On to the Next One

"On to the Next One"
Single by Jay-Z featuring Swizz Beatz
from the album The Blueprint 3
Released December 15, 2009[1](US - Mainstream radio)
January 12, 2010 (US - Urban + Rhythmic radio)
April 12, 2010[2] (UK)
Format Airplay, Digital download
Recorded 2009; Roc The Mic Studios, Oven Studios
(New York City, New York)
Genre Alternative hip hop, Hip hop
Length 4:16
Label Roc Nation, Atlantic
Writer(s) S. Carter, K. Dean, G. Auge, X. De Rosnay, J. Chaton
Producer(s) Swizz Beatz
Jay-Z singles chronology
"Empire State Of Mind"
"On to the Next One"
"Young Forever"
Swizz Beatz singles chronology
"I Can Transform Ya"
"On to the Next One"

"On to the Next One" is a song by American hip hop recording artist Jay-Z, released as the fourth single from his twelfth studio album The Blueprint 3 on his Roc Nation label, also released as the fourth single in the United Kingdom after "Young Forever". The song features additional rap vocals and music production from producer and rapper Swizz Beatz.[3] The song has been frequently used for freestyles, notably by Ab-Soul, Bun B, Crooked I and Red Cafe. The song contains a vocal sample of the words "under the spotlight" as well as a background synthesizer sound from the live version of Justice's song "D.A.N.C.E.". The song won the Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group at the 53rd Grammy Awards, making this, in total Jay-Z's 13th Grammy Award overall, and Swizz Beatz's first Grammy Award win. In addition, Jay-Z is the first artist to have all four singles from one album win six Grammy Awards in their respective category. This song was also part of the soundtrack of NBA 2K13, which was selected by Jay-Z.[4]


The song was first performed at Jay-Z's "Answer the Call" benefit concert in Madison Square Garden on September 11, 2009. It was also performed in the UK on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross on February 19, 2010.

Critical reception

Devin Chanda from Billboard magazine gave the song a positive review:

"More than any of its predecessors, 'On to the Next One' best accomplishes what Jay-Z set out to do with 'The Blueprint 3': stay the course of trendsetter. The veteran rapper explains why all should continue to follow his lead with lines like, 'Used to rock a throwback, ballin' on the corner/Now I rock a tailored suit, lookin' like an owner,' equating aging with improvement. That point is not lost on producer Swizz Beatz, who trades in his usual arsenal for fresh sounds more native to Ibiza than Jay's native Brooklyn. Unleashing sputtering drums over a sample from Justice's "D.A.N.C.E.," Beatz packs the song with a hypnotic electro-bounce. Its thundering bassline is nothing new-in fact, it's been Beatz' calling card for years-but it's still convincing as ever, much like Jay-Z and his forward-looking work."[5]

Music video

The music video was directed by Sam Brown and was filmed in November 2009.[6] The video premiered on January 1, 2010 on New Year's Eve with Carson Daly. Although it was uploaded on YouTube on December 31, 2009,[7] it has been called the first music video of the decade, though its New Year's Eve upload date contradicts that title.[8][9]

The video is highly surreal. It is shot in black-and-white, and the people, symbols, and characters in the video seem to be wearing black and white colors to coincide with the video.[10] There are split second scenes while there are somewhat of an abundance of biblical references in it. Throughout the video, there are crucifixes, angelic symbols, a skull reminiscent of Damien Hirst's famous sculpture For the Love of God and often Baphomet. During part of the music video,the music stops, and the audience sees producer Swizz Beatz with his back to them as he seemingly makes the symbol with his coat by raising his hands. There is a cameo appearance by Colin Bailey, better known as Drums of Death, who is known for his skull face paint. In the video, Bailey appears to be perplexed, confused, and/or mad. At approximately three minutes and thirty nine seconds into the video, there are two bullets on either side of a crucifix. Rapper Young Jeezy also makes a cameo in the video.

Chart performance

Chart (2010) Peak
Canadian Hot 100 58
UK Singles Chart 38
UK R&B Chart 13
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 37
U.S. Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs 9
U.S. Billboard Rap Songs 5


  1. "R&R :: Going For Adds :: Urban". Gfa.radioandrecords.com. 2009-12-15. Retrieved 2010-12-18.
  2. "Music - - Singles Release Diary". Digital Spy. 2010-10-26. Retrieved 2010-12-18.
  3. . "On To The Next One Remake-Fl Studio 9 XXl". YouTube. Retrieved 2010-12-18.
  4. Isenberg, Daniel (31 July 2012). "Listen To Jay-Z's "NBA 2K13" Soundtrack". Complex. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  5. "New Music Releases, Music Reviews, Album Releases & Song Releases". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2010-12-18.
  6. "Behind The Scenes Pics Of Jay-Z's "On To The Next One" [Video Shoot]". Thehiphopconsultant.wordpress.com. Retrieved 2010-12-18.
  7. (2009-12-31). "Official "On To The Next One" Video! Jay-Z | Swizz Beatz". YouTube. Retrieved 2010-12-18.
  8. "Video: Jay-Z f/ Swizz Beatz – 'On to the Next One'". Rap-Up.com. Retrieved 2010-12-18.
  9. Rodriguez, Jayson (2009-12-28). "Jay-Z's 'On To The Next One' Video To Premiere On New Year's Eve - Music, Celebrity, Artist News". MTV. Retrieved 2010-12-18.
  10. "Peep This: Jay-Z Feat. Swizz Beatz "On To The Next One"". VIBE. Retrieved 2010-12-18.
  11. "Jay-Z and Mr Hudson - Young Forever - Music Charts". Acharts.us. Retrieved 2010-12-18.
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