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|"I Made It"|
|Song by Fantasia featuring Tye Tribbett from the album The Definition Of...|
|Released||July 29, 2016|
|Studio||LLC/Motown Gospel Studio
(Brentwood, Los Angeles, California)
|The Definition Of... track listing|
"I Made It" is a song recorded by American singer Fantasia, featuring American singer-songwriter Tye Tribbett. It was written and produced by Tribbett and David Outing for Fantasia's fifth studio album, The Definition Of... (2016). Tribett developed it in collaboration with Fantasia, blending her personal testimony and his experiences with God into the lyrics. "I Made It" was described by Fantasia as a personal song. She explained it was about refusing to let people control her and moving forward from her past struggles. "I Made It" is an uptempo gospel record and its lyrics revolve around an appreciation for God and faith.
"I Made It" received generally positive reviews from music critics who praised its composition and cited it as a reason that Fantasia should record a gospel album. Mixed responses to the song were more critical of its sound and its reflection of the album as a whole. It peaked at number 15 on the Billboard Gospel Airplay chart, and remained on the charts for 24 weeks. Fantasia first performed the track on a BET concert special. She also sang it on Good Morning America, as well as on Tribbett's show Joyful Noise. Her performances on Good Morning America and Joyful Noise were met with positive feedback.
"I Made It" was written and produced by Tye Tribbett and David Outing. Prior to its release on her album The Definition Of... (2016), Fantasia had played a portion of the song on Periscope and revealed to her fans that she worked with Tribbett. In the video, she incorrectly reported that she had handled the songwriting by herself. Tribbett explained its concept and his collaboration with Fantasia to Christine Thomasos of The Christian Post, saying: "We've been talking about working together for a minute. So when the opportunity came it was kind of like a no brainer". He said that he instantly agreed to work with Fantasia after receiving a phone call to write a song for her. Fantasia contacted Tribbett at the suggestion of music executive Ron Fair. Prior to the writing process, Tribbett had asked to "do it on [his] terms" and "maintain the integrity of his message" by creating an inspirational gospel record. He used Fantasia's testimony, as well as his own experiences with God, as inspiration for the lyrics. He described the song as the result of a close connection between Fantasia and himself: "I basically just combined testimonies between her and myself when I wrote the song and it resonated so richly with her, her audience and with everybody."
Through her Twitter account, Fantasia discussed how she feels a strong connection between her music career and her Christian faith. When asked whether she would record a gospel album, she responded that all of her music was already a part of the genre and that "[she] take[s] God with [her] everywhere [she] go[es]". While promoting the single "Lose to Win" (2013), she said she had a strong faith in religion and believed God had a plan for her. In an interview with Billboard, Fantasia explained The Definition Of... was developed to expand on the "rock soul" sound she introduced on her previous album Side Effects of You (2013). She defined "rock soul" as encompassing multiple genres, explaining it as an attempt to combine her soulful childhood singing in church with "a certain side of [her] that wants to tap into that whole rock world". According to Fantasia, "I Made It" was the first gospel song that she had written by herself. She said that she "was able to release everything I was carrying" by creating the record.
"I Made It" was recorded at the Motown Gospel Studio in Brentwood, Los Angeles. Tribbett appeared on the song courtesy of Tye Tribbett Worldwide, LLC and Motown Gospel. Fantasia's vocals were arranged by Tribbett and Fair. The strings were arranged and conducted by Fair. Dan Higgins arranged the horns, and Tim Davis served as the choir master. Fantasia's vocals were engineered by Fair and Pat Thrall at the Record Plant in Los Angeles. The strings and horns were engineered by Frank Wolf.
A 20-second sample of the song, where Fantasia sings the opening lyrics, and is believed by The Boombox to showcase the singer's ability to "bare it all: everything she’s gone through from childhood to now".
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The five-minute, 40-second gospel song was written in the key of G major with a tempo of 103 beats per minute. Instrumentation is provided by piano, organ, vibraphone, glockenspiel, harmonica, and a guitar. The instruments were played by Tribbett, Fair, Paul Jackson, Jr., and Frank Brunot. The song was described as "an uptempo, triumphant Gospel number" by online music magazine Singersroom. Fantasia told Us Weekly that the lyrics revolve around "how I don't let people talk about me like they used to [and] I control how I feel". She said the song deals with her attempted suicide and demanding relationships with her family, and how she wanted to bless people through her personal story and music. Christian Today's Czarina Ong referred to "I Made It" as Fantasia's "victory song" and "her song of success". According to Rito P. Asilo of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the song represents how Fantasia has reconciled with her feelings of "heartbreak, betrayal, and the character-forming pain of rejection and failure".
The song opens with Fantasia's testimony: "Listen, I done made it through the storm and the rain / So much heartache, pressure, so much pain / I been broken in two pieces, maybe more / And some nights I made my bed right on the floor." The lyrics contain direct references to Christianity, with Fantasia singing: "Thank you for never leaving me Lord Jesus!". She continues to express her gratitude with the lyrics: "You're the only one that never left me when everyone else just didn't care, you're the only one that really loved me. I made it. I made it through the storm." She describes having a close relationship and faith in religion by singing: "I got to say thank you Lord for keeping me, for grace and mercy. I thank you, because I made it!" According to Devin Lazerine of Rap-Up, Fantasia "triumphantly" expresses the song's message through her vocals on lyrics such as "I made it I made it, y’all! Still standing."
"I Made It" received mostly positive reviews from music critics, with The Boombox's Amber McKynzie commending Fantasia for openly sharing her story. A writer for EEWMagazineOnline praised the song and the overall album, saying that it represents how Fantasia has become: "[a] defiant and determined singer [who] is now playing by her own rules and refusing to be defined by the times, others' expectations, or genres". Its tempo was commended by Singersroom, which described it as a record "meant to get you out of our seat, and it will!" The song was called a "rousing inspirational number" by a reviewer from the soul music website SoulBounce, which viewed it as another reason why Fantasia should release a gospel album. In Entertainment Weekly, Chuck Arnold labeled "I Made It" one of the album's key tracks, describing it as a "spiritual turn-up". He followed this up by saying that the song could have been the finale for the musical The Color Purple, and agreed with SoulBounce that the song reflected how Fantasia should further pursue gospel music. Raquelle Harris of ThisIsRnB found the record a return to Fantasia's roots in gospel music, and praised its positive and motivational content.
The song did receive some mixed responses. AllMusic's Andy Kellman referred to it as a "triumphant Tye Tribbett-driven gospel belter", but cited it as an example of the album's uneven sound. The record was suggested by PopCrush's Matthew Scott Donnelly for someone in need of a "additional I-persevered-and-finally-made-it battle cry". However, Donnelly felt the instrumental was too similar to "Under the Sea" (1989). Even though Edward Bowser of the music website Soul in Stereo wrote that "I Made It" was "gospel-drenched" and a "rousing finale", he criticized it as unmemorable.
"I Made It" debuted at number 29 on the Billboard Gospel Airplay chart on September 10, 2016. It reached a peak position of number 15 on the Billboard Gospel Airplay chart, and remained on the charts for 24 consecutive weeks.
Fantasia first performed "I Made It" during the first in a series of live concerts Broadcast by the cable TV channel BET on July 28.  Billboard's Lauren Craddock viewed the performance as Fantasia "embrac[ing] her gospel background". Fantasia performed the song on Good Morning America on July 25, 2016. Tribbett responded positively to the performance on his Instagram account, writing: "What an honor to bring glory to GOD on such a platform." It was also praised by reviewers from Rap-Up and EEWMagazineOnline as "powerful" and "outstanding". Elle Breezy of Singersroom described Fantasia as "bringing a bit of positivity to the morning show" through her performance, and a writer from SoulBounce said that she could "wake everybody up better than a double shot of espresso ever could". On October 16, 2016, Fantasia sang it for the first time live with Tribbett on his BET gospel music show Joyful Noise. A preview was released through BET four days prior to the broadcast. Fantasia and Tribbett's performance was praised as a "powerful duet" by Christine Thomasos of The Christian Post.
|US Gospel Airplay (Billboard)||15|