By Simon Vozick-Levinson
June 16, 2010 at 08:23 PM EDT

Image Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/ “Under Pressure,” Dr. Dre’s collaboration with Jay-Z, seems to have leaked online this afternoon. The song’s imminent release was announced in early April before repeated delays tempered fans’ anticipation somewhat; just a few minutes ago, I was actually writing a post entitled “Whatever happened to ‘Under Pressure’?” Now it’s here, albeit in very unfinished-sounding form.

The leak, whose rough-take vibe I cannot stress enough, is not an immediate stunner. Dr. Dre takes the first verse, spitting some decently clever bars (presumably penned with help from Jay) over clubby bleeps and bloops. “Maybe I don’t want to stop, maybe I don’t want to quit,” he muses. “Maybe I’m crazy/Maybe I’m strapped right now, just bait me.” Dre raises his voice for some rousing words in Creole. Then, after a blank space where a hook might fit, it’s time for Jay-Z’s superior verse. Hov gets some snappy lines in, as when he informs us that life’s stresses have him “bringing guns to work, Gilbert Arenas.” And: “I’m in this party, I’m up to no good/And I should be ducking these clubs, Tiger Woods.” Given the timing of the two sports scandals he references, I wonder if Jay-Z recorded his verse any later than January. After another bit of negative space, Dre growls another partial verse. That’s it. Two and a half verses, no hooks, and this version of “Under Pressure,” at least, is out.

JUNE 17 UPDATE: Early this morning, Dr. Dre issued a statement about the leak. “I want to set the record straight for everybody who’s been waiting to hear my music,” he said through a publicist. “The song that’s on the Internet is an incomplete song that I’m still working on.  When it’s ready, you’ll be hearing it from me.”

Have you heard “Under Pressure”? What do you think?

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