Album: Est. In 1989 Pt. 3 (The Album) (2013)
Charted: 11

Songfacts®:

  • Producer Mike WiLL Made It's lead single from his Est. In 1989 Pt. 3 (The Album) longplayer features Miley Cyrus crooning alongside rapper Wiz Khalifa and Juicy J. Will also worked with Cyrus on her BANGERZ album and he told MTV News about this collaboration with the former Disney starlet. "I already had Juicy J and Wiz on there, and then we were working on 'We Can't Stop,' and I had a verse on there that was already laid down, but I wanted a girl to do it," he explained.

    "But I didn't know who I was going to do it with, and this was first day meeting Miley, and we had just knocked out 'We Can't Stop.' And then I let her hear it, and she told me she liked it," Will added.
  • Will admitted telling Cyrus that he had some reservations about her contributing a rapped verse, but that didn't stop her. "She told my engineer, 'Turn the mike on,' and she went in the booth, then she laid down the verse, and she killed it," the producer explained. "[So I] left her on there. She killed it, all swagged up."
  • The song finds Will paying tribute to Michael Jordan. The title is a reference to the basketball legend's shirt number, which he wore as it was half (then rounded up) of his brother, Larry's number 45. When Michael was at high school, he believed that he only had half of Larry's skills and wanted to be at least half as good.
  • Cyrus told MTV News why she was so eager to get on the cut. "He had had this track '23' with Wiz and Juicy already, and it's just on some cool like old-school J s--t and that's what's really cool about it," she said. "And like people wouldn't expect me to be on a song about Jordan... right now all they really see of me and Juicy is me at his concert way too twerked up, they haven't seen what we can do when were together and when were together it's this crazy kind of vibe because it's not what people would really expect."

    "I'm definitely not a rapper. It's my rapping," Cyrus added. "It's my own swag. I hate that word. But it's just the only way I can really describe it, it's just kind of my own thing where it's not really rapping, it's just kind of on my own thing it's just kind of on my own s--t."
  • The song's music video was filmed in Brooklyn on August 26, 2013 and directed by Hannah Lux Davis (Lil Wayne's "Love Me," Jason Derulo's "Marry Me").

    Cyrus can be seen wearing at one stage the controversial foam finger she waved and gyrated against during her 2013 MTV Video Music Awards performance . Davis recalled to Billboard magazine that she saw Cyrus' more professional side. "She was there the whole day of shooting, even though she didn't need to be," said the director. "Her energy on set was great - so personable, so easy."
  • Mike WiLL Made It got a huge amount of flak at the time for working with a pop act. "All I hear is 'Yo, that s--t you're making ain't hip-hop,'" he told Billboard magazine. "People told me that Miley's '23' wasn't hip-hop. Let me tell you, she went in and owned that track. She smoked more weed in one week than most rappers I know. That song was not some far-fetched thing she had to reach for. She was ill as hell. When people question me about whether something is hip-hop, I ask them, 'Does it sound hard? Does it hit home? Is it raw and real?' If it is, I did my job. And you can call it whatever you want."
  • The songriting duo consisting of Theron and Timothy Thomas (R. City) originally wrote this with Nicki Minaj in mind.

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