Déjà Vu (Beyoncé song)

"Déjà Vu"
The picture of a blonde-haired woman. She wears soft makeup and earrings, and a midriff-baring white shirt. Next to her, there are some words: the word "Beyoncé" is written in white bolded letters; "Déjà Vu" in midnight tone words; and "featuring Jay-Z" in black capital letters. Behind her the sky is appreciated.
Single by Beyoncé featuring Jay-Z
from the album B'Day
ReleasedJune 24, 2006 (2006-06-24)
RecordedApril 2006
StudioSony Music, New York City
Length3:25 (radio edit)
4:00 (album version)
  • Darkchild
  • 808-Ray
  • Beyoncé Knowles
Beyoncé singles chronology
"Check on It"
"Déjà Vu"
"Ring the Alarm"
Jay-Z singles chronology
"Get Throwed"
"Déjà Vu"
"Show Me What You Got"

"Déjà Vu" is a song by American singer Beyoncé, featuring vocals by rapper Jay-Z. It was produced by Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins and Beyoncé for her second solo album, B'Day (2006). "Déjà Vu" is an R&B song, which incorporates elements of the 1970s funk and soul music. Its music is largely based on live instrumentation, including bass guitar, hi-hat, horns, except Roland TR-808 drum machine, which is a non-live instrument. The song's title and lyrics refer to a woman being constantly reminded of a past lover.

"Déjà Vu" was released as the album's lead single to US radio stations on June 24, 2006. The song received generally mixed critical reviews. Many critics noted the similarities of "Déjà Vu" with Beyoncé's own 2003 song "Crazy in Love". Critics commended the assertiveness and the sensuality with which Beyoncé sings the lyrics and compared her vocal delivery to that of Tina Turner in the late 1980s. "Déjà Vu" and its Freemasons club remix version received three nominations at the 2007 Grammy Awards. It was recognized as the Best Song of 2006 at the Music of Black Origin (MOBO) Awards.

Commercially, "Déjà Vu" peaked at number four on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. It topped the Hot Dance Club Play chart, the Hot Dance Singles Sales chart, and the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The song was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). "Déjà Vu" peaked at number one on the UK Singles Chart and generally reached the top 20 in Europe. The song's accompanying music video was directed by Sophie Muller. About 5,000 fans petitioned online for a re-shoot of the video, complaining about, amongst other factors, the lack of theme, the wardrobe choice, and the seemingly sexual interactions between Beyoncé and Jay-Z.

Background and production

Jay-Z (pictured) joined the production at a late stage

In 2005, American record producer Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins and producer Jon Jon Traxx "came up with the concept of doing an old-school track, a throwback with real bass and horns", to which the song's title is partly attributed.[1] Traxx with Jerkins, first recorded the bass sections, onto which the percussion, horns and vocals were layered.[1] Production took place in Jerkins' New Jersey-based studio, and Sony Music Studios in New York City.[1]

Jerkins recorded a demo version of the song with vocals by American songwriter Makeba Riddick, who is credited as co-writer.[2] They presented the demo to Beyoncé, who later approved of it. "Déjà Vu" also has lyrical contributions from songwriters Delisha Thomas and Keli Nicole Price, and Beyoncé's husband (then-boyfriend) Jay-Z.[1] He became involved at a late stage, when Beyoncé saw him trying to sing along to a recorded version of the track, and asked him to contribute. Jay-Z recorded rap verses for the song and hence appears as a featured guest.[3]

Concerning the production of "Déjà Vu", Beyoncé told MTV News:

When I recorded 'Deja Vu' ... I knew that even before I started working on my album, I wanted to add live instruments to all of my songs. It's such a balance [of music on the song] [...] It's still young, still new and fresh, but it has the old soul groove. The energy is incredible. It's the summer anthem, I pray. I feel it. Rodney Jerkins is incredible, Jay of course is on it, he blessed the song, I'm happy with it.[4]

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