Fresh off his American Music Awards duty, Ryan Seacrest had the honor of premiering "Scream and Shout," the will.i.am and Britney Spears collaboration from will's upcoming album, #willpower. While seeing Britney's name on the right of a "featured" credit is a welcomed addition, particularly when we've been more concerned with getting X Factor quotables and engagement plans rather than a Femme Fatale follow-up, will's futuristic fingerprints are all over this thing. Sigh. We never realized how much we'd be missing Fergie; she and her fellow Peas are the only ones who understand how to corral will's ideas and condense them into the most aurally pleasing end product—with limited use of hashtags.
The track begins with Britney unearthing her best faux
Madonna British accent, sounding almost unrecognizable in a quest to assert the presence and volume preferences of her and her musical cronies ("When you hear this in the club, you're gonna turn this shit up"). Despite now being a member of a prime-time FOX program, Brit-Brit is not worried that her first contribution to the song features a word Sean Preston and Jayden might not be ready to hear. It's a step above will's monotonous requests to "lose control," "let it go" and "hit the floor," but you can't help but wish there was something more from Britney to balance this out.
But it's not all stale party chants and directions to head to the dancefloor. Most importantly, will.i.am calls back to the iconic phrase, "It's Britney, bitch," unearthed from 2007's hazy "Gimme More" in a much more flattering way than this season's Glee episode managed to do. The line has become Brit's stamp of pride—as well as part of her Twitter bio—and creates a playful feel, infusing her featured credit with more personality than poor Justin Bieber was allowed on "You and Me." Are you scared of getting upstaged by an 18-year-old, will? 3012 does trump 3008. Listen below.