Bad
by Wale

Album: The Gifted (2013)
Charted: 21

Songfacts®:

  • This song features Indianapolis, Indiana native Tiara Thomas. The singer/rapper/guitarist's first encounter with Wale was a chance meeting inside of an Atlanta nightclub. She told him that she was networking and they exchanged information. Wale told her to leave him a voicemail message of her performing. "My voice was gone, and I had to leave this man a voicemail rapping,'" she recalled to TBD.com. "But he was like, 'It sounds good, send me some music.' I was so hype.'"

    Thomas didn't hear anything back for a dozen weeks or so. "Then, finally, like three months later, he hit me and said, 'We're watching your videos right now.'"

    The young singer was invited to contribute some vocals to "The Cloud." a track on his 2010 mixtape More About Nothing. "I didn't know I was going to be on the mixtape," Thomas told TBD.com. "I had no idea until he released the [tracklisting]. I got on Twitter and was like, 'Why do I have all of these new followers?'"

    After graduating from Ball State University in June 2012, Thomas started working on her debut LP, Sallie Mae as well as linking up with Wale again for this song, which became her first Hot 100 hit.
  • The song originally featured on Wale's 2012 mixtape Folarin.
  • The video stars Eddie Murphy's daughter, Bria, as Wale's bad girl love interest.
  • The song was originally crafted by Tiara Thomas. She told Billboard magazine that the inspiration for it came from an unexpected source. "There was this rap song called 'Some Cut' by Trillville. It used to be one of my favorite songs when I was younger. It's really vulgar. I wanted to find a way to cover the song and make it sound pretty," she explained. "I started singing the words and then I just freestyled and started singing. I was like, 'Dang, that's tight!"

    Thomas recorded the track in the bedroom studio of a friend and placed it on YouTube: "Wale listened to it, and he really liked it," she recalled. "I remember he texted me when he finished the first verse, he was like, 'Yo I just finished my first verse, is it dope?' He put his verses on and took the song to a whole new level. He made a story out of it. It's like a girl anthem and that's what I like so much about it. You wouldn't think that he would do that - a rapper puts out a girl anthem. But it's true and it's real. I think that's why people connect with it."
  • Rihanna jumped on the song's remix. The Bajan beauty sings the hook, tweaking Tiara Thomas' original section into her own. She also trades rap verses with Wale where the pair voice their inner turmoil involving the opposite sex. "Bad girls always end up 'Unapologetic,'" Wale spits, referencing the title of Rihanna's 2012 album.
  • Wale admitted to Billboard magazine that he initially had doubts whether Rihanna would participate on the remix. Then once she jumped on, he was pleasantly surprised with the end result. "Me and Rihanna, we talked about it for a while and she was like, 'I wanna do it' and I was like, 'You're just giving me the artist talk, come on shorty you don't wanna do it,' and you know she did it and she boddied it," he said. "I got Rihanna to rap a little bit so I'm happy about that."
  • Tiara Thomas starts her hook with the line: "Is it bad that I never made love, no I never did it." She explained the lyric in an annotation on the Rap Genius website: "She hasn't had true love. It's hard to say that she's made love when she's never experienced it. Maybe she's even felt like she was in love at some point, but once those feelings went away she wonders if that feeling was real love. In turn she questions whether she's ever actually made love to someone or was it just sex. Is it bad?"

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