First things first, Britney is better than this. Way back when Miss Spears debuted in 1999, Black Eyed Peas (circa "Joints & Jam") may have been a surer bet, but here in 2012, throw the "Toxic" singer into the pop ring with Will.i.am and she'll outmaneuver him handily every time, even if he is wearing those stupid knuckle grills sporting their collab's name on 'em: "Scream & Shout." Oh, and that cursed hat with fangs.
But we've already broken down the song — as Marc Hogan wrote, "The man whose Black Eyed Peas once declared themselves 'so 3008' reaches all the way back to 2007 to reprise Spears' deathless 'Britney, bitch' from Blackout's slinky, Danja-produced 'Gimme More,' then dials up Azealia Banks' '212' beatmaker Lazy Jay for fidgety, futuristic Euro-club beats more suited to the current pop environment." Yeah, what he said.
Now there's a video for the indeed scary and protestable "Scream & Shout," which debuted on The X Factor last night, where Spears gets to flip the script by judging others for a change. Sympathetic though we are to the starlet's oft-embattled cause, she's not above reproach for dressing up as a two-bit Bond girl and playing the acquiescing Fergie to an intergalactic future clown's comical impression of Will.i.am.
Thankfully, the Ben Mor-directed video is a bit stranger than the song is boring, with Brit and Billy having clearly cracked the Matrix, since they're able to dopplegang their own damn selves with the wave of a hand, or the stomp of a space-booted foot as it were. There are freestanding triangles, typewriters attached to iPads, and a small army of pop-lockers wearing far less appalling outfits than the artists, and it's kinda fun.
"Working with an artist like Britney is the reason I love making music," Will.i.am said in a statement teasing the video earlier this month. "She loves music as much as I do. And I am so proud of ['Scream & Shout.'] This is the most exciting song I've worked on in a long time." Spears returned the love: "There are few people on the planet who inspire me like Will.i.am does ... I couldn't be more excited."
Wait ... Will.i.am makes music?