Estelle ft Kanye West - 'American Boy'
Hip hop doesn't often do snuggly, does it? Not even 50 Cent, a man who could probably administer a decent cuddle, with those muscley arms of his, and who memorably once rapped a demand for a hug (albeit one which followed the ever-charming claim that he is "into having sex" rather than "making love") isn't actually someone who can capture warm and fuzzy feelings on record. Respect, yes. Anger, yes. Arrogance, yes. Madness, yes. More arrogance, yes. Sex? HELL yes! But not actual human warmth and affection.
This song does a lot to redress the balance, a feat which is made all the more impressive when you realise that the man behind the bubbly backing track was last seen on a deckchair, drooling, and talking seven shades of stupid about fancying girls and their mothers. And yes it's his box-fresh disco (not a million miles away from Bill Withers doing 'Just The Two Of Us', or Will Smith doing Bill Withers doing 'Just Th...well you get the point) which provides most of the happy, aided by Kanye's tumbledown flow of wordplay and Estelle's creamy-soft voice.
Now, some people will claim that being charmed by a song like this is just proof that hip hop only sells when it's been blanded out for crossover audiences, and that that real hardcore stuff is the only stuff worth bothering with because it's the authentic voice of the streets, proper reality and whatnot.
But then, reality takes various forms. The thrill of a new relationship, one which could broaden your horizons and take you to places you've never been to, that's just as real as talking about gangs, guns and hustles, surely?
Plus OMG this is such a good song! Who cares if it's 'real' or not?