Here's a musical collaboration sure to be some kind of first: Rapper M.I.A. reportedly recorded a track of her upcoming album with a group of Filipino Verizon workers.
In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, the 34-year-old singer said that a lengthy phone call with tech support inspired the song "I'm Down, Like Your Internet Connection."
"I was having issues with my cable and wireless, and I was on the phone [with tech support] for three hours, and I thought, 'Maybe this needs to be part of my music, could you just learn these lyrics and sing it down the phone to me?' Ten phone calls later, I have Internet that sticks and a song," she told the magazine.
Representatives for the artist did not immediately respond to requests for comment, but Rolling Stone associate editor Brian Hiatt said that though he wonders whether M.I.A. was exaggerating the story, she insists it was true.
'E-Mail My Heart' and 'Google Me' Among Other Technofied Songs
"She's pretty funny. She's pretty in touch with the world as it is now," Hiatt said. "I think this is an example of that."
The Sri Lankan native has been vocal about political issues in the country where she spent her childhood and is generally known as a pretty with-it pop star.
In her interview with Hiatt, she said that she wants her new album (due out this summer) to be "honest."
"I definitely needed to come to music on this album, to make music. I don't want it to be gimmicky or silly or hipstery," she said. "I just want to be real, whatever that is."
Some might say that sampling from a customer service call couldn't get any more real. And though M.I.A. isn't the first to include tech references in her music, Hiatt said she might be the most successful.
He pointed out that Britney Spears' debut album "Baby One More Time" included the lesser known track, "E-Mail My Heart" and in 2008, hip hop artist Teyana Taylor crooned "Explorer, Safari, you know where your girl be. If you want to find me, baby you can Google me."
(Some might also recall Trey Songz's "LOL Smiley Face" or Soulja Boy's "Kiss Me Thru the Phone.")
Gizmodo: M.I.A. Song to Be New 'Shake It Like a Polaroid Picture'
Though Hiatt said most attempts at referencing technology have been "embarrassing," he added, "If anyone can do this and pull it off, it's M.I.A."
Music aside, the track is already getting attention from the tech community, where blogs and tweets are giving the album some early positive buzz.
Alluding to Outkast's hit song "Hey Ya," popular tech blog Gizmodo said M.I.A.'s song is "bound to become the new "shake it like a 'Polaroid picture.'"
GeekSugar said they couldn't wait for the parodies to flood YouTube. "How does 'I'm Down Like Your AT&T Signal' sound?" they wrote.
The song has even drawn an apology from Verizon. In a statement responding to reports about the artist's reported three-hour call, a spokesman said, "That's not at all typical. If it took that long to resolve a customer's issue, we apologize."
Chris Foresman, a contributing writer for tech blog Ars Technica and poor service sympathizer, said he even plans to buy the track.
Still reeling from his own tech service issue, he tweeted, "I should have done this based on my recent Comcast experience ;P"
The self-professed fan of nerdcore (hip hop music by nerds, about nerds) appreciated that M.I.A. is plugged into that scene enough to find the ironic humor in her soon-to-be immortalized tech call.
Even though technology is supposed to address problems, it still creates its own set of problems, he said.
"I think it's especially hilarious that it is such an issue that for all intents and purposes, a pop star writes a song about being stuck on the phone with Verizon," he said. "I think that is a hilarious commentary on modern life."