Max Bell is excited for Paid Dues.

If you haven’t heard Awolnation’s “Sail” yet, then you either haven’t turned on your radio or your TV since June of 2011. Or, like me, you’ve done your damndest to ignore it.

The song is everywhere. Like here, herehere, and here.  It’s a well-articulated and well-funded (they’re on Red Bull) piece of paranoid and suicidal rock/electro-pop punctuated with one of the most annoying “can’t get it out of my head” screams. Really, it’s music for angst-ridden Malibu teens—”blame it on my ADD” says it all—who want to feel something or other as they drive down PCH to their parents house in the hills. A much better version of what Papa Roach tried to do with “Last Resort” during those insufferable “nu-metal” years.

However, now that Kendrick and Ab-Soul have deemed fit to rhyme over it, the song is all the better for it. Color me what you will, but the remix is solid and will suffice as one of the many worth downloading loosies sure to surface in the interim before their next collective and/or respective next major releases.

Though these aren’t the best bars from either Kendrick or Soul by any means, they’re better than just about any from rappers hopping on pop-songs (see “Scream & Shout (Remix),” or don’t). Kendrick’s first lines are great (“I look in the mirror and nothing’s familiar…”) and his allusion (intentional or not) to Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi” cements him as one of my favorite MCs, in addition to proving that the “Black Hippy” moniker has never been more fitting. As far as Soulo’s verse is concerned, it’s definitely the weaker of the two. While he’s almost always a capable MC, he may or may not have called himself “the Jesus sequel.” I won’t comment, but let’s hope Control System was the beginning and not that thing Jim Morrison sang about.

Whatever you feel about this remix, we can all agree that LA Leakers need to chill on the drops—they might be worse than DJ Drama. And I’d be withholding if I didn’t say that I would’ve liked to see Schoolboy bring his consumate energy to this cut, especially after hearing his new single. Maybe a non-tagged remix of the remix will hit the interweb soon. One never knows. But if/when it does…Yay Yay.



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