The Songs We Can't Escape

courtesy of the artist

M.I.A. feat. FREEWAY
"Paper Planes (Remix)"

Life's weird. Maya all but retires, and then that Pineapple Express trailer and the ultra-late-to-the-party second-string rappers push this single to epidemic heights of popularity. Anyway, Free shouts some b.s. about having your back at the beginning, then barks some American-gangsta-abroad boilerplate later on. That's it. That's the only difference—M.I.A.'s other "she's a terrorist y'all" idiot-infuriating vocals are still there. No, I don't care, either.

M.I.A. feat. JIM JONES
"Paper Planes (Remix)"

Jones, on the other hand, leaps on the track almost as soon as it starts, and he's a bit more fun to behold over Diplo's florid, illuminated beat: "I fly Lamborghinis, get higher than the planes." Like Free, though, he's in then out—by the one-minute mark, we're back to the original. If you're gonna hijack a track as irresistible as this, why let the opportunity to really show off—and show up whoever originally spit on it—slip away?

"Paper Planes (Adrock Remix for the Children)"

Adrock wisely keeps his mouth shut except for some mumbling at the outset. Vocals are all M.I.A. originals, but the beat's been switched out for, I guess, some sort of reggae/calypso doppelganger thing that's almost better than what Diplo concocted in the first place. Bloodclot!

"Jockin' Jay-Z"

Kanye rips off the concept behind Weezy/Bangladesh's "A Milli"—sorta—and throws in some fake-ass Rick Rubin fret pyro for good measure, Hov relishes his new beef with Oasis while incorporating tired rock 'n' roll signifiers into his suave chest-puffery; film at 11, right? Not surprising, but not bad. Seriously, I almost wish I could simply dismiss this, but no. It's down to Jay's cruise-control cockiness, his sheer presence, you know? That's what keeps us all coming back even though we probably know better.

"Burnin' Up"

Heh. This is what happens when all three of you get tanked and hole up on the tour bus with that one persistent, skanky-looking groupie from Omaha who swears she's 18, really. Might wanna see a doctor about that, dudes, get it checked out.

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