"Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'
" is a song by American songwriter and recording artist Michael Jackson
. "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" was released on May 8, 1983, by Epic Records
as the fourth single from Jackson's sixth studio album Thriller
in 1982. It was the first song on Thriller
. The song was written, composed and co-produced by Jackson, and produced by Quincy Jones
. The song's lyrics pertain to strangers spreading rumors to begin or start an argument for no good reason. Musically, "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" has a cross-cultural disco theme, similar to Jackson's material from his previous album Off the Wall
in 1979. The song's rhythm arrangement consists of interweaving drum-machine patterns, while the horn arrangement is brassy and precise. "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" has been covered and sampled by multiple recording artists since its release. Aside from Thriller
, "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" appears on multiple compilation and greatest hits albums by Jackson.
"Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" was generally well received by contemporary music critics. The song was also commercially successful, charting within the top 20 and top 30 in multiple countries. The song became Jackson's fifth consecutive top ten single in the United States on the Billboard Hot 100
, peaking within the top ten at number five. The song re-entered charts in 2008 after the release of Thriller 25
. Following Jackson's death in June 2009, the... Read More