This song, in which West is unable to wrench himself away from an ex-lover, was inspired like most of the other tracks on 808s & Heartbreak by his break-up with the designer Alexis Phifer. They had dated on and off since 2002, and got engaged in August 2006.
West told MTV News that this one of his favorite songs that he has ever done. He explained: "I don't even know if people appreciate how good that is yet, but just to have those ominous monk choirs and the snare's little bleep noise - any producer that hears that should be like, 'That's incredible. Listen to that snare, what is that?'"
Mike Campbell from Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers played the slide guitar on "Sixth Avenue Heartache." There is a connection here - Wallflowers lead singer Jakob's dad, Bob Dylan, played with Tom Petty in The Traveling Wilburys.
The chorus of "Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir" in "Lady Marmalade" is French for "Do you want to sleep with me tonight?" When Labelle performed it on television, they had to change it to "Voulez-vous danser avec moi ce soir" (Do you want to dance with me tonight?).