A previously unreleased collaboration between Daft Punk and Jay Z, titled “Computerized,” has surfaced online via a Daft Punk fan site. A person who reposted it to a Kanye West message board alleged that the Yeezus rapper (and Daft Punk sampler) produced the track, though Pitchfork has confirmed that West was not involved. It is unclear when the song was recorded, though one of the boards refers to it as a demo.
The song is a cautionary tale about relying too much on technology, with strong words coming from the French robot crew. “Everyone will be computerized,” goes the robots’ Vocoder-affected chorus. Jay Z takes on the role of a Luddite in the lyrics, complaining about holding conversations over text messages and having a “broken heart on the email” and “an iTouch but I can’t feel.” And later, he raps, “Somebody tell me what’s real/ I don’t know how I feel.” Musically, the intro uses a sample that Daft Punk would later use on the soundtrack to the 2010 film Tron: Legacy, as spotted by Noisey, so it is unclear as to when the track was recorded.
Jay Z may want to be computerized, considering how he has had so many collaborations of all kinds being announced in recent weeks. His wife Beyoncé teased him a little in her video for “Partition.” He is re-releasing a vinyl version of his 2004 collaboration with Linkin Park, Collision Course, for Record Store Day. And he’s collaborating, business-wise, with Kanye West in a new arrangement where his Roc Nation company will be managing West’s Donda Music endeavors.