DJ DeeKay - In The Mix

Saturday, 11 October 2008

"How many banks gotta collapse 'til you know what you're doing is wrong?!" ( c ) M.I.A.

M.I.A. featuring Jay-Z! You what?! When I first accidently stumbled across Maya Arulpragasam's (first person who can repeat that surname correctly gets a cookie!) XL Recordings webpage and discovered this Sri Lankan Tamil vocalist and her debut single "Gulang", I doubt even she could have imagined that four years on she would have had a top five US Billboard Hot 100 smash, or that this very same smash would be sampled on the chorus of the greatest hip-hop "event" record of all time. Suggestions that one of the greatest rappers alive would lay a guest verse on a remix to one of her tracks would have been laughable.

Yet in October 2008, the sound of Jay-Z's voice on the remix to M.I.A.'s "Boyz" is ringing in my ears. Better still, Hov's bars, which initially sounded underwhelming, are, upon closer inspection, great. I personally don't like his new flow, but he's actually saying something, and he demonstrates exactly how skilled he is by adapting his style so it sits nicely alongside the words of his collaborator. When he's trading bars with her, it's magic.

M.I.A. featuring Jay-Z - Boyz (remix)

Fresh off the success of "Paper Planes", Interscope are re-releasing M.I.A.'s sophomore CD, "Kala", and the single "Boyz", the video for which was first released over a year ago. Rumour has it her people are trying to score her an appearance in the Swagger Like Us video, which would bring her even more profile. This news is literally music to my ears, not just because she, like me, is Tamil, but also because she has something to say. She's by no means the best technical lyricist, she's no rapper, but she has a lot to say and knows how to say it concisely and effectively. Now she's been sampled by Kanye and blessed by Jigga, it appears as though it is finally time for all the critical praise and underground hype to translate into success.

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