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"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. Gaga originally revealed the song on Twitter: "I would rather be poor and happy than rich and alone" in February of 2013.
In the track-by-track commentary of ARTPOP, 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.
"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.
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.
- Album version
- I Wanna Be With U (Live)
|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
|Assistant recording||Eric Lynn, Joshua Smith, Dave “Squirrel” Covell|
|Additional recording by||Bill Malina at CRC Studios, Chicago, IL|
|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|
|Assistant mixers||Chris Galland and Delhert Bowers at Larrabee Studios|
|Additional mixing by||Andrew Scheps at Punkerpad Mobile, Los Angeles, CA|
|Mastering||Gene Grimaldi at Oasis Mastering, Burbank, CA|