Jay-Z has broken his silence about the U.S.-led coalition's war with Iraq. In the remix of European artist Panjabi MC's overseas hit "Beware of the Boys," Jay mixes his Brooklyn braggadocio with anti-war sentiments.
"We rebellious, we back home/ Screamin' 'Leave Iraq alone,' " Young Hova rhymes over a sample of the theme from the "Knight Rider" TV show. "For all my soldiers in the field/ I will wish you safe return/ But only love kills war/ When will they learn?"
Jay, who is part of the Musicians United to Win Without War coalition along with Russell Simmons, Outkast, Zap Mama, R.E.M. and Sheryl Crow, had been relatively quiet about the war until now.
"It's all good," Panjabi MC said Tuesday from London about Jay's flavoring of the remix. "Originally this track was about something [different]. The track has become more of symbolic vibe of how it's crossed over to the East and West markets."
Translated, Panjabi MC's lyrics, which are sung in Punjabi, are a warning to a 16-year-old girl to be leery of guys who are trying to take her innocence. "Be careful of the boys/ You've only just grown up./ It's not your fault that you've got beautiful eyes/ Once you've realized this, you will become shy/ Look after your youth/ This time won't come again."
Jay and Panjabi were hooked up through their managers after Jay became aware of the track on a recent trip to Switzerland. "He heard the song three or four months ago when this thing started blowing up in Europe," Panjabi MC remembered. "On the radio, in the clubs [and] even on the underground out here, it's been blowing up. He seen the reaction to it and wanted to get involved. He jumped on, basically."
The original and the Jay-Z remix of "Beware of the Boys" will be sold in U.S. stores as a single on April 15. A week prior, Jay-Z will put out The Blueprint 2.1, setting off a bevy of Roc-a-Fella releases that will carry on through the summer (see "Jay-Z Cutting Away The Fat And Releasing Blueprint 2.1").
The Diplomats' Juelz Santana is scheduled to release his first solo album next month, and Memphis Bleek just put out his first single, "Everything's a Go," from M.A.D.E., due in June. Shortly after that, Beanie Sigel's The Becoming is slated to hit stores (see "Beanie Sigel Follows Dame's Model, Records Reason Follow-Up"), as is M.O.P.'s still-untitled next project.