Hella Good

Album: Rock Steady (2001)
Charted: 12 13
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Songfacts®:

  • "Hella" was a popular saying in 2001, used as a modifier to indicate something even better than "super," but maybe not quite "uber." In this song, No Doubt is feeling hella good, so they're gonna keep on dancing. It the only hit song with that word in the title.
  • Gwen Stefani and Tony Kanal of No Doubt teamed with Chad Hugo and Pharrell Williams (The Neptunes) to write this song. The Neptunes didn't produce it though - Nellee Hooper did.

    The Neptunes had worked on a number of big songs by this point ("Got Your Money" by ODB, "The City Is Mine" by Jay-Z) but weren't yet hella famous. That changed soon after, when they lent their talents Nelly for "Hot In Herre" and Kelis for "Milkshake."

    As for Nellee Hooper, he was a member of Soul II Soul and produced Sinéad O'Connor's album I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got.
  • This was the second single from No Doubt's fifth album, Rock Steady, following "Hey Baby." They expanded their sonic palette a great deal on the album, working with a host of producers and songwriters. "Hella Good" is a voyage into modern electronic sounds and pop melodies, but they also have some songs with a ska influence, including "Underneath It All," written with Dave Stewart of Eurythmics.
  • The music video, directed by Mark Romanek, looks like a cross between the movie Waterworld and various James Bond films. It finds the band at sea in a leaky vessel on some kind of mission, or possibly as pirates. The band members are all dressed quite fashionably considering they're on the water.
  • "Hella Good" plays in the 2005 movie The Longest Yard in the opening scene, where it soundtracks a house party. The song also shows up in the movies Sweet Home Alabama (2002) and Don't Make Me Go (2022).

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