will.i.am ft. Mick Jagger & Jennifer Lopez - T.H.E. (The Hardest Ever)
Since time immemorial, heads have hotly debated the relative hardnesses of various artists, but an objective standard for measuring that elusive quality has yet to be established—until now. Using a complex set of algorithms, we have determined that The Hardest artists Ever to grace the game are… will.i.am, Jennifer Lopez and Mick Jagger?! Huh, go figure. In theory, then, the lead single off Will’s fourth solo set should be the most intimidating record in urban-music history. Premiering live on tonight’s American Music Awards broadcast, this tough-as-nails cut finds Will, Audiobot and Dallas Austin teaming up to craft a danceable synth-percussion beat to back the B.E.P. mastermind as he delivers his trademark blend of Auto-Tuned singing and guilty-pleasure punchline lyricism. After a tuneful guest verse from J-Lo (who also lends her vocals to the chorus), the Rolling Stones frontman grabs the mic to flaunt his considerable swagger (and his poor math skills: “Hard like geometry, trigonometry / This is crazy—psychology”) in a gruff closing 16. So, do these artists sound like the Holy Trinity of hardness, or should we re-check our calculations? If you’re digging this cut, keep it locked for release details on #willpower, as well as watching out for the record’s official video, dropping in the next month.