Tom: I saw the artists’ names and immediately thought “hell yes”. The woman who sang the best-selling song of the 21st century so far, and the best British rapper ever? (Don’t argue. I’ve seen him live, and I’ve never seen a crowd get quite so excited.)
Tom: It’s a typical Latin-influenced track, with singing from Shakira and verses from Mr. Rascal (as he’s formally known).
Tim: He actually is.
Tom: That’s what you’d expect from a collaboration like this – and there’s even a point where they trade lines as well. But what’s missing seems to be the energy. It almost seems like they’re going through the motions rather than actually having fun recording it.
Tim: One of the problems is that for the most part, Shakira’s getting through so many words that she’s practically unintelligible, so I have no idea what the song’s about. That was particularly the case when Dizzee was talking about feeling ‘el presidente’, and I spent a good couple of minutes wondering what orange juice had to do with anything, before I realised I was thinking of Del Monte.
There’s one time you can definitely understand her though, and it leads to a question I have long wanted to know the answer to: what is it with rappers and wanting to be called ‘daddy’ (or, in this case, ‘papi’)? It’s just plain weird, but it’s all over the place – Usher’s particularly guilty of it. Since when did incest become attractive?
If I was a girl, and my boyfriend said that to me, I would say to him, ‘Okay, I’ll call you daddy, but only if you call me mummy,’ and then I’d watch him run screaming from the room.
Tom: That’s a mental image that’s going to stay with me for a while.
Anyway, the lack of enthusiasm’s the same in the video – him and her have blatantly been filmed separately, perhaps even on different continents with the help of some bluescreen.
Tim: Actually, that is one heck of a distracting video, for a blindingly obvious reason.
Tom: Well, yes, I think anyone who…
Tim: …and that is Shakira’s attitude towards basic safety practices.
Tom: Wait, what?
Tim: She wears kneepads when she’s rollerblading in her very small amount of clothing – looks a bit odd, but it’s okay because it’s demonstrating good procedure for any children watching. However, then she goes on a motorbike without any real torso protection and no sign of any helmet (which is almost certainly illegal, by the way). Totally mixed messages.
Tom: How well will the American market react to “that girl is a nutter” being in there? No idea, but I hope it helps Mr. Rascal crack America. He deserves it.