West explained to MTV News why he chose this record as the follow-up to "Love Lockdown." Said West: "Listen to it. That hook is, like, [really] good. I also thought it was good because, first of all, 'Love Lockdown' - if I had rapped on it [it] would've just been a rap song and it wouldn't have sounded quite as different to people as it sounds for some reason. But any rapper would've loved to rap on 'Heartless,' from a Wu-Tang to a West Coast rapper to a down-South rapper. 'Heartless' is a perfect rap beat, and the hook is like straight Broadway melody. The message is just incredible: 'In the night I hear them talk/ The coldest story ever told/ And far along this road he lost his soul.' It could be an opera."
This samples the title track of The Alan Parsons Project's 1984 album Ammonia Avenue.
The single's cover art is virtually the same as for "Love Lockdown," but is missing the red heart balloon and is therefore "heartless."
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