Ignition (Remix)

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"Ignition (Remix)"
Single by R. Kelly
from the album Chocolate Factory
  • "Apologies of a Thug"
  • "What Do I Do"
ReleasedOctober 22, 2002 (2002-10-22)
  • 3:16 (original version)
  • 3:09 (remix)
  • 6:25 (full version)
Songwriter(s)Robert Kelly
Producer(s)R. Kelly
R. Kelly singles chronology
"The World's Greatest"
"Ignition (Remix)"

"Ignition (Remix)" is a song written and produced by American R&B singer R. Kelly. It was released in 2002 as the lead single from his sixth studio album Chocolate Factory (2003). It is viewed as one of his most well-known songs and has been popular in the United States, Europe and Oceania.

"Ignition (Remix)" peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 for five consecutive weeks behind 50 Cent's "In Da Club". Outside the United States, the song topped the charts in Australia, New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom.[1] It was later included on the updated version of Rolling Stone's 500 greatest songs of all time in 2010 at number 494. The song was listed at #19 on Pitchfork Media's top 500 songs of the 2000s.


The original song "Ignition" was first recorded in 2002 after the alleged statutory rape tape was a hot topic in the media. The original "Ignition" was planned to be one of the songs on his forthcoming album at that time called Loveland; the album got leaked later on, and Kelly decided to turn Loveland to Chocolate Factory, record mostly new songs and remix some of the songs on that album. "Ignition" was one of the songs he decided to remix after people in the studio liked the end part of the song, which would later become the intro to the remix.

On Genius, Kelly explained the song: "First of all it was an old, old track that I had in my computer for a long time. When I pulled it up, for some reason I just heard “ignition” on it, so I start really just messing with the words and a lot of metaphors start coming to me. You know “trying to get you to my hotel/ you must be a football coach/ the way you got me playing the field/ So baby give me that “toot toot, that beep beep.” You know what I mean? Just basically having fun with the song from there, once I tapped into the metaphor of it."[2] In a 2016 interview, Kelly claimed that he wrote the basis of "Ignition (Remix)", including the main lyric of the refrain, approximately five years before he wrote the song called "Ignition".[3]

Song structure[edit]

The song is sometimes called simply "Ignition" colloquially and for marketing purposes, including as the title of one of its releases as a single and on the Billboard charts. While it shares the song title with the original version of "Ignition", the remix version is most commonly referred to in writing to avoid confusion with the original. The two songs share some instrumental elements (guitars and percussion) but are otherwise completely different.

The original "Ignition" was released first to urban contemporary radio stations although it never officially charted on Billboard in this manner at first. At the end of the song, Kelly gives the listeners "a lil' preview of the remix", which includes only the first verse then fades out. The "remix to Ignition" was released weeks later to urban and Top 40 pop stations, and it gained significantly more attention. While many stations never played the original but opted for the remix only, others played both songs, merged, at six minutes total; it was structured that way on the Chocolate Factory album.

The song contains a minor sample from the intro of R. Kelly's 2001 hit song "Fiesta (Remix)". Additionally, the original version opens with the same spoken-word intro that originally appeared in his earlier hit "You Remind Me of Something".

Music video[edit]

The music video was shot in a club where Kelly is seen wearing a Boston Celtics jersey. The club is meant to be the inside of a stretch Club Hummer limousine. He is also seen in a different part of the club wearing a white fur coat. Nick Cannon is also featured in the music video as the DJ. David N. Feldman also makes a cameo as the dancing white hipster. Ken Foree also makes a cameo in the music video. The music video is directed by Bille Woodruff, who has directed numerous other videos for Kelly.

Live performances[edit]

Kelly often performed "Ignition (Remix)" at events and concerts; he sang this song three times at the BET Awards show (2003, 2004 and 2013).

In 2013, R. Kelly surprised the crowd at the music festival Coachella coming in to the stage and performing a mash-up between "Ignition (Remix)" and "1901" with French rock band Phoenix; a year later, Kelly again surprised the crowd with the song, this time at Lollapalooza with Chance the Rapper.

Chart performance[edit]

"Ignition (Remix)" was a huge success for Kelly. In the United States, it peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 for five consecutive weeks from March 29 to April 26, 2003. It was blocked from the top spot by 50 Cent's "In da Club" and became his most successful song in the United States in the 2000s.

In the United Kingdom, the song debuted and peaked at the top of the UK Singles Chart, where it remained for four weeks, becoming Kelly's second number-one song in Britain after "I Believe I Can Fly" in April 1997.[1] In April 2013, a decade after its initial release, "Ignition (Remix)" re-entered the UK Singles Chart at number 43.

"Ignition (Remix)" also topped the charts in Australia, New Zealand and the Republic of Ireland.

The song also peaked at number two on the 2003 Billboard Year-End Chart, yet again behind "In da Club". Due to the success of this song and other songs by Kelly the same year, this also made him number two on the "Year End Best Artist" chart, behind 50 Cent.[4]


The remix received positive reviews from both critics and fans upon release.[5]

The remix was included on the updated version of Rolling Stone's 500 greatest songs of all time in 2010 at number 494.[5] The song was listed at #19 on Pitchfork Media's top 500 songs of the 2000s.


Formats and track listings[edit]

  • Digital download
  1. "Ignition (Remix)" – 3:07

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from AllMusic.[35]

Soundtrack appearances[edit]

The song has been featured in the films Love Don't Cost a Thing (2003), Soul Plane (2004) and 30 Minutes or Less (2011).

The song is in the episode "The Gang Group Dates" on the sitcom It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

The song is featured in the Ubisoft Just Dance series of games, on The Hip Hop Dance Experience (2012).

Cover versions[edit]

Recorded covers[edit]

  • German hip-hop group K.I.Z. covered the song with entirely new (German language) lyrics, as "Was willst du machen?" ("What do you want to do?"), on their 2006 mixtape Böhse Enkelz.
  • Alain Clark covered the song on the 2011 album De Wereld Draait Door Recordings.
  • Jinja Safari covered the song for the 2012 compilation album Triple J: Like a Version, Volume 8.
  • In 2013, the band Rixton covered the song and released an official music video of the band performing it.[36] They later performed it on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and other shows.
  • The Wind and The Wave released a cover of the song in 2015.

Television and radio performances[edit]

Live covers[edit]

Other artists who have covered the song include Ed Sheeran and Bruno Mars.

Web video[edit]



The sketch comedy show Chappelle's Show had a 2003 skit parodying the R. Kelly sex tape, which consisted of music videos for the fictional songs "Piss on You" and "Piss on You (Remix)". "Piss on You" parodied the 2001 R. Kelly song "Feelin' on Yo Booty", while "Piss on You (Remix)" parodied "Ignition (Remix)".

Samples and interpolations[edit]

"Don't Matter", by Akon on his 2006 album Konvicted, borrows the melody of "Ignition (Remix)" in its verse.

Other legacy[edit]

A portion of Michael Jackson's Private Home Movies, a 2003 compilation of home movies which Jackson recorded throughout his life and narrated, showed him dancing to "Ignition (Remix)" in the back of Brett Ratner's car during a 2003 vacation in Miami, Florida.[47] Kelly, who claimed to have been unsuccessfully asked by Jackson to write a song similar to "Ignition (Remix)" for Jackson's use, later stated in 2009 after having seen the clip on the Web that "I cried when I first saw it on YouTube[...]I've written a lot of songs, I've been around the world, and I've won all kinds of awards and everything else, but[...]nothing told me, I didn't know I had made it until I saw Michael Jackson in the back of that car singing and dancing to my song 'Ignition'. That's when it became official. I've been in the business for over 20 years, but that's when it became official to me that Kels is here, baby."[48]

In March 2013, a petition was launched on We the People requesting that the U.S. national anthem be changed from "The Star-Spangled Banner" to "Ignition (Remix)".[49] Referencing the song's lyrics, the petition stated that "We, the undersigned, would like the Obama administration to recognise the need for a new national anthem, one that even a decade after its creation, is still hot and fresh out the kitchen."[50]


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[51] Platinum 70,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[52] Platinum 10,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[54] 2× Platinum 767,829[53]

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

Ignition (Viceroy Remix)[edit]

"Ignition (Viceroy Remix)"
Single by Viceroy & R. Kelly
Released2 December 2014
Recorded2002 (vocals)
2014 (song)
Songwriter(s)Robert Kelly
R. Kelly singles chronology
"Bump & Grind 2014"
"Ignition (Viceroy Remix)"

"Ignition (Viceroy Remix)" or "Ignition (Viceroy "Jet Life" Remix)" is a 2014 remix to "Ignition (Remix)", the song was released on iTunes as a single.[55] The remix was made by "Viceroy" as it says on the title. The song was uploaded to R. Kelly's Vevo the same day and also on his Spotify account.[56]

Formats and track listings[edit]

  • Digital download[57]
  1. "Ignition (Viceroy Remix)" – 3:43


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  3. ^ "The Confessions of R. Kelly". GQ. 2016-01-20. Retrieved 2019-03-25.
  4. ^ a b "Billboard Year-End Chart-Toppers: 2003". Rock On The Net. Retrieved 2017-05-30.
  5. ^ a b "R. Kelly, 'Ignition (Remix)' | 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". Rolling Stone. 2011-04-07. Retrieved 2017-05-30.
  6. ^ "Australian-charts.com – R. Kelly – Ignition Remix". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
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  8. ^ "Ultratop.be – R. Kelly – Ignition" (in French). Ultratip.
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  10. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – R. Kelly – Ignition" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts.
  11. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Ignition". Irish Singles Chart.
  12. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 15, 2003" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40
  13. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – R. Kelly – Ignition" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  14. ^ "Charts.nz – R. Kelly – Ignition Remix". Top 40 Singles.
  15. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  16. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – R. Kelly – Ignition Remix". Singles Top 100.
  17. ^ "Swisscharts.com – R. Kelly – Ignition Remix". Swiss Singles Chart.
  18. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  19. ^ "Official Independent Singles Chart Top 50". Official Charts Company. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  20. ^ "Official R&B Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company.
  21. ^ a b "R. Kelly Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
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  23. ^ "R. Kelly Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard.
  24. ^ "R. Kelly Chart History (Rhythmic)". Billboard.
  25. ^ "ARIA Charts – End of Year Charts – Top 100 Singles 2003". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved January 3, 2012.
  26. ^ "2003 Year End Charts". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved January 3, 2012.
  27. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 2003". MegaCharts. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  28. ^ "Top Selling Singles of 2003". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved January 2, 2013.
  29. ^ "End of Year Charts: 2003" (PDF). UKChartsPlus.
  30. ^ "2003 Year End Charts – The Billboard Hot 100 Singles & Tracks". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved January 3, 2012.
  31. ^ "2003 Year End Charts – R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved January 3, 2012.
  32. ^ Radio 1 Chart of the Decade, as presented by DJ Nihal on December 29, 2009
  33. ^ "The Billboard Hot 100 Singles & Tracks - Decade Year End Charts". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved April 18, 2011.
  34. ^ "Hot 100 turns 60". Billboard. Retrieved August 1, 2018.
  35. ^ "R. Kelly – Chocolate Factory Album Personnel". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. December 2, 2014. Retrieved December 2, 2014.
  36. ^ ""Ignition" cover by Rixton on YouTube". Retrieved April 3, 2014.
  37. ^ "The Ragtime Gals: Ignition (Remix)". YouTube. 2014-02-18. Retrieved 2017-05-30.
  38. ^ "On Air with Ryan Seacrest - News & More from the Live Radio Show". Ryanseacrest.com. Retrieved 2017-05-30.
  39. ^ "Jess Glynne covers R. Kelly's Ignition in the 1Xtra Live Lounge". YouTube. 2014-07-08. Retrieved 2017-05-30.
  40. ^ "Jess Glynne - ignition (R.Kelly Cover) - live and acoustic @ ENERGY". YouTube. 2014-08-12. Retrieved 2017-05-30.
  41. ^ Billboard (2014-12-09). "Adam Levine Sings R. Kelly's 'Ignition (Remix)' at Annual 'Voice' Concert". Billboard. Retrieved 2017-05-30.
  42. ^ ""Young The Giant covers R. Kelly" on YouTube". Retrieved April 4, 2014.
  43. ^ "Ignition(remix) - James Dalby (R Kelly Cover)". YouTube. 2013-01-29. Retrieved 2017-05-30.
  44. ^ "Ignition (remix) - Vintage Sinatra Style Swing R. Kelly Cover ft. Rayvon Owen". YouTube. 2015-12-11. Retrieved 2017-05-30.
  45. ^ "Ignition (Remix) + All About That Bass - AJR Cover". YouTube. 2014-11-20. Retrieved 2017-05-30.
  46. ^ Billboard (2015-02-23). "Phoebe Ryan Follows R. Kelly/Miguel Mash-Up With Amazing Debut Single". Billboard. Retrieved 2017-05-30.
  47. ^ swtchell (June 30, 2009). "Michael Jackson dancing to Ignition". YouTube.
  48. ^ GeniusOfRKelly (July 30, 2012). "R. Kelly Speaks On Michael Jackson Dancing To 'Ignition (Remix)'". YouTube.
  49. ^ "Sign This Petition to Make R. Kelly's "Ignition (Remix)" Our National Anthem". Idolator.
  50. ^ "Pictures of 13 Petitions Started By Music Fans". NME.
  51. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2003 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. Archived from the original on 2020-08-19.
  52. ^ "New Zealand single certifications – R. Kelly – Ignition (Remix)". Recorded Music NZ.
  53. ^ Copsey, Rob (September 19, 2017). "The UK's Official Chart 'millionaires' revealed". Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  54. ^ "British single certifications – R. Kelly – Ignition (Remix)". British Phonographic Industry.Select singles in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type Ignition (Remix) in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  55. ^ "Ignition (Viceroy Remix) - Single av R. Kelly på Apple Music". Itunes.apple.com. 2014-12-02. Retrieved 2017-05-30.
  56. ^ "R. Kelly - Ignition (Viceroy Remix)". YouTube. 2014-12-02. Retrieved 2017-05-30.
  57. ^ "iTunes - Music - Ignition (Viceroy Remix) - Single by Viceroy & R. Kelly". iTunes.

External links[edit]