Here’s a more or less empirical account of the initial reaction to “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up),” the new song Fall Out Boy airdropped out of some vaporous layer of the atmosphere Monday after a self-imposed three-year hiatus:
1. New Fall Out Boy? Are you joking? You’re serious?
2. This song is so effing good!
3. IS THAT 2 CHAINZ?
To anyone familiar with Fall Out Boy’s last album, Folie à Deux — which detailed the perils and pitfalls of fame and its ability to strain and ultimately destroy relationships — it’s no surprise that the band took a couple of personal days after its 2008 release. And if you’ve been paying attention to the mainstream music scene since then, you might have identified 2 Chainz’s involvement in FOB’s new single right away.
But before the “My Songs” viral video — which features 2 Chainz setting fire to the band’s albums — no one would have ever thought to mutter “Fall Out Boy” and “2 Chainz” in the same breath, because why would you? And that’s exactly what Fall Out Boy wanted.
“The night I went out with 2 Chainz to talk about this, we took a picture together,” Pete Wentz told MTV, noting that while the artists share a label (Island Def Jam), the collaboration was born over dinner. “He posted it on the Internet like, ‘Fall Out Boy featuring 2 Chainz.’ Kids were like, ‘That’s not real.’
“The stuff we were doing was so crazy, it was like disbelief,” Wentz added. “It was like, ‘Nah. Definitely they’re gonna be playing on a TV show, but not [working with] rappers.’ ”Fall Out Boy make a triumphant return at the Roxy.
The thing is, Fall Out Boy have a history of teaming with MCs, including Lil Wayne, Travie McCoy and fellow Chicago native Kanye West, but they’ve more often collaborated with artists within the rock world (Chad Gilbert of New Found Glory, Gabe Saporta of Cobra Starship, Brendon Urie of Panic! at the Disco, and Motion City Soundtrack’s Justin Pierre).
What better time than now to pick an unlikely collaborator, when you can hardly turn on the radio without hearing a puzzling-but-compelling musical coupling (A$AP Rocky and Lana Del Rey, Lady Gaga and Kendrick Lamar, Ne-Yo and David Guetta, Sia and Flo Rida, Justin Bieber and anyone). And 2 Chainz definitely takes a match to Fall Out Boy’s Midwest past against a pounding, percussive battlefield anthem shot through with grinding guitars and the electronic bursts of machine gun blasts.
So is 2 Chainz out of the picture after committing random acts of arson, or will he pop up in another Fall Out Boy video or even a feature spot on their upcoming reunion album, Save Rock and Roll?
“There’s definitely some further creative collaborations that’ll be happening sooner rather than later, some with him,” Wentz said with a wry, read-between-the-lines expression, happily playing his cards close to the vest. Classic Fall Out Boy …
What do you think of the Fall Out Boy/2 Chainz pairing? Let us know in the comments!