“Piece of Me” by Britney Spears
According to one of the writers of Britney Spears’ “Piece of Me”, around the time it had come out, there was an unwritten rule as far as the creators of Britney Spears’ tunes were concerned.
And that was the lyrics should not reflect her real life. Yet and still they pitched “Piece of Me” to her, which she accepted and actually embraced. That means she must have really been feeling the message contained therein, even on a true-to-life level. For it is upon such a subject matter, her true life, which the lyrics are based.
And the reason the writers were able to so accurately capture what Brit was going through at the time is because they were regular collaborators who actually witnessed, firsthand, how paparazzi would stalk her.
And these are the types of individuals Brit speaks about in the first verse. These people are referred to as feening group of professionals who would even take “pictures of (her) derriere” and post them in magazines. So it’s like they want a “piece of (her)” literally.
But more to the point of the titular statement is her using the term in an old-school, aggressive type of manner. In other words, back in the day asking someone who provokes you ‘do you want a piece of me’ was equivalent to challenging them to a fight (in a “cute” sort of way).
And likewise, Spears is letting it be known that she is not going to back down to the likes of paps or other intruders in her life.
In fact instead of paparazzi, in the second verse she rather turns her attention to over-aggressive, exploitative fans if you will.
These are the types of individuals who try to get too close to celebrities and intentionally piss them off in the name of subsequently pursuing a payday.
But the singer is telling such-minded individuals to make sure they’re sure before trying to play her like that.
Then she turns her attention to the media proper. And what she’s basically saying is that they have the tendency to sensationalize stories about celebrities for their own selfish reasons.
But if you read between the lines of the gossip they spin about her in particular, you will notice that it doesn’t even make logical sense. But regardless, their actions are so intrusive that it has everyone in the entertainment industry on guard.
Main Sentiment of “Piece of Me”
Now with that being said, believe it r not, the primary sentiment of this song isn’t even frustration. Rather to be perfectly honest, “Piece of Me” is primarily braggadocious in nature.
And how’s that so? We say this because on top of challenging paps, the tabloid media and scam artists, Britney knows that she is the sh-t.
The fact that people are all up in her business like that is indicative of the fact that she is mega-famous, i.e. “Miss American Dream”.
And the extreme efforts such entities go through to get close to her further indicate that reality.
And no, this is not to imply that she actually enjoys being constantly scrutinized and publicized in front of the entire world. If she could, she would punch the people who are doing so in the face, if we may say.
But ultimately it’s like on top of touting her celebrity, she’s letting it be known that she isn’t someone who’s not going to allow others to push her around.
Release of “Piece of Me”
This track is from Britney Spears’ 2007 project titled “Blackout”. Despite being a global hit, it was the first of her studio albums not to top the Billboard 200. And this track, “Piece of Me”, was the second of three singles released from that effort.
The other are two singles from “Blackout” are as follows:
- “Gimme More”
- “Break the Ice“
The day “Piece of Me” came out was on 27 November 2007. And the labels that put it out are Jive Records and Zomba Recordings.
Writing and Production
The producers and co-writers of this track are a Swedish duo known as Bloodshy & Avant (Pontus Winnberg). And as far as writing the song is concerned, they worked with another Swede, Klas Åhlund .
Bloodshy also contributes backup vocals to the track as does yet another Swedish musician, a singer called Robyn, whose level of participation is reportedly underestimated.
Wayne Isham, a name you’ll come across a lot as far as music videos of A list artists are concerned, directed the official visual for this one.
It was filmed at a restaurant/nightclub in L.A. known as Social Hollywood. And the entire affair was no easy matter.
In fact those involved had to pull a patience-testing 20-hour workday. This included Britney herself despite the fact that she arrived on the scene, to the frustration of many, a good 12-hours late.
And according to Isham, the reason was Spears having “50, 65, 75 people running down the street chasing her car”. Moreover at the time she was catering to her two sons. The older son would have just been around two-years old at that time. But once she did buckle down and get to work, according once again to Isham she “just kicked a-s”.
A Successful Video
The video proved to be a massive success, especially as far as the MTV Video Music Awards are concerned.
That is to say the clip earned Britney and co. three VMAs in 2008, winning all of the categories it was nominated in.
And it was in fact nominated in three of the most-important – Video of Year, Best Pop Video and Best Female Video. And concerning Spears’ own reaction to those accolades, she revealed that she was surprised the video won the accolades in question.
According to her, the reason for her surprise was because she had done far more better videos than it.
Moreover the clip spawned a contest, via MTV, called Britney Spears Wants a Piece of You. Contestants were tasked with creating their own edit of the video using various sources of Britney Spears’ footage and a particular piece of software called the MTV Video Remixer.
Even as late as 2021, the clip to “Piece of Me” is listed amongst the top 70 most expensive music videos ever. The visual cost, in the dollar amount of its day, half-a-million dollars to create.
Just like it’s video, the song itself was also a hit. Many critics consider it the premiere tune to be found on Britney’s “Blackout” album.
It topped Billboard’s Dance Club Songs chart, in addition to breaking the top 20 of the Hot 100 and going platinum in the US.
Worldwide, it peaked at number two on the UK Singles Chart and scored a number one in Ireland. And it appeared on over 20 music charts globally, also going platinum in Australia.
And in 2018 she also engaged in what was called the Piece of Me Tour, which lasted for four months.