"Dope" is a song written by Lady Gaga in 2013 for ARTPOP. The song was confirmed on October 9, 2013, by Gaga's photo description of an Instagram photo. On October 10, Bobby Campbell confirmed that "Dope" was the new title of "I Wanna Be With You", a song dedicated to her fans after the cancellation of the Born This Way Ball in 2013, which she performed at the iTunes Festival. Lady Gaga later further confirmed that the song (which was presented at the iTunes Festival as "I Wanna Be With You") was renamed "Dope" on Twitter.[1] Gaga originally revealed the song on Twitter: "I would rather be poor and happy than rich and alone" in February of 2013. 

Background

In the track-by-track ARTPOP commentary on Sirius XM, Lady Gaga said that "Dope" represents the sad part of the journey that is the album. Her marijuana addiction served as the initial inspiration to writing the song. She wanted to talk honestly about that period of her life adding she used to smoke 15-20 joints a day to recover from the pain after the operation which made her paranoid and even feel worse comparing to the moment she first started consuming it. She felt like people did not want to talk to her because of that and it made her feel less articulate, not really 'there'. She concluded saying that Dope is a "I'm sorry" to all the people in her life she really cares about, her fans, boyfriend and family.

So, then you sort of get to the sad, end part of that story; which is that I became really addicted to marijuana. I know that sounds kind of crazy, because people think you can’t be addicted to it, but I guess I wanted to, kind of be honest about it because, I think a lot of people think you can’t be, and I started to use it as a coping mechanism for my anxiety and I’d smoke like fifteen to twenty joints a day — just numbing numbing numbing my body, my spirit - everything; and, eventually it makes you even more paranoid and sweaty, and kind of, worse than you were before you started smoking; and, I lived high for like a whole year, doing that — maybe a little longer. And, it was really hard for people around me to see me in kind of a withdrawn state all the time — even if I was creating, and I was happy making music and doing what I did — it was hard for them to talk to me, and y’know I’m usually like, a really articulate person, and I wasn’t so articulate anymore, and I was just kind of — not really *there* all the time. So, I wrote this song as an, “I’m sorry,” to all the people in my life that I really love — is that I’m sorry to my fans, to my boyfriend, to my parents, and I sing at the end, “that I need you more than dope” — and that’s the truth. So, here’s “Dope,” from ARTPOP.

Lady Gaga on Sirius XM

Release

"Dope" was released as the second promotional single off of ARTPOP, and the final song to be released prior to the album release. The song was available to download on iTunes on November 4, 2013 before the album release seven days later.

Artwork

Gaga tweeted the cover artwork for "Dope" on November 1, 2013. The cover was shot by Inez and Vinoodh during their promotional shoot for ARTPOP. The artwork features the same "white canvas" look as the previous single covers from ARTPOP but with a slightly altered border layout. The photo features Gaga wearing a cropped long sleeved jacket, black panties and a navy blue floppy hat. She is wearing a grillz bracelet in her mouth and has a dark veil over her eyes. Gaga has worn the grillz on many occasions following the release of the single cover, including her performance at the YouTube Music Awards. The cover also features an explicit warning square on the top right corner. The text was handwritten by either Inez or Vinoodh, reflecting on the same style as the "Applause" single cover. In selected countries, a clean version of the cover was used in which Gaga is wearing a pair of tight dark colored jeans and her stomach is covered in black.

Performances

Dates Location City Country
2013
Sep 1 iTunes Festival1 London Gb.png
Nov 10 artRave Brooklyn, NY Us.png
Dec 6 Annabel's London Gb.png
2014
Mar 13 South by Southwest (SXSW) Austin, TX Us.png
1. Gaga performed as "I Wanna Be With You".

Dates Location Station Country

Tour Dates Performances

Lyrics

Album version

Cork's off, it’s on
The party’s just begun
I promise this
Drink is my last one
I know I fucked up again
'Cause I lost my only friend
God forgive my sins
Don't leave me, I
Oh, I'd hate myself until I die

My heart would break without you
Might not awake without you
Been hurting low from living high for so long
I'm sorry and I love you
Stay with me, bell bottom blue
I'll keep on searching for an answer 'cause I need you more than Dope

I need you more than Dope
I need you more than Dope
I need you more than Dope
I need you more than Dope

Toast one last puff
And two last regrets
Three spirits and
Twelve lonely steps
Up heaven's stairway to gold
Mine myself like coal
A mountain of his soul
Each day I cry
Oh, I feel so low from living high

My heart would break without you
Might not awake without you
Been hurting low from living high for so long
I'm sorry and I love you
Stay with me, bell bottom blue
I'll keep on searching for an answer 'cause I need you more than Dope

I need you more than Dope
I need you more than Dope
I need you more than Dope
I need you more than Dope

I need you more
Need you more
I need you more than Dope

I Wanna Be With U (Live)

It’s off, it’s on
The party’s just begun
Take off, and run
Let’s celebrate the fun of being young
I don’t wanna grow up
I don’t wanna grow up

But when the lights come on
You lift me up, and I feel strong

I won’t be right without you
And I might break without you
I’d rather be poor and happy than rich and alone
I’ll write hit songs about you
No matter how we’ll get through
I’ll keep on singing for a living, but I wanna be in love
And I wanna be with you

I wanna be with you…
Lights off, lights on
The music has begun
More light, you run, and get the bad guy’s gun
I love the songs that you play
And I don’t care what they say
Cause I was born this way

When I hear you scream, I hit the top of the stage and
Close my eyes, I know exactly who I am

I won’t be right without you
And I might break without you
I’d rather be poor and happy than rich and alone
I’ll write hit songs about you
No matter how we’ll get through
I’ll keep on singing for a living, but I wanna be in love
And I wanna be with you

I wanna be with you…
I won’t be right without you
And I might break without you
I’d rather be poor and happy than rich and alone
I’ll write hit songs about you
No matter how we’ll get through
I’ll keep on singing for a living, but I wanna be in love
And I wanna be with you

Wanna be with you, wanna be with you
Wanna be with you, wanna be …

No matter what breaks me, I wanna be, with you

Credits

Writers Lady Gaga, DJ White Shadow, Nick Monson and Dino Zisis
Producers Rick Rubin and Lady Gaga
Recording by Jason Lader, Ryan Hewitt and Sean Oakley
at Shangri La, Malibu, CA Us.png
Assistant recording Eric Lynn, Joshua Smith, Dave “Squirrel” Covell
Additional recording by Bill Malina at CRC Studios, Chicago, IL Us.png
Assistant recording Steve Faye
Digital editing Jason Lader
Keyboards by Adam MacDougall and Jason Lader
Piano by Lady Gaga
Union contract administrator Ivy Skoff
Mixed by Manny Marroquin at Larrabee North Studios, Universal City, CA Us.png
Assistant mixers Chris Galland and Delhert Bowers at Larrabee Studios
Additional mixing by Andrew Scheps at Punkerpad Mobile, Los Angeles, CA Us.png
Mastering Gene Grimaldi at Oasis Mastering, Burbank, CA Us.png
Published by
  • Sony/ATV Songs LLC / House of Gaga Publishing LLC (BMI)
  • Maxwell and Carter Publishing, LLC (ASCAP), administered by Universal Music Publishing Group

References

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