Let's start with the facts: (1) Rap giants Jay-Z and Kanye West joined forces to create an album titled Watch the Throne; (2) There is a teaser trailer for their upcoming video "Otis"; (3) The video was directed by Spike Jonze; (4) The song features a sample of Otis Redding's soul classic "Try a Little Tenderness"; (5) "Otis" isn't about Otis Redding; (6) Numbers 2 and 5 are unsettling.
"Otis" (the video) is hitting MTV airwaves at 8:56 p.m.. EST on August 11, which is great. But we've got a bone to pick with this new rap power couple.
They used an Otis Redding song, a song that would bring emotion to a dead man, sung by one of the most powerful voices in music, even used his name as the title of the song. But the lyrics are about supermodels, Mercedes Benzes, and inventing "swag." Totally, tastelessly missing any point of the original song.
This is all fine, except why then use Otis Redding's name as your title? They could have called it "Try a Little Swag" or "Hermes is my Tenderness" and it'd make more sense.
As far as we can tell from the trailer (which is a commercial for a music video), Kanye's wearing many gold necklaces and there are a good number of pyrotechnics involved. Guess we'll wait till tomorrow to get a peek.
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To learn more about the history of "Try a Little Tenderness," check out Dave Bry of The Awl's fascinating post about the evolution of the song, a mini-project that will be complete once the "Otis" video airs tomorrow evening.
If, however, you need more Jay-Z and Kanye, you can catch them this November 14 at the BankAtlantic Center at 7:30 as part of their Watch the Throne tour. Tickets went on sale this week via livenation.com.