will.i.am featuring Diddy, Hit-Boy, Waka Flocka Flame, Hit-Boy & Britney Spears “Scream & Shout (Remix)”

will.i.am

Even if “Scream & Shout”‘s existence didn’t quite get you off the “will.i.am is the worst” wagon, the record was oddly fascinating, mainly in its striking decision to play up the Britney-as-inhuman meme by reducing the pop princess to some kind of bored, faux-British-accented, Bond vixen-meets-3008 club kid cyborg, which did enough to distract from the song really being another colorless and ever-desperate (and, as usual, largely successful, sales- and charts-wise) will.i.am attempt at all-demographics-reaching, world-pop domination.

Further adding to the track’s engrossing factor, a newly released “official” remix which shifts “Shouts” aim to a more urban-leaning context.

Supported by a bloopy-plinky-bassy Hit-Boy beat in which the producer is basically re-stitching together some of the Tron-like parts of “Paris”, the remix mostly (and unfortunately) pushes Spears’ contribution to the fringes, but manages to spark up a few interesting notes elsewhere, like: 1) how will may still have little to say lyrically, but hearing him taking on Big Sean inflections in his verse here is surprisingly effective, leaving us to want to hear him in some kind of crowded DJ Khaled posse treatment to see how he would fare there; 2) how a remix’s coolness can still somehow by elevated by Diddy‘s presence in 2013, even if he’s just mostly wandering through dropping dramatic hype-man exclamations (“Turn up bitch!”) here; 3) how forgettable Wayne is here, even with him sounding more alert and into, well, rapping, than he has in a while; and, in “Shout” (2.0)’s greatest contribution to our brainwaves, 4) how Waka Flocka‘s “Me and Britney, we actin’ wild” reads like the best pitch for a reality TV concept we would gladly sell a finger to watch on our television screens.