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Kathleen’s Ode to Otis

Posted on July 21st, 2011

It’s no secret I love me some Kanye West. But as much as I love Yeezy, I am still a discerning fan of hip hop. So if Ye puts out something I don’t like, I will own up to it. This is not the case with “Otis.” Kanye and Jay-Z leaked the second track from their joint album Watch The Throne late last night and the reviews have been mixed. Some people aren’t feeling it—I’m looking at you NML producer Manny—and some people, like me and Questlove, have spent the whole morning defending the song.

Here are five reasons why I freaking love “Otis”:

1. Ye + Jay can do no wrong together
I know, I said I would fess up if I thought something Kanye put out was bad but to date, it hasn’t happened yet. Ye and Jay are consistently awesome and together, they’ve got a Midas touch. How can you hate on two hip hop heavyweights at the top of their game? I love how their vocals compliment each other so well and their little brother/ older brother dynamic is prominent on this track.

2. Pretty in Pink
You might recognize the Otis Redding track “Try A Little Tenderness” from one of the all-time greatest scenes in a movie ever. Jon Cryer as Duckie in Pretty in Pink delivered a scene that is just so awesome, every time I hear the song, I’m transported to my happy place. So, suck it everyone who doesn’t like this sample. On to my next point.

3. The sample is perfect
The biggest beef I’ve heard about this track is that the sample is sloppy and sounds unfinished. Well I beg to differ. Yes, the loop of Otis’ vocal throughout the beat is unique, more prominent than other samples and yes, on first listen, distracting. But as you give it a couple more listens, Jay and Ye build the energy of their verses to match Otis and it all comes together in a happy soulful, musical medium.

4. Luxury rap
Lyrically, this song is fire. Kanye and Jay are at their best delivering lines like Ye’s “luxury rap/ the Hermes of verses/ sophisticated ignorance, write my curses in cursive.” I think I choked on my toothpaste when I heard that line. Too good. Jay doesn’t hold back either. Here’s my fav Jay line: “photo shoot fresh/ looking like wealth/ I’m about to call the paparazzi on my self.” Fire! These lines encompass the greatness of Ye and Jay. They’ve gone from making a career out of rhyming about struggling growing up or being the nerdy outsider and now, they can still be just as refreshing and on point when they’re talking about driving Benzes or paparazzi.

5. It’s just a taste of the most epic album of our time
As much as I love this track, I know it’s just a little glimpse into what Watch The Throne will offer. It will be amazing and epic and awesome so if “Otis” isn’t your jam, wait for August 5th. I promise we won’t be disappointed.

- Kathleen
New.Music.Live. Team


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