Hip-hop's sleeper romance with eminently deserving London boundary-smasher M.I.A. is a fun thing to behold. The love affair probably peaked, profile-wise anyway, with Kanye West's lackluster appropriation of Kala's Clash-sampling "Paper Planes" for T.I.'s "Swagger Like Us", with such famous swaggerers as Jay-Z and Lil Wayne. But this has been a story since long before the first joints were passed in anticipation of Pineapple Express; Bun B and Rich Boy sounded terrific on a "Paper Planes" remix last year, and other rapper-guesting M.I.A. remixes have kept trickling out ever since.
Here, Hova and Wale each hop on separate remixes of another Kala killer, "Boyz". Jay picks up on the track's revolutionary imagery, relating it back to the hood and the American Dream, in a pretty strong verse. Barack Obama also gets a nod (he's sooo hot right now). Washington, D.C.'s own Wale starts on a familiar theme-- he's the real deal, other rappers are fake-- then eventually he, too, gets to Obama and Condoleezza Rice (WTF happened to her, anyway? Does she still work here?). Wale's likable enough to sell his ideas to this undecided voter, although for future playlists I'll probably turn to Jay's version first. Here's hoping before long we'll get to hear ?uestlove repeat the "how many, how many"-like vocal noises in a "Boyz" live performance