"Heard 'Em Say" was written and produced by Kanye West and features Adam Levine. It's a song about societal fallacies and the problems faced by black people. The song was written to help address a problem that afflicts American citizens and to inspire listeners to stay optimistic.
The song was originally featured as the opening track of Kanye's second studio album Late Registration. It has received acclaim from music critics. This song is also a hip-hop ballad, containing elements of art rock and R&B. A lullaby tone is present in the song as well as an R&B chorus.
There are two versions of the music video for "Heard 'Em Say". One is live action and was shot in October 2005 in Macy's flagship store in New York. Another version is hand-drawn animation. Both videos feature the artist performing the song.
The first music video was directed by French film director Michel Gondry. The second version was a collaboration with American cartoonist Bill Plympton. In this video, Plympton depicted Kanye West as a taxicab driver in a fictional city. Throughout the music video, Plympton's animated scenes intercut with live-action scenes of Kanye West and Adam Levine performing the song.
While "Heard 'Em Say" may not be one of Kanye West's most popular songs, it is certainly a significant crossover success. The song is certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America and reached number 26 on the Hot 100. After its release, "Heard 'Em Say" became a hit in several other countries, including Australia, Finland, and New Zealand.