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Paper Gangsta (song)

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TheFame
Lady Gaga
Writer(s) Lady Gaga
RedOne
Producer(s) RedOne
Length 4:23

The Fame track listing

"Paper Gangsta" is a song written by Lady Gaga and producer RedOne from Gaga's debut album, The Fame in 2008. The song relates to Gaga's feeling about her six month record deal with Island Def Jam in 2006-2007. In 2010, the song was used in the music video for "Telephone", it is playing on a stereo set towards the beginning of the video.

Writing and background

The song was recorded with the internal microphone of Gaga's MacBook Pro and finished at the Record Plant. Lady Gaga's vocal range is B3-D5 during the song and are modified with auto-tune. The instruments featured are a piano layered with strong synthetic beats along with various RedOne's samples. The lyrics of the song refers to Gaga being dropped by Island Def Jam and how the label let her down. Not only about her bad experience with getting signed but to have nothing to move through. The other meaning of the song is her talking about wanting a "real man", or a relationship with a guy who's "just as fabulous" as her.

Performances

PaperGangsta-MB-Theater

The song was performed for the first time in 2009 during the first North American leg of The Monster Ball Tour. For the performance, her voice was altered using an auto-tune microphone (Gaga purposefully used the auto-tune microphone to show how Island Def Jam wanted her to change). She wore a red bra and thong, with a matching red hat (both by Zaldy Goco) while spinning on a dentist chair. Also, towards the end of the song, she gets out of the chair and her back-up dancers (all female) go into the dentist chair while it's still spinning. Gaga then grabs what looks like thick, black tape and puts an end onto a dancer in the chair, and lets the tape "wrap" around the dancers as they pile onto the chair. She then finishes the song by yelling, "Fuck you bitches!" on several occasions.

Tour Dates Performances
Monster Ball: Theater version 2009 - 2010 (Nov 27 - Jan 20) 30
Total of performances 30

Lyrics

Midnight rush with a pen in my hand.
Inkin' Lincoln, sand-script with a fan.
Remembering me before we began.
Sometimes I feel so Def in the Jam.
But the ones who loved me, told me to stop.
Like homegirl can't catch shit if it drops.
A superwoman chick, you know that I am.
Some shit don't fly by me in a man.

'Cuz I do not accept any less
than someone just as real, as fabulous.

Don't want no paper gangsta.
Won't sign away my life to
someone who's got the flavor
but don't got no follow through.
Don't want no paper gangsta.
Won't sign no monkey papers.
I don't do funny business.
Not interested in fakers.
Don't want no paper gangsta.

Uh oh
Don't want no paper gangsta.
Uh oh
Don't want no paper gangsta.

Got something really shiny to start.
Want me to sign there on your Range Rover heart?
I've heard it before
Yeah, the dinners were nice.
'Till your diamond words melted into some ice.
You should have been rapping to the beat of my song Mr. California,
Paper gangsta and I'm looking for love, not an empty page.
Full of stuff that means nothing but "You've been played."

'Cuz I do not accept any less
than someone just as real, as fabulous.

Don't want no paper gangsta.
Won't sign away my life to
someone who's got the flavor
but don't got no follow through.
Don't want no paper gangsta.
Won't sign no monkey papers.
I don't do funny business.
Not interested in fakers.
Don't want no paper gangsta.

Uh oh
Don't want no paper gangsta.
Uh oh
Don't want no paper gangsta.
Don't want no paper gangsta.

(Background vocals)
Oh eh oh ah, oh eh oh ah
Oh eh oh ah, oh eh oh ah
Oh eh oh ah, oh eh oh ah

Don't want no paper gangsta.
Won't sign away my life to
someone who's got the flavor
but don't got no follow through.
Don't want no paper gangsta.
Won't sign no monkey papers.
I don't do funny business.
Not interested in fakers.
Don't want no paper gangsta.

Don't want no paper gangsta.
Won't sign away my life to
someone who's got the flavor
but don't got no follow through.
Don't want no paper gangsta.
Won't sign no monkey papers.
I don't do funny business.
Not interested in fakers.
Don't want no paper gangsta.

Uh oh
Don't want no paper gangsta.
Uh oh
Don't want no paper gangsta.
Don't want no paper gangsta.
Don't want no paper gangsta.
Don't want no paper gangsta.

(oh eh oh ah, oh eh oh ah).

Credits

Personnel

  • All instruments played and programmed — RedOne
  • Recorded and engineered — RedOne at Record Plant (Hollywood, California, Us) in January of 2008
  • Mixed — Robert Orton

Publishing

  • Stefani Germanotta P/K/A Lady Gaga (BMI) Sony/ATV Songs, LLC/ House of Gaga Publishing, LLC / GloJoe Music Inc. (BMI)
  • Sony/ATV Songs, LLC/ Songs of RedOne, LLC (BMI)

References

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