Three Atlanta boys, Usher, Lil Jon, and Ludacris, come together for the mega smash hit, “Yeah!”, which defined the music scene when it came out, signaling an exciting shift in R&B from dance ballad to high energy electronica. Lil Jon, pusher of Crunk music, lends his Crunk ad libs all over the track, yet this song is equally iconic for it’s international club styled sirens and synth. It was one of the greatest collabs in Hip Hop R&B, and even today, in downtown Clubs across the nation, party revelers would not be surprised in hearing it’s familiar structure. What makes “Yeah!” distinct from the song style it broke from, such as Next’s “Too Close”, is that throughout it’s arrangement, it defies melody, in favor of effects laden monotone notes and heavy 808 bass drums. The vocals are repetitive, like a mantra, serving as instruments no different from the electric claps, with all sounds designed to promote a big, battle ready groove. It is a strange club anthem, because of it’s absence of a real bass line melody, instead favoring an interplay of metallic noise and the occasional time-keeping of a synth stabs. It proves to be an original moment in music that convinced dancers to dance to the synth rather than any inherent soul. Comparing this era of groove to others, the difference is so clear, and though it may sound dated now, it paved the way for Trap dance tracks today, by placing more importance on Trap 808 technicalities than natural beat conventions. Comparing “Yeah!” even to another Trap influenced electronic track such as “My Boo” by So So Def, listeners can hear that in the latter case, the Freestyle Miami Bass Sound maintains it’s bass line through the 808 thumbs, whereas “Yeah!” clearly dispenses with such traditional dance-form values.
Christopher Bridges, James Phillips, Jonathan Smith, LaMarquis Jefferson, Patrick Smith, Sean Garrett
"Yeah!" is a song by American singer Usher. The song is co-written by Sean Garrett, Patrick J. Que Smith, Robert McDowell, LRoc, Ludacris, and Lil Jon. It also features guest vocals from Lil Jon and Ludacris, with the former also producing the song as well as incorporating crunk and R&B—which he coined as crunk&B—in the song's production. The song was released as the lead single from Usher's fourth studio album Confessions (2004) on January 27, 2004, after Usher was told by Arista Records, his label at the time, to record more tracks for the album.