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Rihanna Returns and Kanye West Shines on Jay-Z's "Run This Town"

July 24, 2009 12:34 PM ET

Jay-Z promised he'd release another single before his Blueprint 3 hit stores, and this morning Jigga delivered: New single "Run This Town" hit hip-hop radio stations at 9:11 a.m. — fitting as Blueprint 3 is out on September 11th. The real headline here, however, is the return of Rihanna, the "Umbrella" singer making her first musical appearance on a song since her February 8th incident with Chris Brown. Rihanna sounds like she never stepped out of the spotlight, providing the hook of "The only thing that's on my mind is who's gonna run this town tonight?" Kanye West is also featured on the track, which you can hear on Jay-Z's MySpace page, or pretty much anywhere during the remainder of the summer.

Details about the track are still scarce, but it sounds like a classic Kanye production with its military procession beat and menacing guitar riff. "Run This Town" is being touted as first proper single off Blueprint 3, and while we loved "D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune)," radio and fans will more likely embrace this song than the space-jazz of the previous leak. Plus, Kanye unleashes the catchphrase of the summer: "This is a fast life, we are on a crash course, what do you think I rap for, to push a fucking RAV4?"

"This is Roc Nation, pledge of allegiance," Jay-Z raps in the front verse, name-checking his joint venture with Live Nation. Blueprint 3 itself will be released on Atlantic Records, but Jigga's Roc Nation output will be distributed through Epic. As Rock Daily reported yesterday, Jay-Z was announced as the Beastie Boys' replacement at next week's All Points West festival in New Jersey, and fans can probably expect to hear "Run This Town" — and hopefully his reported collaboration with MGMT — at APW.

Related Stories:
Jay-Z Replaces Ailing Beastie Boys as All Points West Headliner
Jay-Z's "Blueprint 3" To Feature Rihanna, Drake, MGMT
Jay-Z Talks Ditching Def Jam, New Deals: "I'm an Entrepreneur"

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Song Stories

“Hungry Like the Wolf”

Duran Duran | 1982

This indulgent New Romantic group generated their first U.S. hit with the help of what was at the time new technology. "Simon [Le Bon] and I, I think, had been out the night before and had this terrible hangover," said keyboardist Nick Rhodes. "For some reason we were feeling guilty about it and decided to go and do some work." Rhodes started playing with his Jupiter-8 synth, and then "Simon had an idea for a lyric, and by lunchtime when everyone else turned up, we pretty much had the song." The Simmons drumbeat was equally important to the sound of "Hungry Like the Wolf," as Duran Duran drummer Roger Taylor stated it "kind of defined the drum sound for the Eighties."

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