Tom Ford (song)

"Tom Ford"
Single by Jay-Z
from the album Magna Carta Holy Grail
Released September 26, 2013
Format Digital download
Recorded 2013
Length 3:09
Jay-Z singles chronology
"Pound Cake"
"Tom Ford"
"Know Bout Me"

"Tom Ford" is a song by American hip hop artist Jay-Z from his twelfth studio album Magna Carta Holy Grail (2013). It features additional uncredited vocals from his wife Beyoncé and was produced by Timbaland and Jerome "J-Roc" Harmon. On September 26, 2013, "Tom Ford" was serviced to urban contemporary radio in the United Kingdom as the album's second single and then on October 15, 2013, to rhythmic contemporary in the United States.[1] Following the release of the album, the song peaked at number 39 on the US Billboard Hot 100.


Fashion designer Tom Ford, who is mentioned throughout the song.

On July 3, 2013, "Tom Ford" was previewed in one of Samsung's commercials for Magna Carta Holy Grail.[2] "Tom Ford" premiered online the following day, along with the rest of Magna Carta Holy Grail upon its release to Samsung smartphone owners.[3]

The title of the song and chorus are a reference to fashion designer Tom Ford, who was also mentioned by Justin Timberlake in his Jay-Z collaboration "Suit & Tie".[4][5] Tom Ford responded favorably to the song saying, "Who would not be flattered to have an entire Jay-Z track named after them? I mean, come on, it's pretty rare that something like that happens. It's a kind of validation of one's work, as it means that one has really penetrated and made an impact on popular culture."[6] Following its release, Tom Ford received a huge spike in online search engine queries.[7][8][9]


The song was produced by Timbaland and Jerome "J-Roc" Harmon.[10] The song's production begins with influences of Radiohead's "Kid A" and transitions into blasts of "synthesizers and bubbling rhythm".[11] The rest of the beat is constructed out of "machine gun sprays, Nintendo themes and bottle blows." It also featured uncredited vocals by Beyoncé on the outro to the song.[12]

Critical reception

"Tom Ford" was met with mixed to positive reviews from music critics. Colin McGuire of PopMatters called the song one of the albums highlights saying, "Timbaland’s production is the key here, his trademark bounce fueling the engine of this swift, far-out ride. Adding to the trip is Hov’s ability to change his flow on a dime, reminding everyone of how easy he can make the hardest things appear."[13] Kitty Empire of The Guardian praised the song calling it, "a juicy cut from Jay-Z's entertaining 13th-odd album. In it, Jay-Z is in a youthful, playground taunt mode, flaunting his wealth as per his own brand requirements. The production – sonar bloops, arpeggiating shivers and tickly beats – grabs the ear even harder."[14] Mike Madden of Consequence of Sound called the song "a relatively bare track dominated by Jay’s emphatic flow", also naming it one of the album's "essential tracks."[15] praised the songs booming bass and stuttering high-hats.[16] Ian Cohen of Pitchfork also praised the songs production.[17]

Simon Vozick-Levinson of Rolling Stone gave the song a negative review saying, "Tom Ford" might mark the lyrical nadir of Jay-Z's catalog. He sounds bored half to death by the basic rhyme, listlessly repeating the designer's name like it's going to magically transform into a clever or catchy hook. It hurts to see him waste a primo Timbaland beat like this."[18] Kyle Anderson of Entertainment Weekly called the song "embarrassing, and not just because everybody — even Clipse — abandoned trap music years ago."[19] Jesse Cataldo of Slant Magazine said the song was full of, "pure, empty name-checking".[20] Dan Weiss of Paste put down the song for being hard for the average listener to connect to.[21]

Jay-Z embraces wife Beyoncé after his performance of "Tom Ford" during The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour, 2013

Rolling Stone ranked "Tom Ford" at number 77 on their list of the 100 Best Songs of 2013. They commented saying, "It might be his most lavish playa anthem ever, the work of man who has traded street corners for runways but can still pull off a line like "flush out a Riesling/When Hov's out them hoes out/Y'all put y'all weaves in."[22]

Live performances

On August 5, 2013, Beyoncé played her final North American Mrs. Carter Show World Tour show at Brooklyn's Barclays Center, at which she brought out Jay-Z to perform "Tom Ford" for the first time.[23][24][25] Jay-Z also performed "Tom Ford" throughout his Legends of the Summer Stadium Tour in 2013. He also performed the single throughout his Magna Carter World Tour, that took place from October 2013 to January 31, 2014.[26]


On December 4, 2013, Jay-Z released the official remix to "Tom Ford" on his 44 birthday featuring deceased rapper Pimp C. Coincidentally, or perhaps intentionally, this was also the sixth anniversary of Pimp C's passing. The two had previously collaborated during his life, on the hit song "Big Pimpin'".[27]

On September 4, 2013, Ghanaian rapper Sarkodie freestyled to "Tom Ford" on BBC Radio's Tim Westwood TV.[28] On October 15, 2013, female rapper Angel Haze released a freestyle to "Tom Ford" apart of her "30 Gold Freestyle" series.[29]

Awards and nominations

Year Ceremony Award Result
2014 Grammy Awards (56th) Best Rap Performance[30] Nominated

Chart performance

Weekly charts

Chart (2013) Peak
scope="row"UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[31]
scope="row"UK R&B (Official Charts Company)[33] 22
scope="row"US Billboard Hot 100[34] 39
scope="row"US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)[35] 11
scope="row"US Rhythmic (Billboard)[36] 6
scope="row"US Hot Rap Songs (Billboard)[37] 8

Year-end charts

Chart (2013) Position
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)[38] 49
US Rap Songs (Billboard)[39] 36


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United States (RIAA)[40] Platinum 1,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Release history

Region Date Format Label(s)
United Kingdom September 26, 2013[41] Urban contemporary radio
United States October 15, 2013[1] Rhythmic contemporary radio
United Kingdom October 21, 2013[42] Contemporary hit radio


  1. 1 2 "Top 40/Rhythmic-Crossover Future Releases". Archived from the original on October 1, 2013.
  2. "Jay-Z "Previews "Tom Ford" (Magna Carta Promo)" Video". Retrieved 2013-10-16.
  3. "Jay-Z debuts 'Tom Ford' track - Telegraph". Retrieved 2013-10-16.
  4. "Tom Ford Responds to Jay-Z's Name Drop | E! Online UK". 2013-07-11. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
  5. Ramos, Dorkys. "Tom Ford Responds to Jay-Z's Musical Ode to the Designer | News". BET. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
  6. "Tom Ford Flattered by Jay-Z's New Track Named After Him - The Cut". Retrieved 2013-10-16.
  7. Adam Tschorn (2013-08-08). "Yahoo searches for 'Tom Ford' spike - is Jay Z the reason? - Los Angeles Times". Retrieved 2013-10-16.
  8. "Jay Z Causes Huge Spike in Tom Ford Searches". Complex. 2013-08-11. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
  9. "Jay-Z's 'Tom Ford' Shout Out on 'Magna Carta' Album Makes Designer Feel 'Flattered': Exclusive". Billboard. 2013-07-08. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
  10. "Timbaland Breaks Down The Genesis of Jay-Z's 'Magna Carta Holy Grail,' Production Credits - XXL". 2013-07-04. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
  11. "Jay-Z Frets on 'Magna Carta Holy Grail'". Retrieved November 8, 2013.
  12. "Jay-Z, 'Magna Carta Holy Grail': Track-By-Track Review". Billboard. 2013-07-04. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
  13. McGuire, Colin. "Jay-Z: Magna Carta...Holy Grail (take two)". PopMatters. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
  14. Kitty Empire (2013-07-07). "Jay-Z: Magna Carta Holy Grail – review | Music | The Observer". Retrieved 2013-10-16.
  15. "Album Review: Jay-Z – Magna Carta Holy Grail". Consequence of Sound. 2013-07-08. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
  16. Jay Z Follow @S_C_  . "Jay-Z - Magna Carta Holy Grail - Stream & Read Album Review". Retrieved 2013-10-16.
  17. "Jay-Z: Magna Carta Holy Grail | Album Reviews". Pitchfork. 2013-07-08. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
  18. Simon Vozick-Levinson (2013-07-10). "Jay-Z's 'Magna Carta... Holy Grail' | Album Reviews". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
  19. Kyle Anderson, Ray Rahman (2013-08-01). "Magna Carta Holy Grail Album Review | Music Reviews and News | Summer Must List". Retrieved 2013-10-16.
  20. "Jay-Z: Magna Carta... Holy Grail | Music Review". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
  21. Published at 4:16 PM on July 11, 2013 By Dan Weiss (2013-07-11). "Jay-Z: Magna Carta...Holy Grail :: Music :: Reviews :: Paste". Retrieved 2013-10-16.
  23. "Watch: Beyoncé Brings Out Jay-Z to Perform "Tom Ford" at Last Night's Show | News". Pitchfork. 2013-08-06. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
  24. "Jay Z Performs 'Tom Ford' at Beyoncé's Brooklyn Show". Retrieved 2013-10-16.
  25. "Jay Z joins Beyonce onstage in New York to play 'Tom Ford' | News". Nme.Com. 2013-08-06. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
  26. "Jay Z tour review and setlist London O2 Arena: 8 things I learned - James Robertson - 3am & Mirror Online". 2013-10-11. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
  28. "Sarkodie "Tom Ford" freestyle on Tim Westwood | - Creativity at its Best". 2013-09-04. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
  29. "Listen: Angel Haze freestyles over Jay Z's "Tom Ford"". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
  31. "Archive Chart: 2013-7-4" UK Singles Chart.
  32. "CHART LOG UK: NEW ENTRIES UPDATE". Retrieved November 8, 2013.
  33. "Archive Chart: 2013-11-16" UK R&B Chart.
  34. "Jay-Z – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Jay-Z.
  35. "Jay-Z – Chart history" Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for Jay-Z.
  36. "Jay-Z – Chart history" Billboard Rhythmic Songs for Jay-Z. Retrieved January 16, 2014.
  37. "Jay-Z – Chart history" Billboard Hot Rap Songs for Jay-Z. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
  38. "2013 Year End Charts — R&B/Hip-Hop Songs". Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved December 13, 2013.
  39. "2013 Year End Charts — Rap Songs". Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved December 13, 2013.
  40. "American single certifications – Jay Z – Tom Ford". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  41. "Radio 1Xtra Playlist". Archived from the original on October 6, 2013.
  42. "BBC Radio 1Xtra Playlist – Monday 21 October". BBC Radio 1Xtra. BBC. Archived from the original on October 21, 2013. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
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