“And so, although I don’t think M.I.A. is really a rapper in any meaningful way, she might just be rap’s Sex Pistols—or rap’s Clash, whose “Straight to Hell” makes “Paper Planes” go.”
Just saying. Yesterday a “Boyz” remix drops, featuring none other than Jay-Z, which follows “Swagger Like Us” as the second time this year these two have shared a track. Except this time things get done M.I.A.-style: “How many soldiers are ready to fight? How many ready for war?” “How many billions does it take before the troops are home? How many banks gotta collapse till you know what you’re doing is wrong?” “We gotta get Bush out the chair/Give Obama the floor” “These politicians don’t give a shit/The hood’s still getting ignored.”
This is agitprop like rap just doesn’t do right now—Killer Mikes excepted—and created for zero occasion, zero ‘event’-related posse cut bullshit, just fire for fire’s sake, for the sake of shit that’s actually happening out in the world. Best Jay-Z bars in forever.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 9, 2008