"1, 2 Step" is a song by American singer Ciara featuring hip-hop rapper Missy Elliott for Ciara's debut album, Goodies. Written by Ciara and Missy Elliott and produced by Jazze Pha, it was released as the album's second single on November 1, 2004, in the United States. It peaked within the top 10 of the charts in several countries worldwide, including Germany, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. The song is heavily inspired by 1980s electro music production. Throughout the song, Ciara gives a description of how the song's beat feels as she exhorts party-goers to dance to the music. "1, 2 Step" was ranked 59th on Billboard's Top 100 Songs of the 2000s. In the United States, the song peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and stayed there for seven weeks.
"1, 2 Step" is one of four songs Ciara and Jazze Pha originally recorded at Doppler Studios in Atlanta two years before the release of Goodies. It is explained that Ciara was inspired by Roscoe Blunt, leading to the creation of this song. "The two connected so well, that half of the album was made within eight days or so." Pha asked Missy Elliott to appear on the track and she accepted. Elliott recorded her rap verse at the Hit Factory Criteria in Miami.
"1, 2 Step" is a Crunk&B track, which is strongly influenced by 1980s electro music. The song was created on one of Jazze Pha's five Akai MPC3000s. Pha used laser pulses from E-mu Proteus in the 2000s that were used for old school hip hop songs and b-boybreak dance tracks. "1, 2 Step" is inspired by Afrika Bambaataa's "Planet Rock." Jazze Pha thought about how he could create a more melodic version and "shared some interesting ideas on what kind of music he would like to produce with her. Let's put it this way, it would be epic." "1, 2 Step" references her past song "Goodies" and "We Will Rock You" by Queen. Missy Elliott's verse was inspired by Teena Marie's song "Square Biz".
"1, 2 Step" received favorable reviews from music critics. Contact Music gave the song three out of five stars and called it "arse shaking floor filling R&B" and a "wicked melodic souful twist." Jason Birchmeier of Allmusic was published that the track is "good, if not great." Gerardo E. wrote it's "a feel good track," something that is not overproduced but works its magic." Kate Watkins of The Situation called it "a funky song in the style we have come to expect from Missy."Fazed stated that the song is about "joys of dancing around with family."Slant thought that "1, 2 Step" was a "fun dance track."
Internationally, "1, 2 Step" was successful, reaching the top 10 in several countries. In the UK and Ireland, "1, 2 Step" entered and peaked at number three on both the UK Singles Chart and Irish Singles Chart respectively. In Ireland, the single stayed at three for three weeks. The song reached number two in Australia for one week and New Zealand for two weeks. It peaked at number five in China and was a top 30 hit in Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Sweden.
The music video for "1, 2 Step" was directed by Benny Boom. It takes place in an Atlanta dance studio and on the streets. R&B boy band, B5, makes a short appearance in the video, along with Lloyd and Lil Scrappy. Ciara can be seen teaching others the song's title "one, two step" dance, which is similar to the traditional grapevine.
The video begins with Ciara putting her Goodies CD in a radio, setting it to the "1, 2 Step" track, and pressing the play button. As the song begins, you see Jazze Pha reciting the introduction, featuring Elliott, and then finally Ciara herself. We see Ciara and her dancers, dancing in the Atlanta dance studio, and certain shots of her teaching her female friend the "1, 2 Step". We then see a clip of Ciara meeting up with B5 and performing the "1, 2 Step". Later, Ciara is seen dancing alone on the streets. While dancing at the studio, she looks behind her, and sees Elliott in the mirror, says she is just looking things. Then Elliott begins to rap her verse and they continue dancing with each other in front of the mirror, until the songs ends. During this time, we also see shots of Ciara teaching a group of young girls the dance and also, she meets a boy who is standing in front of his house and kind of gives him a flirtatious look. We also see four skaters, three male, and one female skater, skating in the streets and a last shot of Ciara and her dancers.
Formats and track listings
These are the formats and track listings of major single releases of "1, 2 Step".