Baby I Love U (stylized as "Baby I ♡ U!") is a song recorded by Jennifer Lopez for her third studio album This Is Me... Then.
It was written by Jennifer, Cory Rooney, Dan Shea and John Barry & produced by Rooney and Shea.
The song contains an interpolation of the theme for the 1969 film "Midnight Cowboy."
It is a soul and R&B ballad about unconditional love with critics pointing out that it was inspired by Jennifer's then-relationship with the actor Ben Affleck.
The song was well received by critics who complimented her vocals.
Commercially, the song was as successful as the other singles from the album in the UK where it peaked at number 3.
In the United States, the song peaked at number 72 on the Billboard Hot 100 and reached the top thirty of the Mainstream Top 40 chart.
Song Background & ReleaseEdit
While recording her then-upcoming album, Jennifer listened to blues and soul, the music that she had often turned to while growing up.
Using songs by Stevie Wonder, Luther Vandross and others as inspiration, she attempted to elicit a similar feeling in her own songwriting, claiming:
"Those were just songs that made my heart sing," said Jennifer. "They just stay with you. ... I wanted to do something that's true to me and how I grew up, but I also wanted to make beautiful songs. So I'd listen to records from today and I would listen to records from back then, and [eventually] I'd go, 'That's what I want."
Among the songs on the album, "Baby I Love U!" was written with the help of Jennifer's longtime collaborator and friend Cory Rooney.
"He's so talented," Jennifer said. "And he's so 'behind the scenes,' especially when it comes to me. He's really, really just dedicated to music for the pure love of music."
"Baby I Love U!" was released as the album's fourth and final single on August 3, 2003 in the U.S. and on March 8, 2003 in the UK.
Composition & RemixEdit
"Baby I Love U!" was written by Jennifer, Cory Rooney and Dan Shea with production being handled by Rooney & Shea.
The song contains an interpolation of the "haunting melody" from the theme of Midnight Cowboy written by John Barry.
It is a contemporary R&B and pop/rock song with a "vintage-sound" where Jennifer "gushes for Ben Affleck" according to Sal Cinquemani of Slant Magazine.
A remix version featuring R. Kelly was released on the CD Single of the song. Kelly's part talks about "rollin' with some fine females" against J-Lo's heart-on-the-sleeve declaration of passion.
The version with Kelly was also included on her second remix album "The Reel Me."
The music video for the song was directed by Meiert Avis and premiered on BET on August 11, 2003.
The video was also included on the DVD "The Reel Me."
It features scenes of Jennifer in the bed as well as walking around the house, performing the song.
Jason Shawhan of About.com called the video "minimalist and stark and much more inspired than the song that forms its spine."
"Visually, in fact, there's something quite experimental going on with its almost exclusive use of close-up and shifting focal length. This is certainly a promising development in Lopez' continuing evolution as a visual artist, and we can hope she'll work with director Meiert Avis again soon."
"Baby I Love U!" performed much lower than Jennifer's previous singles from "This Is Me...Then," missing the top-forty on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, debuting and peaking at number 72, on the issue date April 3, 2004.
Eventually, the song became Jennifer's lowest charting-English single on the Billboard charts until "Papi" became her lowest charting-single later in 2011.
The song also made its debut on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart at number 75. It also received a Billboard Spin Award on March 25, 2006 for 50,000 spins.
Elsewhere, the song proved to be more successful.
In the United Kingdom, the song was a huge success, debuting and peaking at number 3, on March 20, 2004, becoming her third top-three single of the same album.
In Ireland, the single managed to peak inside the top-twenty, reaching number 16, on March 11, 2004.