Dope (Lady Gaga song)
"Dope" is a song recorded by American singer Lady Gaga for her third studio album, Artpop (2013). It was released on November 4, 2013, by Interscope Records as the second promotional single from the record, following "Venus". It was written by Gaga, Paul "DJ White Shadow" Blair, Dino Zisis, and Nick Monson and produced by Gaga and Rick Rubin. Following her hip surgery and cancellation of the Born This Way Ball tour, Gaga became addicted to drugs, which helped her get relief from the pain of surgery and also to cope with her sabbatical. "Dope" was written about this addiction and evolved from a song she had previously composed for her fans, about her confessions. It was added to Artpop because Gaga felt the album needed something more autobiographical.
The song received positive reviews, with critics complimenting its simple production, the songwriting and Gaga's vocals. An electronic rock lament, in the vein of Irish folk ballad rue, "Dope" is a bittersweet song centered on a dark theme. It has a minimal production and is only composed off Gaga's vocals sung in an intoxicated slur. Lyrically it talks about substance abuse and the yearning for a long lost love. Previous to the release Gaga uploaded an image of herself on Instagram, wearing a snapback featuring the word DOPE. She also posted the song's lyrics there, triggering the social media website's concern. The artwork featured Gaga with a big blazer, her face covered with a hat and a grill that made her teeth appear larger. Media outlets found the picture to be "odd" and compared it to different horror films.
Gaga performed the song at the 2013 YouTube Music Awards, wearing a red shirt and playing the piano while crying. The performance in its musical aspect was praised for its emotional quotient. After its release, "Dope" reached the top of the music charts in Hungary and Spain, while attaining top-ten positions in Belgium, France, Greece, Italy and Luxembourg. The streams from the YouTube Music Awards performance helped the song become Gaga's 13th top-ten on the Billboard Hot 100 reaching number eight, as well as her highest charting promotional single to date.