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"Boss" (stylized as "BO$$") is the lead single from Fifth Harmony's debut studio album, Reflection. It was written by Eric Frederic, Joe Spargur, Daniel Kyriakides, Gamal Lewis, Jacob Kasher and Taylor Parks, and was produced by Ricky Reed, Joe London and Daylight. The song was released on July 7, 2014.

The song peaked at number 43 on the Billboard Hot 100, number 37 on the Mainstream Top 40 chart and number 75 on the Canadian Hot 100. It reached the top 40 in countries like Spain and the United Kingdom. The song was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.

An accompanying music video for the song, choreographed and directed by Fatima Robinson, was released on the band's Vevo page that showed the group performing with chairs and interacting at a photo shoot and an arm wrestling contest.

Background Edit

Fifth Harmony played a teaser snippet of the track near the end of their performance at the Kiss 108 FM Concert in Boston on May 30, 2014. The song was later confirmed for their debut album, set to be released in fall 2014.

Speaking to MTV, the group stated that "the whole point of this song is for girls who are our age to turn it on and feel confident and empowered because at this age being insecure is such a common occurrence. So I think when you turn that song on, you feel sexy and feel good about yourself."

After performing the single live for the first time in its entirety on the Today Show, the group said; "We feel like so many people are competitive with one another and we want to bring everyone together and have people encourage one another. That's what it's all about".

Reception Edit

Critical responses Edit

"Boss" received acclaim from music critics with some praising the group's mature sound and the song's production. Brie Hiramine of J-14 gave a positive review saying "Fifth Harmony's new single 'Boss' sounded pretty fierce when we heard a short snippet of the song last month, we can now confirm that the group has ramped up their fierceness levels. "Boss" is all about being an independent woman, we can definitely get behind that!"

Praising the group's new mature image, James Dinh of SheKnows saying: "Fifth Harmony is ready to show off their grown and sexy side or at least their record company is. Just like many girl groups that have come before them, the product of 2012's The X Factor is back with their new single, 'Boss' and an image that is just a bit more feisty than when they released last year's Better Together."

Carolyn Menyes of Music Times gave a positive review saying "Filled with urban music influences, 'Boss' shows a markedly more mature Fifth Harmony, with tribal beats swooping beneath the track's female-powered flare. Full of keen pop culture references (the song also name checks Kanye West, Kim Kardashian and Beats by Dre), "Boss" could very well become dated in future years but for now it's the sort of ballsy bossy music pop needs".

In a positive review, Christina Lee of Idolator was also complimentary of the song, stating that, "Boss proves to be a working girl anthem in the tradition of "Bills, Bills, Bills," Kelis' "Bossy" and TLC's "No Scrubs," though for an age of filming #NaeNae Vines at the White House. The X Factor mentor Simon Cowell was onto something – with songs like the savvy "Boss," girl groups were bound to come back in style".

Commercial performance Edit

For the marked date of July 17, 2014, "Boss" debuted at number 43 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with first-week sales of 75,000, becoming the group's best week sales as well as highest-charting song at that time. The song charted for fifteen weeks and earned the group their first top 40 entry at the time on the Mainstream Top 40 peaking at number 37. "Boss" was certified Platinum in the United States for selling combined sales and track-equivalent streams units of one million.

Elsewhere, the song charted at number 12 in Scotland, while peaking right outside the top 20 in the United Kingdom at number 21. The song made appearances in the top 40 in countries such as Czech Republic, Spain and Slovakia.

The producer of the song, Ricky Reed, stated "Boss" was censored from some radios around the country due to references of First Lady Michelle Obama.

Music video Edit

The official music video was streamed online on MTV's website on July 7, 2014 and it was released on Fifth Harmony's official Vevo channel on July 8, 2014. Scenes in the video include chair choreography, a catwalk-strutting photo shoot and an arm wrestling contest.

The music video was directed and choreographed by Fatima Robinson. A behind-the-scenes video was released on July 11, 2014. The video earned the group their second Vevo certification, for reaching over 100 million views on October 7, 2015.

Synopsis Edit

The video begins with the members of Fifth Harmony snapping their fingers to the rhythm of the song. Moments later, phrases such as "Think like a boss" and "Dreams don't work unless you do" as well as "Find Yourself. And be that." flash momentarily in the video. The group are now dressed in all black-colored outfits, sporting a more revealing persona. The word 'Boss' appears abruptly, in Hollywood-inspired lights. The members then perform several choreographed dances, before the words Boss, with the 's' stylized with a dollar symbol, appear. The scene switches to a model runway, where the girls are now wearing different outfits, with photographers taking pictures as each girl poses for their picture. They refer themselves to a "Boss", showing their self-confidence and feminist values.

The setting switches to the scene in the beginning in the video, except all the girls are now sitting in metallic chairs, dancing as the word "common sense" appears on the screen. This is reference to the lyric, "That's me, I'm confident Don't want yo compliments Use common sense". The girls then unanimously tell their beloved to keep quiet and listen to them. The girls perform more choreographed dance routines, including moving their feet and tilting their heads backwards at the same time. Then, as the girls tell their lover to give them respect, they all kick their chairs back in frustration.

The girls are now challenging some men to an arm-wrestling challenge. Normani beats one of her male opponents effortlessly. In a different scene, the girls are seen placing their hand next to their heart, pledging allegiance to a white flag with the words "Bo$$ Fifth Harmony" written in gold letters. They all salute the flag, before the scene shifts to Lauren using a Sony camera to take a picture at what is unknown to the viewer. Then, each girl approaches the end of the runway, where lights flash, as each girl is shown. The girls then move their feet in synchronized motion, where the words "Let me" "hear you" "say" appear chronologically in three different times.

As the girls repeatedly say the words "yeah", the scene moves back to the arm-wrestling challenge, except Dinah is now facing a male opponent. She distracts him by removing his cap and placing it on her head and while he is distracted, manages to beat him. Ally then faces her male opponent, who removes his shirt and shows off his physical fitness. The setting shifts to one where all the girls are wearing long old-fashioned dresses, all sitting in a vintage sofa, exuding confidence. Lights flash constantly before the scene changes back to the arm-wrestling challenge, where Ally beats her opponent. Camila and Lauren also challenge a male opponent, and win as well. The girls are now feeling optimistic and empowered, with each girl holding letters that spell out the word "Confident". The scene ends with each girl back in the earlier setting, united and embracing their self-beauty.

Live performances Edit

Fifth Harmony performed the song for the first time on The Today Show in New York City on the Rockefeller Plaza. followed by a performance at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards on the red carpet and at the 2014 MTV Europe Music Awards's pre-show on November 9, 2014.

The group performed "Boss" on BET's 106 and Park. It was performed again on the The X Factor 11th season on December 7, 2014. The girls performed it on Pitbull's New Year's Revolution that aired on Fox on December 31, 2014.

"Boss" is on the setlist for Fifth Harmony's performances at the 2015 New York, New York; Atlanta, Georgia; Chicago, Illinois; and Sunrise, Florida Jingle Ball concerts. They also performed the song during the 2016 Jingle Ball Tour concerts. It also part of the setlist used for The Reflection Tour.

Lyrics Edit

[Verse 1: Normani]
Every day is payday
Swipe my card then I do the Nae Nae
You're talking to a lady
I want a Kanye-ye, not a Ray J
So that's a no-no,
I'm a Maybach and you's a Volvo
This convo beat like Dre-e
I already know whatcha tryna say

[Pre-Chorus: Lauren & Camila]
You say that you a baller and I see you tryna holla
But that ain't how I was brought up, next
Working for the money cause that's what my mama taught me
So your ass better show me some respect

[Chorus: All & Camila & Normani]
Bo$$, Michelle Obama
Purse all heavy getting Oprah dollars
Bo$$, Michelle Obama
Purse all heavy getting Oprah dollars
Bo$$, Michelle Obama
Purse all heavy getting Oprah dollars
Bo$$, Michelle Obama
Purse all heavy getting Oprah dollars

[Verse 2: Normani]
C-O-N-F-I-D-E-N-T, that's me, I'm confident
Don't want yo compliments, use common sense,
I'm on my Michelle Obama (shhh)
Shut your mouth
Boy I think you know who run this house?
I ain't thirsting for no bae
'Cause I already know whatcha tryna say

[Pre-Chorus: Lauren & Camila]
You say that you a baller and I see you tryna holla
But that ain't how I was brought up, next
Working for the money cause that's what my mama taught me
So your ass better show me some respect

[Chorus: All & Camila & Normani]
Bo$$, Michelle Obama
Purse all heavy getting Oprah dollars
Bo$$, Michelle Obama
Purse all heavy getting Oprah dollars
Bo$$, Michelle Obama
Purse all heavy getting Oprah dollars
Bo$$, Michelle Obama
Purse all heavy getting Oprah dollars

[Bridge: Ally & Lauren & Camila]
I pledge allegiance to my independent girls in here, ooh baby
So if you're with us come on let me hear you say, yeah, yeah, yeah

[Pre-Chorus: Lauren & Camila & (Camila)]
You say that you a baller and I see you tryna holla
But that ain't how I was brought up (No-o-o-o), next
Working for the money cause that's what my mama taught me
So your ass better show me some respect

[Chorus: All & Camila & Normani]
Bo$$, Michelle Obama
Purse all heavy getting Oprah dollars
Bo$$, Michelle Obama
Purse all heavy getting Oprah dollars
Bo$$, Michelle Obama
Purse all heavy getting Oprah dollars
Bo$$, Michelle Obama
Purse all heavy getting Oprah dollars

[Outro: Ally]
Hey, hey, hey, hey.....
Woohoo!
Oh

References Edit

Reflection
30 January, 2015 • Syco Music • Epic Records
Songs
Released Top DownBO$$SledgehammerWorth ItThis Is How We RollEverlasting LoveLike MariahThem Girls Be LikeReflectionSuga MamaWe KnowGoing NowhereBody RockBrave Honest BeautifulI'm In Love With A Monster
Unreleased Double VisionOverTellin' MeChange The Bad BoyThe Way You LookNo Catching Feelings
Artists
Fifth HarmonyCamila CabelloAlly BrookeLauren JaureguiDinah Jane-HansenNormani Kordei
Tour
The Reflection Tour


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