It will come as no surprise to fans of Jay Sean that his new single, "2012 (It Ain't the End)," boasts bars by Young Money princess Nicki Minaj. After all, his U.S. debut single, "Down," features Lil Wayne, which was followed by Lil Jon and Sean Paul jumping on "Do You Remember."
Still, the Hounslow hero (Jay Sean was born near the Wimbledon site in West London) was pleasantly surprised to get a phone call from Miss Minaj earlier this year.
"It was actually a surprise for me," Sean told MTV News last week. "Nicki Minaj heard ['2012'], she called me and ... she was like, 'I love it! It's sick. I'm going in on this!'
"I'm a fan of Nicki's. I think she's incredible," he continued. "And I had wanted to work with her for a while. But when she picked this song out herself, I was like, 'Go ahead. Bless it. Please.' "
Nicki Minaj is one of the most successful hip-hop artists at the moment, all before her debut album is released. And Jay Sean is pleased not only because her feature in "2012" brings the gravity of her presence, but that she attacked the song with a swagger different from her usual form.
"A testament to a great artist is the fact that they are able to interpret the song for what it is," Sean said. "Now, Nicki is a rapper. This is a pop record. She took the message of having fun and enjoying yourself, living like it's the end, living every minute like it's the last, and she put that vibe and that swagger on the track ... and that voice is fun and playful on it. It was great."
Minaj also appears in the video for "2012", which was shot last month in Los Angeles.
Jay Sean's sophomore U.S. effort, Freeze Time, is tentatively set for a November 2 release.
What do you think of the Jay and Nicki collabo? Let us know in the comments!