Sleazy (Kesha song)


A blond-haired woman rests on a rock wall. She wears tribal clothes: a dark suit, boots and bone ornaments. She has three strips painted across her left eye and a skull, and a long white strip, throughout her left arm. Over her left shoulder the words "Ke$ha" and "Sleazy" are written.

"Sleazy" cover
Promotional single by Kesha from the album Cannibal
Released October 29, 2010 (2010-10-29)
Format Digital download
A-side "We R Who We R"
Genre Dance-pop, hip hop
Length 3:25
Label RCA
Alternative cover
Second Remix version artwork
Kesha promotional singles chronology

"Sleazy" is a song by American recording artist and songwriter Kesha, taken from her first extended play (EP), Cannibal (2010). The song was written by Kesha alongside Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald, Benjamin Levin, Shondrae "Bangladesh" Crawford and Klas Åhlund, with production done by Bangladesh, Dr. Luke and Levin. While working on the album she enlisted the help of producer Bangladesh so that she could give her music a more distinct edge. Kesha uses a "sing-rap" vocal style throughout the song and uses layered vocals that are enhanced in some parts with the use of auto-tune. Lyrically the song speaks of wealthy men hitting on Kesha, trying to buy her attention.

The song was later re-released featuring rapper André 3000. The collaboration came about after Kesha sent him a copy of the track in hopes that he would like it; they later spoke on the phone and André agreed to appear on the track. André's verse speaks about a young child dealing with his deadbeat father and also his friendship with Kesha. Critical reception of the song was generally positive with critics citing the song as a strong club number that is influenced by the songs of Jennifer Lopez, Gwen Stefani and Lil Wayne. "Sleazy" charted in both Canada and the United States peaking at forty-six and fifty-one, respectively.


"Sleazy" was written by Kesha alongside Lukasz Gottwald, Benjamin Levin, Shondrae Crawford and Klas Åhlund for Kesha's first extended play (EP), Cannibal (2010). The song was also produced by Bangladesh, Dr. Luke and Benny Blanco with engineering done by Emily Wright, Sam Holland, Chris "TEK" O'Ryan and Chris Holmes.[1] The song was released on October 29, 2010, as a digital download.[2] It was also released as a B-side to the single "We R Who We R" in the United Kingdom.[3] While working on the album Kesha enlisted the help of producer Bangladesh. He explained that Kesha chose to include him on the project because she wanted to add a tougher edge to her music, "She says she wanna be gangster".[4]


Kesha raps over a thundering bass line combined with a ticking beat backing as she talks about wealthy men that are trying to buy her attention.

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"Sleazy" is a dance-pop and hip hop song that is three minutes and twenty-five seconds in length.[5][6] On the song, Kesha criticizes wealthy men who try to buy her attention.[5][7] It also contains suggestive innuendos such as, "Rat tat tat on your dumb dumb drum, the beat so fat gonna make me come, um um um, over to your place."[5] Vocally, the song follows in similar form to her previous singles footsteps as Kesha uses her "sing-rap" vocal style present throughout the song.[5] Kesha uses layered vocals that are enhanced in some parts with the use of auto-tune and she sings over a thundering bass line that is combined with a ticking beat as a backing.[7][8]

Production of the song has been cited for drawing influence from multiple songs including; Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl" for its "swagga", Jennifer Lopez's "Love Don't Cost a Thing" for its "attitude", as well as combining "a touch of Lil Wayne's 'Milli'".[5] Josh Langhoff from PopMatters, however, felt that the song followed similar suit to that of MIA.[9] Jocelyn Vena, from MTV News, commented that "Sleazy" "fits right in with [Kesha's] party-anthem discography".[5] Daniel Brockman of The Boston Phoenix wrote that the song contains "tribal anti-bourgeois bounce[s]".[10] Bill Lamb from noted that Bangladesh's production "pumps up the hard edge and club readiness".[11] "The Sleazy Remix" features rapper André 3000, who raps over the song's "bouncy thump" beat talking about a young child dealing with his deadbeat father, "We start out so cute in our baby pictures/ That mama shot for our daddy so that he wouldn't forget you/ He forgot anyway, but hey, one day he'll remember/ If not, he's human, I'm human, you human, we'll forgive him."[12] André then transitions into a rap about his friendship with Kesha before she takes over the rest of the song.[12]


Critical reception

Kesha performing "Sleazy" at the Get Sleazy Tour

Stephen Thomas Erlewine from Allmusic called "Sleazy" "apropos", writing that she is able to self-realize that "her calling card is her unrepentant filthiness."[13] Jocelyn Vena of MTV News was positive in the song's review writing that it was "club-banging glory thanks to a killer beat and funky sing-along lyrics".[5] Nadine Cheung from AOL Radio felt that the song followed similar form to "We R Who We R", writing: "[following] the anthemic lead single, "We R Who We R" [...] [Sleazy is] [i]n true Kesha form, the Nashville native uses her sing-song rapping style to eschew the luxe life: "I don't need you or your brand new Benz, or your bourgie [sic] friends / I don't need love lookin' like diamonds / Lookin' like diamonds."[14] Chad Grischow from IGN noted that Kesha's "'broke and proud of it' attitude is a refreshing change for the money flaunting pop landscape".[7] Gary Graff wrote for Billboard that "the addition of producer Bangladesh for the martial "Sleazy" lets Ke$ha sink her teeth into some fresh flavors on 'Cannibal,' which will certainly enhance her 'Animal' attraction".[15]

Josh Langhoff of PopMatters noted that though rap may not be her "steez", "you can tell she works hard at it" as she "rattles off a well-constructed string of rapid-fire syllables"[9] Leah Greenblatt of Entertainment Weekly recommended "Sleazy" as a downloadable track, commenting it is "a boom-box stomper".[16] Sal Cinquemani of Slant Magazine commented on "Sleazy"'s change of producer, writing that although Bangladesh produced it and Åhlund penned it, Kesha did not accomplish anything significant.[17] Melinda Newman of HitFix called the song "the most interesting song on the album" and wrote that the song featured a "compelling ... sung chorus."[18]

Chart performance

In the United States, "Sleazy" entered the Billboard Hot 100 on the issue week ending November 20, 2010, at position fifty-one, where it reached its peak. The song stayed on the chart for one week before falling off.[19] In Canada, "Sleazy" entered the Canadian Hot 100 in the same week at position forty-six, also only charting for one week.[20] On the week of December 31, 2011, "Sleazy" re-entered the Billboard Hot 100. The song reached a new peak of thirty-seven and fifteen on the Digital Sales Chart, selling 63,000 copies that week.[21]


André 3000 is featured on the original remix of the song. He also appears with Lil Wayne, T.I., and Wiz Khalifa, on a separate remix titled "Sleazy Remix 2.0: Get Sleazier".

André 3000 is featured on an official remix of the song, released digitally on January 18, 2011.[22] Kesha explained to Rap-Up how she got him to record a verse for the song: "I sent him the track and was fully aware that he’s only been on a few songs in the past five years. But he ended up liking it. We got on the phone, and he said, ‘With a flow like that, you could definitely have a career as a rapper.’ It was the biggest compliment I’ve ever had. It was coming from a god!" She further elaborated that André 3000 is "one of my favorite musicians, lyricists, rappers, of all time."[23]

After the release of the original remix with André, Kesha and co-producer of the track, Luke, decided that they wanted to remix the track again with the intention of adding some of Kesha's desired future collaborations. The first to add their verses to the track was Lil Wayne. Kesha and Wayne both happened to be in the studio on the same day as each other and she took the opportunity to ask him if he would participate in the remixing of the song. Following this Wiz Khalifa and T.I. were then asked to collaborate on the track. All three rappers agreed to write and appear on the song and with this the remix was completed.[24] According to Kesha, the four rappers on the remix, titled "Sleazy Remix 2.0: Get Sleazier", are included because they are four of her favorite rappers. On December 7, 2011, she posted the following message on the internet, revealing that the song would be released exclusively to iTunes on December 13, 2011: "Get ready to get even $leazier with this sick collaboration I did with 4 of my favorite MCs of all time: Weezy, André 3000, Wiz Khalifa, and T.I., I opened the ‘Get $leazy’ tour with this song every night and it always got the party started ... Get ready, this is the SICKEST and SLEAZIEST version YET.$."[25]

Music video

The music video for the song was directed by Nicholaus Goossen and was released on January 27, 2012.[26] The director of the video enlisted actors and some of Kesha's friends to lip-sync over the song's production and verses. A drag queen performs Wiz' verses, while Napoleon Dynamite actor Efren Ramirez raps over André's verse, and finally an elderly man can be seen playing chess while lip-syncing to T.I's verse. Kesha and the featured artists on the remix cameo in the video for a short time where they are seen on television screens, which are later smashed by a man wearing a bandanna.[27] Jessica Sager from PopCrush wrote that even with Kesha absent from the video it was still in her style, writing: "Even without Kesha, the remix video is still ... well, 'Kesha'."[27] Rap-Up magazine wrote that the video was comical and unexpected.[28] A Directors Cut version, featuring scenes with Kesha, was leaked on August 20, 2012.

Cover versions

American singer-songwriter and musician Ben Folds originally covered the song in November 2010, in Columbus, Ohio.[29] Following this Folds recorded the song for Download to Donate's Tsunami Relief album for Japan.[30] Amanda Hensel of PopCrush commented that the cover was executed "so artistically that it's like a whole new song".[6] Eliot Glazer of MTV Buzzworthy felt that the idea of Folds covering "Sleazy" was a "welcome experiment". Glazer praised Folds' vocals on the track and went on to say "we don't know what's more epic: the cover of the song or the mere fact that it happened in the first place".[31]

Track listing

UK Digital EP[3]
  1. "We R Who We R" – 3:24
  2. "Sleazy" – 3:25
  3. "Animal" (Dave Audé Remix) – 4:37
  4. "Animal" (Billboard Remix) – 4:15

Digital download (The Remix)[22]
  1. "The Sleazy Remix" (featuring André 3000) – 3:48
Digital download (Remix 2.0)[32]
  1. "Sleazy Remix 2.0: Get Sleazier (feat. Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, T.I. & André 3000) – 4:53

Credits and personnel

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Cannibal, Dynamite Cop Music/Where Da Kasz at BMI.[1]


Original version

Chart (2010) Peak
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[33] 46
South Korea International Singles (Gaon)[34] 164
US Billboard Hot 100[35] 51

Remix 2.0: Get Sleazier

Chart (2011) Peak
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[36] 74
South Korea International Singles (Gaon)[34] 14
US Billboard Hot 100[21] 37


  1. 1 2 Credits adapted from the liner notes of Cannibal, Dynamite Cop Music/Where Da Kasz at BMI.
  2. "Sleazy – Single by Ke$ha". iTunes Store. Apple, Inc. Archived from the original on November 1, 2010. Retrieved 2012-05-16.
  3. 1 2 "We R Who We R – EP by Ke$ha". The iTunes Store Great Britain. Apple Inc. Retrieved 2011-01-11.
  4. "Kesha Wants to Be 'Gangster,' Says Producer". Rap-Up. Retrieved 2011-03-10.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Vena, Jocelyn (October 29, 2010). "Kesha Gets 'Sleazy' On New Cannibal Track 'Tik Tok' singer trashes a rich guy on her new Bangladesh-produced song". MTV News. MTV Networks (Viacom). Retrieved 2010-10-29.
  6. 1 2 Hensel, Amanda (May 6, 2011). "Ben Folds Covers Kesha's 'Sleazy'". PopCrush. Townsquare Media. Retrieved 2011-10-13.
  7. 1 2 3 Grischow, Chad (November 18, 2010). "Kesha: Cannibal Review. Worthy accompaniment to debut or cash grab?". IGN. IGN Entertainment, Inc. Retrieved 2010-11-19.
  8. Brockington,Ryan (November 12, 2010). "Kesha 'Blows'". New York Post. NYP Holdings, Inc. Retrieved 2010-11-13.
  9. 1 2 "Langhoff, Josh (October 8, 2010). "Ke$ha: Cannibal". PopMatters. Retrieved 2011-01-09.
  10. Brockman, Daniel (December 7, 2010). "Ke$ha | Cannibal". The Boston Phoenix. Phoenix Media/Communications Group. Retrieved 2011-01-09.
  11. Lamb, Bill. "Ke$ha – Cannibal: Solid Effort Whether You Love Or Hate Ke$ha". The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2011-01-09.
  12. 1 2 Ziegbe, Mawuse (January 14, 2011). "Andre 3000 Pops Up on Ke$ha's 'Sleazy' Remix Outkast MC freshens up the pop star's Cannibal cut with rare feature". MTV News. MTV Networks (Viacom). Retrieved 2011-02-24.
  13. Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Cannibal – Ke$ha". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2011-01-08.
  14. Cheung, Nadine (November 3, 2010). "Kesha, 'Sleazy' – New Song". AOL Radio. AOL Inc. Retrieved 2010-11-03.
  15. Graff, Gary (November 30, 2010). "Ke$ha, "Cannibal"". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2011-01-08.
  16. Greenblatt, Leah (November 22, 2010). "Cannibal". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved 2011-01-09.
  17. Cinquemani, Sal (November 17, 2010). "Ke$ha: Cannibal". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 2011-01-09.
  18. Newman, Melinda (November 22, 2010). "Album Review: Ke$ha's 'Cannibal'". HitFix. Retrieved 2012-05-13.
  19. "Billboard Hot 100, November 20, 2010". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2010-11-13.
  20. "Sleazy : Nielsen Music: Canadian Update (November 12, 2010)". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 10, 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-10.
  21. 1 2 Trust, Gary (December 21, 2011). "Rihanna's 'Love' Her Longest-Leading Hot 100 No. 1". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2011-12-21.
  22. 1 2 "The Sleazy Remix [feat. Andre 3000] – Single". iTunes Store. Apple Inc. Retrieved 2011-01-19.
  23. "André 3000 Admires Ke$ha's Flow". Rap-Up. February 4, 2011. Retrieved 2011-02-05.
  24. Jocelyn, Vena (December 16, 2011). "Ke$ha Wanted 'Sleazy' Remix To Be 'Gangster' Lil Wayne, T.I., Wiz Khalifa and Andre 3000 heat up latest version of the Cannibal track.". MTV News. MTV Networks (Viacom). Retrieved 2011-12-17.
  25. "Ke$ha Gets 'Sleazier' with Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, T.I., & André 3000". Rap-Up. December 7, 2011. Retrieved 2011-12-07.
  26. Gottlieb, Steven (January 31, 2011). "WATCH IT: Ke$ha "Sleazy Remix 2.0" (Nicholaus Goossen, dir.)". Video Static. Retrieved 2012-01-31.
  27. 1 2 Sagar, Jessica (January 27, 2012). "Kesha Gets Sleazier in New Video for 'Sleazy 2.0′ Remix". PopCrush. Townsquare Media, LLC. Retrieved 2012-02-01.
  28. "Video: Ke$ha f/ Wiz Khalifa, André 3000, T.I., & Lil Wayne – 'Sleazy Remix 2.0'". Rap-Up. January 27, 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-01.
  29. Haruch, Steve (November 10, 2010). "Ben Folds Covers Ke$ha's 'Sleazy'". Nashville Scene. City Press LLC. Retrieved 2011-10-13.
  30. Rodgers, D. Patrick (May 11, 2011). "Ben Folds Covers Ke$ha's 'Sleazy' for Tsunami Relief ... Seriously This Time". Nashville Scene. City Press LLC. Retrieved 2011-10-13.
  31. Glazer, Eliot (May 4, 2011). "Watch Ben Folds Cover Ke$ha's 'Sleazy'". MTV Buzzworthy. MTV Networks (Viacom). Retrieved 2011-10-13.
  32. "Sleazy Remix 2.0 – Get Sleazier (feat. Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, T.I. & André 3000) – Single". iTunes. Apple Inc. Retrieved 2011-12-13.
  33. "Ke$ha – Chart history" Canadian Hot 100 for Ke$ha. Retrieved 2010-11-13.
  34. 1 2 "South Korea Gaon International Chart (Week: January 22, 2012 to January 28, 2012)". Gaon Chart. December 15, 2012. Retrieved December 21, 2012.
  35. "Ke$ha – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Ke$ha. Retrieved 2010-11-13.
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