closet singing.
  • Maggie from Buffalo, NyI really think this is about him struggling with his sexuality.I'm a fan of Kanye, but this song has too many hidden meanings.

    Referencing the 1st verse,how is the vibe wrong if u love someone? The vibe is wrong b/c he is in the spotlight and feels like he can't come out and what he just did with the other guy is haunting him because he might get exposed.

    So I keep it low
    Keep a secret code
    So everybody else don't have to know

    That sounds pretty blantant

    I got something to lose
    So I gotta move
    I can't keep myself
    And still keep you too

    How many open gay MC's do you see in hip-hop on his level?

    I could go on, but I think I've made my point.

    As far as the video, obviously he in the padded room cause he going crazy, but what about those females at the end touching each other? Its like he's flipping it.
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