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will.i.am, ‘T.H.E (The Hardest Ever)’ Feat. Jennifer Lopez and Mick Jagger – Song Review

Jennifer Lopez will.i.am. Mick Jagger
Ethan Miller / Dimitrios Kambouris / Kevin Winter, Getty Images

We never thought we’d be writing about a tough dance song (‘T.H.E (The Hardest Ever)’) featuring will.i.am, Jennifer Lopez and … Mick Jagger! While the first two pieces of the equation are not that unlikely, the inclusion of a rock icon like Jagger on the synth-heavy, crunchy and somewhat gnashing pop song seems almost unfathomable. It’s unexpected, but all the parts are blended with a heavy hand for this unique club banger. J. Lo and Jagger are window dressing for a song that narrows its focus on will.

The song doesn’t “move like Jagger” nor does it go down easy, at all. It’s overstuffed and dense with lots of parts, and is full of looped, chainsaw-like beats and Lopez’s processed, almost robotic delivery of the chorus “Go hard or go home.” There’s no pep or heat there; just a monotone and somewhat cold repetition of those words via Lopez’s studio-treated vocal pattern. While it’s not smooth or polished, it is memorable. We’ll give ‘em that much. Pop songs don’t need to be pretty to stick in your head, that’s for sure.

Lopez tosses a verse into the ring about three minutes in, while Jagger drops by at the end, about four minutes deep to sing the outro in an almost rapped style. That’s not something we’re used to from ol’ Mick and we’re not sure it enhances the song by much other than to say “Mick Jagger appears on a song with will and Jennifer Lopez.” He also sings, “You can go hard or go home” with his signature vocal flair. He feels like a last minute marketing tool, really.

This is not a pretty dance song. It’s harsh, rough around the edges and, well, hard.

Listen to will.i.am, ‘T.H.E (The Hardest Ever)’ Feat. Jennifer Lopez and Mick Jagger

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