1, 2 Step is a song recorded by Ciara for her debut album "Goodies" featuring vocals by rapper Missy Elliott.
The song was written by Ciara & Missy Elliott & produced by Jazze Pha. It was released as the second single from the album on October 23, 2004 in the United States & in the second quarter of 2005 internationally.
It reached the top ten in several countries worldwide. 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 demands party-goers to dance to the music.
"1, 2 Step" was ranked 59th on Billboard's Top 100 Songs of the Decade.
In the United States, the song peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and stayed there for seven weeks.
The song also features Missy Elliott using an interpolation verse from Teena Marie's song "Square Biz."
"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."
Jazze Pha asked Missy Elliott to appear on the track and she accepted. Missy recorded her rap verse at the Hit Factory Criteria in Miami.
Jazze Pha quoted that he completed the instrumental in four minutes. He said feeling the other's energy in the recording studio makes "the best ones come real quick, in like four to eight minutes."
"1, 2 Step" is an futuristic–R&B track, which is strongly influenced by 1980s electro music. The song was created on one of Jazze Pha's five Akai MPC3000s.
Jazze Pha used laser pulses from E-mu Proteus 2000s that were used for old school hip hop songs and b-boy break dance tracks.
Engineer Nico Solis says, "The zaps are his signature, his hi-hat when he's doing futuristic beats."
The song is inspired by Afrika Bambaataa's "Planet Rock." Jazze Pha thought about how he could create a more melodic version "almost like roller-skating music." He believed it would fit Ciara's image.
The music video for "1, 2 Step" was directed by Benny Boom.
It takes place in an Atlanta skating rink and on the streets.
R&B boy band B5 makes a short appearance in the video along with R&B singer Lloyd and rapper Lil Scrappy.
Ciara can be seen teaching others the song's titular "one, two step" dance which is similar to the traditional grapevine.
The video begins with Ciara inserting her "Goodies" CD in a radio, setting it to the "1, 2 Step" track and pressing play.
As the song begins, you see Jazze Pha reciting the introduction, showing Missy Elliott and then finally Ciara herself.
We see Ciara and her dancers, dancing in the Atlanta skating Rink, 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 she is seen dancing alone on the streets.
While dancing in the skating rink, Ciara looks behind her and sees Missy in the mirror, but thinks she is just seeing things.
Then Missy 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 three dancing skaters, two male and one female skater, skating in the streets and a final shot of Ciara & her dancers.
"1, 2 Step" debuted at seventy-four on the Billboard Hot 100.
In the January 8, 2005 issue of Billboard, the song began a seven-week stay at No. 2 on the Hot 100 chart, becoming Ciara's second top-ten single.
The song reached number one on the Billboard Pop 100 (the first on the then new chart), Hot Dance Airplay, Hot Digital Tracks and Top 40 Mainstream charts.
It peaked in the top five on the Hot Digital Songs, Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, Rhythmic Airplay and the Top 40 Tracks charts, and the top thirty on the Hot Dance Club Play chart.
"1, 2 Step" was ranked No. 5 for the year on the Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 2005.
The song was successful outside the U.S., reaching the top ten in several countries.
In the United Kingdom and Ireland, the song 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 thirty hit in Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Sweden.
"1, 2 Step" was nominated for the 2006 Grammy Award for "Best Rap/Sung Collaboration," but it lost to "Numb/Encore" by Jay-Z and Linkin Park.
The song also received a nomination at the Soul Train Lady of Soul Music Awards for "Best Dance Cut."
It was nominated for "Viewer's Choice" at the 2005 BET Awards, but it lost to Omarion's "O."
The song won the award "Best Performed Songs in the ASCAP Repertory for the 2005 Survey Year" which included the title track from the album as well as the third single "Oh."
The song won the award for "Choice Music R&B/Hip Hop Track" at the 2005 Teen Choice Awards and "Best Collaboration" and "Viewer's Choice" at the BET Awards in 2005.
"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."