Monday, August 16, 2010

First Listen: Robyn feat. Snoop Dogg - "U Should Know Better"

When Swedish pop icon Robyn revealed her unique plans regarding a long-awaited followup to her smash 2005 self-titled album - namely, plans to release no fewer than three albums by the end of 2010 - even the most loyal Robyn fans (myself included) met the news with a mixture of giddy excitement and, frankly, varying degrees of incredulity. Body Talk Pt. 1 dropped in June following by as much as three months the individual releases of no fewer than four of the eight tracks on the album, and though appetites were whetted, timing still caused even major Robyn proponents like Pitchfork to refer to the three-album project with tentative vocabulary. Then came the word, as the diminutive Swede was rounding up a successful U.S. mini-tour with newly dance-oriented American singer Kelis, that Body Talk Pt. 2 was ready for a September 6 UK release (a US release date of September 7 followed, albeit not quite swiftly enough to calm some nervous hearts stateside), and a track listing coinciding with the release of the second album's lead single "Hang With Me" (accompanied by a charming if not exactly wave-making video) confirmed that the penultimate offering of the proposed trilogy would contain the much buzzed-about collaboration with rapper Snoop Dogg, best known recently as the other culprit behind Katy Perry's inescapable summer number one "California Gurls."

Fortunately for this impatient Robyn fan, a certain resourceful significant other of mine has managed to acquire a rather advanced copy of the second of what now looks like it may actually be three albums Robyn drops in 2010. And it's GOOD. (More on that later, but trust me.) And for you, my loyal readers, I hereby offer you a first listen to the fabled collaboration with the D. O. double-G, a raucous, boastful display of entirely deserved superiority sprinkled with plenty of expletives, obligatory and fabulously cringe-inducing rhymes, and carried along by a high-tempo, speaker-bursting bass line. This is not the first time the two pop music giants have shared the same track, although Robyn's participation in the Fyre Department remix to Snoop Dogg's 2008 single "Sexual Eruption" was subsequent to the original track's release and not a "collaboration" in the same sense.

The plot of the new track, you ask? Well, it's essentially four minutes of Robyn and "Big Snoopy Dogg" alternating verses (with the occasional chorus thrown in) delineating all of the supposed tough guys of the world who "know better than to fuck with" them. Among them: the French, the Russians, the LAPD, the CIA, the FBI, the Vatican ("I sat down with the Romans," Robyn says, "And said we need a black pope, but she better be a woman"), the music industry, and the Devil himself.

Sounds pretty badass, but what else would you expect when two of the most consistently enjoyable artists working today team up to throw it down? Check out the new track and let me know what you think!

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