This track features rock legend Ozzy Osbourne, an artist Slash has been listening to since he was 13 years old. Slash recalled to Musicradar.com; "Ozzy was a lot of fun. It was a real honor – he's so busy with his stuff – and he took the time to stop and really focus on writing the lyrics for this song. We recorded the vocals up at Ozzy's house, and it was funny because I'm sitting here and Ozzy's here and we're sitting at the control board and he's got his microphone, and he's working on the lyrics and he's singing them, trying to work out how they should go. It's such a recognizable voice! It was just a trip to hear Ozzy working out the parts for a piece of music that I wrote. Somebody I'd been listening to since I was a kid, all of a sudden right there. He put together a very poignant set of lyrics about a particular subject matter that a lot of us can relate to."
Slash wanted this to be released as the first single from his self-titled debut solo album, but was forced to make another choice and instead, he went with By the Sword. He explained why to Rock Radio DJ Paul Anthony: "The problem with this record is, because I have all the guest singers, you run the risk of interfering with the release of other people's records. That's what the issue was. I had to make sure that whatever single I was using wasn't stepping on the toes of that artist's own record – and Ozzy's got a new record coming out."
Osbourne sings on this song: "A loaded gun jammed by a rose, the thorns are not around your head, your ego cut you till you bled." Slash denied suggestions that the lyric refers to his former Guns 'n' Roses bandmate Axl Rose. He told the Toronto Sun the words were written by Osbourne and do not refer to Rose. "It was an Ozzy thing," he explained. "He said the song represents the situation he's had in his relationships with other musicians. Yes, there were some key lines in there that were very suggestive of my own experience – but he said, 'No, this is just an overall picture of the issues'."