Dope

Album: ARTPOP (2013)
Charted: 8

Songfacts®:

  • This raw piano ballad finds Gaga in regretful mood as she explores her battles with addiction and other personal demons. She croons:

    "Just one last puff and two last regrets.
    Three spirits and 12 lonely step.
    Up heaven's stairway to gold."

    The song was debuted by Gaga live at the YouTube Music Awards on November 3, 2013.
  • Gaga produced the track with legendary Rock and Hip-Hop soundscaper Rick Rubin. Gaga's frequent producer White Shadow told MTV News how the collaboration came about: "Rick had been calling her even before her hip surgery 'cause I remember when she had her hip surgery, she was all on pain meds and she was like, 'Rick Rubin called me today. Should I work with him?,' he said. "And I was like, 'Yeah ... please call him back.'"

    "She went out to his studio in Santa Monica and they hit it off and worked on that song," he continued. "I think she really enjoyed working with Rick. It's a great song and he was the right guy to do it."
  • Gaga developed a marijuana habit that she couldn't stop until performance artist Marina Abramovic forced her to go cold turkey. In an interview with British magazine Attitude, the ARTPOP star revealed that she was lighting up to cope with the pain from her hip injury that incapacitated her during the first half of 2013. "I was smoking 15 joints a day," she said. "It was a habit that eventually occurred when the pain got so bad with the hip... I was just numbing, numbing, numbing myself and then sleeping it off and then getting on stage, killing it in pain, then getting off and smoking, smoking, smoking, not knowing what the pain was."

    Eventually, after Gaga's marijuana use was bordering on dependency, her friend (and sometime collaborator) Marina Abramovic helped the singer kick the habit. "It wasn't until I was with Marina and she said, 'Okay you're coming to my house, no television, no computer, no marijuana, no nothing, no food. For three days, art only. You eat only art,'" Gaga recalled. "I cold-turkeyed. For weeks and weeks I didn't smoke at all. And now I smoke a little bit at night, just you know, for fun — but not to cope. That's the difference. Marina was the only person who could get me to do that and it was not intended to be rehab."

    During a pre-release performance of some of the ARTPOP tracks at Brooklyn, New York, Gaga introduced this song by telling the crowd how giving up drugs and alcohol was one of the hardest things she's ever tried to do. "I still have a real hard time with it, but I wanted to say something about it tonight because I've watched too many great artists, too many friends, go because of those two things," she said. "I want tonight to be a change. I do not have to be high to be creative. I do not have to be drunk to have a good idea. I can sit with my thoughts and not feel crazy. I can do it without the dope."
  • This was born from another song called "I Wanna Be With You," which was a dedication to Gaga's loyal fanbase. White Shadow told MTV News that the singer wanted something with more "conflict," and from there, this ballad was created.

Comments: 1

  • Markmm from Lynnwood, WaHoly... I too am recovering. Amazing song. PEACE!!
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