South Side (song)

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"South Side"
Moby - South Side.png
Single by Moby featuring Gwen Stefani
from the album Play
B-side "Ain't Never Learned"
"The Sun Never Stops Setting"
Released December 12, 2000 (2000-12-12)[1]
Format CD
Length 3:48 (album version)
3:49 (single version)
Label Mute, V2
Songwriter(s) Moby
Producer(s) Moby
Moby singles chronology
"Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?/Honey"
"South Side"
"Find My Baby"
"Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?/Honey"
"South Side"
"Find My Baby"
Gwen Stefani singles chronology
"South Side"
(2000) South Side2000
"Let Me Blow Ya Mind"
(2001) Let Me Blow Ya Mind2001
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[1]

"South Side" (also sometimes spelled as "Southside") is a song written and recorded by American electronica musician Moby. It was released in December 2000[1] as the eighth single from his 1999 studio album Play, it is one of his most successful singles, and only single to appear on the United States Billboard Hot 100 chart peaking at 14.[2]

The song is a duet between Moby and Gwen Stefani, with most lines sung by both vocalists. Production problems forced Moby to leave Stefani's vocals off the initial mix of the song, and so her vocals are missing from the album version of the song, which is otherwise essentially identical to the single version,[3] the song was used in the film Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010).


In April 2005, Moby stated that the song was inspired by his visits to Chicago, and his love for its house music scene, but that its lyrics are intended to be unsettling and imply a connection between getting used to loud music as part of clubbing, and desensitization to violence.[4]

Speaking to Rolling Stone magazine on the tenth anniversary of its release, he explained, "it's a happy sing-along pop song about kids that become so inured to violence and become so desensitized that nothing gets through to them. It's about people who have become so over-exposed to stimuli that nothing matters to them anymore."[5]

Music video[edit]

The music video was directed by Joseph Kahn and parodies hip hop and dance music videos. Scenes include Moby in garish fur coats and sunglasses, Moby and Gwen Stefani dancing in front of large neon signs of their names, and Moby "traveling" in a convertible with women and bottles of champagne, but the vehicle is not even actually being driven outside of the studio.

The video also parodies artful videos with scenes of Moby and Gwen Stefani in a bare room, wearing drab clothing and holding a potted sunflower, visually parodying the New York "brick and plant" type of set commonly overused in videos and film.

Other elements observed in the video include Moby expressing discomfort for the fake gold "grill" insert used over his teeth to make him look more "gangsta". Eventually, he grudgingly adjusts it and walks off the set. Gwen Stefani is shown in one scene in front of the neon sign with her name wielding three-inch fingernails. Later, she interrupts the filming (to Moby's feigned disgust) to answer and talk on her cell phone.

Instead of a band, in the background of the video, six "musicians" at translucent computer workstations are shown, the workstation users are visually boring and a poor substitute for the presence of an actual band. The workers act as if they are playing and adjusting the electronica music samples in real-time on their keyboards during the performance, with no apparent enthusiasm whatsoever for the actual music being created, at the end of the video it shows a pot of mayonnaise and burning clothes falling from a rack.

The music video won the 2001 MTV Video Music Award for Best Male Video.

Re recording[edit]

"South Side" appears as the 5th track on Moby's 1999 album, Play. It was then re-recorded with Gwen Stefani of No Doubt, the Moby–Stefani version of "South Side" is available on the song's single and on the reissue of Play. The original album version, without Stefani, appears on some version of Go: The Very Best of Moby.

Track listing[edit]

Mute (United Kingdom)
  1. "South Side (Featuring Gwen Stefani) (Single Version)" – 3:49
  2. "South Side (Featuring Gwen Stefani) (Hybrid Dishing Pump Remix)" – 8:27
  3. "South Side (Album Version)" – 3:48
  4. "South Side (Peter Heller Park Lane Vocal)" – 8:48
  5. "Ain't Never Learned" – 3:47
  6. "South Side (Hybrid Dishing Pump Instrumental)" – 7:54
  7. "The Sun Never Stops Setting" – 4:19
V2 Records 1
  1. "South Side (Featuring Gwen Stefani) (Single Version)" – 3:49
  2. "South Side (Featuring Gwen Stefani) (Hybrid Dishing Pump Remix)" – 8:27
  3. "South Side (Album Version)" – 3:48
V2 Records 2
  1. "South Side (Featuring Gwen Stefani) (Edit)" – 3:25
  2. "South Side (Album Version)" – 3:48

Chart positions[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (2001) Peak
Brazil (ABPD)[6] 42
Canada (Nielsen SoundScan)[7] 3
Mexico Ingles Airplay (Billboard)[8] 569
US Billboard Hot 100[9] 14
US Adult Top 40 (Billboard)[10] 8
US Dance Club Songs (Billboard)[11] 16
US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)[12] 15

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2001) Position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[13] 33


  1. ^ a b c "South Side – Moby | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved May 2016.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  2. ^ "Moby's Magic Number Is '18'". 
  3. ^ Weingarten, Christopher. ""Play" 10 Years Later: Moby's Track by Track Guide to 1999's Global Smash". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 24 December 2013. 
  4. ^ Jim Derogatis (25 April 2005). "Moby's infectious gems have no regard for genre". Retrieved 27 September 2011. 
  5. ^ Weingarten, Christopher. ""Play" 10 Years Later: Moby's Track by Track Guide to 1999's Global Smash". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 24 December 2013. 
  6. ^ "Brazil" (PDF). ABPD. October 6, 2001. Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Play - Moby | Allmusic". AllMusic. Retrieved December 29, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Gwen Stefani – Chart history". Billboard Mexico Ingles Airplay for Gwen Stefani. Retrieved October 19, 2016. 
  9. ^ "Moby Chart History (Hot 100)" Billboard. Retrieved December 29, 2015.
  10. ^ "Moby Chart History (Adult Pop Songs)" Billboard. Retrieved December 29, 2015.
  11. ^ "Moby Chart History (Dance Club Songs)" Billboard. Retrieved December 29, 2015.
  12. ^ "Moby Chart History (Pop Songs)" Billboard.
  13. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 2001". Archived from the original on March 4, 2009. Retrieved 2010-08-31.