Kanye West & Jay-Z - Otis
By now, I think we’re all in agreement that H.A.M. was, in point of fact, “Hard as a motherf*cker”... or are we? In any case, there’s no point in resurrecting that debate when we can move on to battling over the newly-released follow-up. Otis, the second single off Jay-Z and Kanye West‘s collaborative LP, comes doubly saddled with high expectations—not only does it come courtesy of two of the game’s reigning heavyweights, but it pays homage to one of the greatest soul men of all time. West’s handles production, departing from his baroque MBDTF style in favor of a stripped-down instrumental sampled from the legendary Otis Redding’s Try a Little Tenderness. Lyrically, Hov and ‘Ye are on their high-rolling swag ish, the former threatening to “call the paparazzi on [himself]” and the latter showing off his extensive collection of Benzes (and his unorthodox brand of theology: “I made ‘Jesus Walks’ so I’m never going to hell.”). So, is this joint worthy of its namesake, as well as the lofty reputations of its creators? I have a feeling that question could keep heads occupied till Watch the Throne hits iTunes on August 8 and store shelves four days later on the 12th.