Written and produced by Hill herself, it incorporates elements of R&B, neo soul and hip hop soul. The song is centered around the pain and confusion felt after a failed relationship. Additionally, the song speaks to the complexity of love and the multifaceted nature of relationships. This month, L-Boogie has returned to the music spotlight in a major way, thanks to some of see post today’s hottest artists. Cardi B sampled the legendary rapper/singer’s classic song “Ex Factor” for her own scorned anthem “Be Careful.” Drake doubled down with a sample of the same song on his new hit single “Nice For What,” placing Ms. Hill’s riffs in the forefront. And for good measure, King Combs looped up the Fugees on “Bad Boy Back,” from his new mixtape, 90’s Baby.
Upon its release, “Ex-Factor” received widespread critical acclaim. The song peaked at number 21 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and at number seven on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. Internationally, advice it peaked within the top five in Iceland and the United Kingdom. Lauryn Hill states that the song was inspired by the many failed relationships of those closest to her.
But as it turns out, Johnson approximating Hill might have been exactly what “All Falls Down” needed. There is something more natural about the recreated version of the song, which has an almost gospel soul feel without losing the down-to-earth appeal at the center of Hill’s folksy melody. His 2014 loosie “Draft Day” was released to commemorate the then-upcoming drafts for NFL prospect Johnny Manziel and NBA prospect Andrew Wiggins. The song itself panned out about as well as the players it celebrated, slowing Hill’s “Doo Wop (That Thing)” vocals down to the point of deflating them. Drake’s second swing at invoking the rap icon, on the early song of the summer contender “Nice For What,” is much more spirited and flat-out more fun. He’s less sullen than he’s been recently, party-ready and perhaps (temporarily) freed from his usual insecurities.
The narrator is seeking reciprocity, or mutual respect, from their partner but feels that their efforts are constantly unreciprocated. The song has been sampled in many other songs in the hip hop and R&B genres. Notable examples include Drake’s “Nice for What”, Cardi B’s “Be Careful”, and Kanye West’s “Lost in the World”. The album features several other hit songs, including “Doo Wop (That Thing)”, “Everything Is Everything”, and “To Zion”. In addition to Drake and Cardi B, “Ex-Factor” has been sampled by several other notable acts, including Omarion, Lil B and Kehlani.
The entire song is a reflection on how it feels to experience a failed relationship. She questions how a person can so easily discard someone who has given them everything. She talks about how hard it is to let go and how it would be easier to hold on, even though she knows it is not what is best for her.
As an artist, she represents a purity almost to the point of abstinence.” Hill does personify a certain rap virtue, and sampling her can mean channelling that, but that purity can be and has been distorted to express other things. The laziest Hill samplers merely use her as a signifier, blog recycling her words and her melodies as substitutes for their own ideas. But the more clever ones have used Hill to enhance their own perspectives. “Ex-Factor”, although not as successful as Hill’s previous single “Doo Wop (That Thing)”, still entered several international charts.
NxWorries’ Knxwledge is one of the most interesting beat makers in rap right now, known for his eclectic palate and his finely chopped soul sample work. Then, after flipping (future collaborator) Anderson .Paak’s “P.Y.P.” into a funk fusion, the producer effortlessly attaches “Jerusalem,” connecting the songs at their joints. They are so obviously different songs when listened to separately, and yet Knxwledge is able to see them as two halves of a whole, bridging a tiny gap between acoustic soul and funky R&B.