4 Minutes (4:03)

Cover of 4 Minutes - Single

From 4 Minutes - Single

“4 Minutes” is a song by American singer-songwriter Madonna from her eleventh studio album Hard Candy. It was released as the lead single from the album on March 17, 2008, by Warner Bros. Records. The song’s development was motivated by a sense of urgency to save the planet from destruction, and how people can enjoy themselves in the process. The writing was completed through discussions between Madonna and Justin Timberlake about different situations, issues and relationships. According to Madonna, the song inspired her to produce the documentary I Am Because We Are.

The song features vocals by American musicians Timberlake and Timbaland. It was recorded at Sarm West Studios in London, while the mixing of the track was finished at The Hit Factory studio in Miami. Sound engineer Demacio “Demo” Castellon first worked on the vocals of the track, by honing them according to his instincts, and then worked on the beats and the synths composed by Timbaland and Danja. An uptempo dance song with an urban, hip hop style, “4 Minutes” also incorporates Timbaland’s characteristic bhangra beats and the instrumentation used in the song includes brass, foghorns and cow bells. The song’s lyrics carry a message of social awareness, inspired by Madonna’s visit to Africa and the human suffering she witnessed there.

“4 Minutes” has been praised by many contemporary critics who called it a busy, dance track and complimented its music, which was compared to that of a marching band.

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