Britney Spears' 'Hold It Against Me,' Kanye West and Jay-Z's 'H.A.M' both come out Tuesday: Which are you most excited for?

January is usually a particularly sad month for pop music. Coming off the industry’s big-release-heavy fourth quarter, the top of the year is usually a time for new acts. This year, however, is rolling out a bit differently. Pop starlet Britney Spears is set set to drop new single “Hold It Against Me” on Jan. 11, and Kanye West and Jay-Z will debut “H.A.M,” the first single from their collaborative Watch the Throne effort, that day as well.

At this point, little is known about Kanye and Jay-Z’s collab. Kanye sort of let the cat out of the bag earlier this week, but cleared up the confusion last night by tweeting the single’s artwork and release date. With several crowns and vicious dogs barking, it’s a regal one, indeed. They’ve remained pretty tight-lipped about the record’s sound, opting not to reveal who produced it or even what the acronym stands for. On the other hand, there’s plenty of info out on Britney’s “Hold It Against Me.” As we reported last week, it was produced by hit-makers Max Martin (“DJ Got Us Fallin’ in Love,” “Dynamite”) and Dr. Luke (“California Gurls,” “We R Who We R”). A demo with singer/songwriter Bonnie McKee’s vocals leaked yesterday. Its knocking bass is not unlike the smashes those two producers flooded the airwaves with in 2010.

Check out our poll and read what Britney had to say about her single after the jump.

Spears confidently tweeted that her version is even better, saying “Heard an early demo of my new single leaked. If u think that’s good, wait til you hear the real one Tuesday.” So the question is, which song are you more excited to hear? Are you dying for the latest from one of pop’s leading ladies? Or are you more anxious for what hip-hop’s royal twosome do on mic?

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

Comments (118 total) Add your comment
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  • The Prophet Blog

    Britney Spears of course!

    She is the Princess of Pop, this generation’s Madonna.

    Kanye/Jay-Z song is just some dumb ego trip record.

    • dipshat

      Remind me again how Britney is better than Ke$ha?

      • rokstar92

        Easy. Here’s a few off the top of my head:

        Eighth best selling artist of the 2000-2009 decade.

        32 million certified albums in the U.S. That number jumps to 100 when factoring in worldwide numbers not including singles.

        First artist to have FOUR consecutive NUMBER ONE albums reach No.1 in the first week of release.

        Highest first weeks sales by a female artist in Soundscan history (1.3 million SORRY Taylor Swift ;)

        Best selling teenage artist EVER (Again sorry Taylor Swift ;)

        25th best selling single OF ALL TIME (Baby One More Time)

        4th best grossing Female touring artist EVER. (without even singing!)


        It’s BRITNEY B****!!!


      • u

        All you did was list how she is more successful than everyone else, not how she is BETTER. Popularity =/= quality, or otherwise that would mean she is better than Radiohead, White Stripes, Arcade Fire, Muse, etc. Britney fans seem to have the same IQ as Taylor Swift fans, they think that record sales make the artist.

      • Dan

        oh my god “U”!!!!! you cross the line there buddy.
        Taylor fans knows that when an artist made ton of money it doesn’t mean try are the better artist.
        Taylor is different from other mainstream artists there. with her POPULARITY=QUALITY of her TALENT… with knowing tyt she can play instruments, that alone we can say she better than most of the so called “musicians” today.

        I know that you don’t like Taylor or wen worst HATE her than Satan. but what irritates me is you cannot appreciate her talents and what she offers on the table that many artists today CANT!!!
        it’s just sad your missing out how brilliant Taylor is because you’re closeminded. you only like hiphop and rock music as I observed from your previous comments and HATERED on Taylor.
        Please at least respect her.

      • u


        How do you know what I like and don’t like? You think you can surmise my music tastes simply by reading some of my comments? I don’t recall ever saying that I only enjoy rock and hip-hop, so please refrain from making generalizations about me when you actually know very little about my tastes. And I’m sorry, but I do not consider Taylor to be any better than her other overrated mainstream counterparts AT ALL. Terrible singer, terrible songwriter, barely average instrumentalist. There’s nothing to respect. Sorry if you strongly disagree, but that is my honest opinion about her and unless she improves in any form I’m remaining firm on my position on her artistry (or lack thereof, rather). And not thinking that she’s talented isn’t “hatering” (btw, it’s “hating”, you imbecile), it merely holding an opinion of her. If hated her more than Satan as you claim, I would make personal attacks against her, which I haven’t. And criticizing her music and her lack of talents aren’t personal attacks, criticizing aspects of her that have nothing to do with her job (like her appearance, her personality, her private life) is.

      • u

        Typo: If I hated her more than Satan.

        BTW, since this is not a Taylor post, it would best to end this clearly off-topic discussion.

      • Janet Cusheri

        well this is easy! Britney is an AMAZING dancer and performer, she is a great songwriter, she a great pianist, she even plays a little guitar, she has a wonderfully unique voice, she is very pretty, she is a true pop icon, all of her songs/singles have been classics, she is just the best in the game, and she’s been in the game for nearly 13 years now! ever seen the “britney spears live from las vegas” dvd? you so should! the best show ever, even my non britney fan friend said it was and they didnt live her before it! her dancing and performing is outstanding and her stage presence is phenomenal! hey some bits are cheesy but it was early 2000s and the production of the show is flawless! love her, she is the best x

      • Paul

        U, calm down LOL
        I ain’t even a fan but I think Taylor has some major talent. Calling her terrible artist, songwriter and instrumentalist is so harsh.
        I understand that you don’t like her in any possible way but basically calling her untalented? wow, that’s really effed up LOL that’s being closeminded.

      • Marie

        Britney Spears and Taylor Swift are both very popular and they both have terrible singing voices in live shows. End of story.

      • jordan

        I wouldn’t say either of them have “terrible” live singing voices. However, Taylor Swift has an unfortunately shaky voice often times. As for Britney Spears, she just doesn’t hit the big notes–but none of her songs pretend she can so I don’t really have a problem with it. The reason Britney and Taylor are both successful is the unique sound of their voices. Of course, Britney adds the performance quality and Taylor adds the songwriting quality.

      • Walsh

        Taylor sings live and is very good at it. yes on the tv she’s shaky but that doesn’t mean she can’t sing live. seen the girl so many times on tour in different settings and girl, Taylor can sing.

        on britney, she can sing but she chooses to lip sync everytime

      • santana

        Britney can dance, Kesha cannot. There. And also without Britney and what she did for pop music, Kesha probably wouldn’t have had a snowballs chance in hell of getting record deal with her voice. Also Britney is a pop icon, idk if we’ll remember who Kesha is 10 years from now.

      • danilo

        shes actually had 5 lps debut at number 1 wouldve been 6 but billboard changed their rules and the eagles 9 dollar a cd walmart gimmick kept her out. shes like in a list of about 5 artists whom have ever done that.

      • chommy

        OK, Britney may not be the best, but she’s a whole lot better than Kesha.



      ALL MY LOVE-

  • stiffy

    I’m on camp Britney’s side with this new single…like the title and even though I’m not a huge fan of hers; her last few singles since the awesome “Piece of Me” have been really good!

  • Diane

    Ooops I want her to do it again

  • PN

    Both! Both are by proven artists. I’m excited about Britney’s song and I’m also excited at hearing how Kanye and Jay-Z spit their verses and hot 16 bars on their song H.A.M. Hope that Britney has just a competitive song to rival Katy Perry and Kesha’s hits and even while Lady Gaga is on hiatus for a few moments before her own single comes out!

  • PN

    I agree with the first sentence–not a lot of pop artists release music in January. They tend to back off on that month and wait until March or April to release their albums and singles. But Britney and Kanye and Jay-Z are changing it up this time and opening up 2011 with a BANG!!!! Look forward to hearing both of their singles this month and their albums later!

    • Justin

      No that demo is singer/songwriter Bonnie McKee. She worked with Britney on the new album and she herself tweeted that the real Britney version is waaay crazier and has a bridge in it. That is not Britney singing on the demo.

      • the truth

        Of course it’s not Britney’s voice singing on the demo. That voice actually sounds halfway decent.

      • Brett

        Sorry, Justin…but what?

        Last I looked (which was right now), he didn’t say anything about the demo not being Britney. Are you just spouting facts to make people think you’re the most informed on this? Sorry but that was a ridiculously random reply.

      • danilo

        not britney ignoramus, listen to justin before you remove all doubt, that you’re a dumbass that is

  • yournightmare

    heard britney song- was not impressed. she really went the wrong direction with this one for me. trying to be the new Kesha or what?

    • Flip

      What you heard was 30 seconds of the original demo. The finished version is quite different.

    • Justin

      How have you heard the song? I highly doubt it since it hasn’t leaked. Unless you are referring to the early rough demo that doesn’t even feature her vocals.

      • yournightmare

        yeah, i heard the demo version…2.32 or something. but it was britney singing for sure.

      • @ yournightmare

        The article states that the demo was sang by the songwriter. It doesn’t even sound like Britney.

    • Justin

      No that demo is singer/songwriter Bonnie McKee. She worked with Britney on the new album and she herself tweeted that the real Britney version is way crazier and has a bridge in it. That is not Britney singing on the demo, EW even says that in the article.

      • danilo

        hey justin, i like your comments, thanks for supporting britney and standing up for yourself and britney. love, danilo

    • jesse

      r u retarded or what she even said that was not her voice and that it sounded more like kesha but how is she trying to be a nobody kesha that looks all trashy and has no voices

  • Flip

    Obviously Britney!

  • AN

    It’s Britney, bit…y’all! ;)

  • Dee Jones

    Does anyone know how Kanye`s album doing? I think it quickly fell off the charts.

    • Phil

      It jumped back into the top 10 last week on a very slow sales week since Xmas was Sat. and the new sales week started the following day on Sunday. “All of The Lights” goes for pop radio play on January 17th/18th…

      • Fochizzle

        It’s doing pretty well actually. So far it’s sold around 900,000 copies which makes it the third best selling hip hop album of the year and that is very impressing considering the fact that it’s only been out for like a month and a half… It’s on it’s way to platinum soon. Industry analysts predict that next week kanye will continue climbing the albums chart and would definitely be in the top 5.

    • KVM

      yes, it falls off the charts quickly but I think it’s still selling but not much

  • Phil

    OMG, Brad do you ever actually put any thought into the pieces you write?? January is the ‘new black’ as far as high profile artists go for releasing new singles, and albums right when Spring Break takes off! Kelly Clarkson smartly released “My Life Would Suck Without You” in January of 2008 and instantly got the familair sounding song to shoot to #1 because digital sales are slow this month which is why…DUH…Britney’s camp is pulling the same stunt. Even if the song which isn’t life changing and amazing as all these celebrity friends claim, it will be a sure fire #1 simply off digital sales since she has zero competition & all the other songs are now stale in the mind of young downloaders. Its not rocket science, yet everyone is hyping her single like it will cure cancer…COme this time next week, everyone is going to be all “Sounds like Ke$ha through ths track up in Britney’s closet.”

    • Phil

      2009, not 2008, sorry

    • Justin

      Phil, have you heard Britney’s song? I think not.

      • Phil

        Please learn to READ what people write. ‘Even if the song isn’t life chnaging or amazing as her celebrity friends claim, it will go to #1′ I don’t have to hear it, because this is whats going to happen, and regardless of how it sounds this time half of the world wide web is going to be saying how much they hate it. Again, not rocket science…

    • Justin

      Phil, you said “even if the song WHICH isn’t life changing and amazing as all these celebrity friends claim…” that suggests you have heard it and know for a fact. You should have left the “which” out…sorry just correcting you.

  • Jermey

    Britney! hands down. Can’t wait to hear it!

  • Helena

    Feb. 13, now, that’s a date ;)

    • Flip

      No one cares about that sh!t. That date’s wrong, too.

      • Phil

        Sunday, February 13th is The Grammys when Lady Gaga is rumored to be debuting her single. There is nothing wrong with that date.

      • Phil

        And speaking of dates, all of this chatter about Britney Vs. Gaga…Regardless of what their singles sound like I appreciate Gaga for actually having a set plan. a Release date for both the single (Feb.), and her album (May 23rd). Britney & her label now seem to be back pedaling…saying that the release of her new single at radio today was ‘an internet rumor’ while sites like Billboard have DJ Pauly D saying her new song is AMAZING (because they share the same manager) & running stories of how Perez Hilton & Ryan Seacrst thinks the song is a sure fire hit. This may not seem like a big deal, but to someone like me, it says Gaga has a set promotional roll out plan, while Britney may not only still be recording, but is waiting to hear what her pop contemporary releases in case her label gets scared and wants her to tweak her songs. Maybe you think thats reaching, but Britney has announcing no single release date for iTunes or an album date other than March (which could change, depending on how well the single is received.)

      • jesse

        yo phil shut the hell up if u dont like britney wat r u even doin her go to gaga article loli cant believe how childless ur acting grow up why start a fight between the queen of pop and just gaga its just ridiculous

      • Phil

        @Jesse Britney is Not the Queen of Pop thats Madonna. And I offered my thoughts followed by actual facts, IMAGINE THE NERVE OF ME!
        And you should learn to speak to people on the internet like you would anyone else you meet. Telling me to shut the hell up would get you about as far here as it would in reality.

  • Nick

    Does H.A.M. stand for Hold it Against Me?

    • Phil reports it stands for “Hatin’ Ass Motherfu@%as”.

      • mr. lal zuithang

        birthney how are you?
        GOD bless you.
        please reply me to my e-mail address..

  • anya

    I’m way more excited for Britney’s. Kanye has released a lot lately but we haven’t had anything new from Britney for more then a year now. And from the leak it sounds like she’s going back to her Blackout sound, so it should be awesome.

    • Phil

      And some would say her going back to the sound of “Blackout” when she was out of control could be disastrous since its her poorest selling disc, eventhough I too enjoy it…just saying….

      • anya

        While I agree, I think the reason it is her lowest selling album is because it was in the middle of her mental breakdown and some people refused to support her, or had just stopped taking her seriously. To me, the club heavy sound of that album was her best, and if she were to go back to that sound with her current image in the current music market she would be pretty successful.

    • KVM

      yes mothereffing britney!!!!

  • Michael

    Is a Kanye/Jay-Z song still a big deal or something? It’s time for Britney to show everyone again why she’s the world’s leading pop artist!

    • the truth

      She’s not the world’s leading pop artist.

    • u

      Uh, perhaps you haven’t gotten the memo, but Lady Gaga is currently the world’s leading pop artist, Britney rescinded that title long ago…

      • Lord

        nope, lady gaga is not the worlds leading pop artist as most of her little monsters are claiming to do so.
        Excited for britney it’s about darn time!!!!

      • u

        @ Lord:

        I am the farthest thing from a “little monster” (I don’t even like Gaga!), I am just stating the facts. Britney is old news. Only her hardcore fans who have followed her since 1999 are anticipating her comeback and making a big hoopla about it. The rest of the world doesn’t care, it’s all about Gaga now, like it or not.

      • Lord

        “it’s all about gaga now, like it or not” lmao! I don’t care about gaga and I’m sure many people don’t care too, like it or not.

      • Jason

        Totally agree. I’m not a little monster, but Gaga is millions of miles ahead of Britney, who got where she is by lip-syncing and autotunes. Britney was history.

      • rokstar92


        Britney Spears is friggin awesome. She PAVED THE WAY FOR A LADY GAGA in SOOO MANY WAYS. Even Gaga ADMITS IT and gaga has so much respects for Britney as a POP ICON. Gaga will trip herself on her own overly inflated ego You CANT COMPARE A 13 YEAR GRAMMY WINNING 100 MILLION RECORDS SOLD POP ICON to a 2 YEAR PHENOMENON like Gaga. AND
        In a recent poll asked fans to decide whose album they were most about hearing Gaga or Britney. Britney WON!!…. By a landslide baby! Compare Britney to other legends like Janet and Madonna or even Beyonce who has been in pop music since Britney started. Hoever she CANNOT be compared to any newcomers like Taylor or Caca or anyone. She is a living legend. Gaga is a NEWCOMER. Making sense?

      • u


        Yes, because we all know that MTV polls are the most reliable method of measuring the cultural relevance of things. I mean, it’s not like they’re out of touch with music or anything, what with their endless barrage of reality programming.

      • Sagar

        Yes, truth is Britney Spears is a legend, she is not pulling big numbers like she used to. You can say as much as you want and I am a big Britney fan but first of all Gaga won that polling and second GaGa has a fanbase (monsters) and everyday her fanbase is growing, they will buy her album like crazy and Gaga promotes herself like crazy and let’s just admit it gaga has some creative stuff going in her brain, Britney barely ever promotes herself and if she does like she used to she will go back at the top but until than she isn’t big as Gaga, also gaga wrote every single song from her album and that to me is calked a real musician!:))

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