Thu 11 Aug 2011
Jay-Z and Kanye West debuted their “Otis” video on MTV, directed by one of my favorites, Spike Jonze. (Thanks Tuma!) Here’s the vevo version for our intl’ readers. What do we think of the video? (PS: That chopped and screwed Maybach is being auctioned for East Africa charity…What will the CarFax read? ; ) (PPS: Does Aziz have one Chris Rock hand?)
We are living in a post-Watch The Throne world. Just 5 days ago…B.WTT! Before Watch The Throne. Now, A.WTT! Anno Watch the Throne. Do you remember what it was like to live in darkness? Carve your new awareness on a tablet. Preferably one with a touchscreen.
Ok, I’m being dramatic, but yes, Jay-Z and Kanye West‘s Watch the Throne album was definitely the biggest most galvanizing (and polarizing) hip hop album in a long time. Which is a great thing for music and music fans. I’ve been digesting it and am still trying to get a more realistic grasp on what I like and don’t like. Problem being…it’s taken me more than a week to just snap out of the fairy dust from that incredible Watch the Throne listening session. Kind of hard to be objective when you’re in a friggin’ planetarium packed with talented people you respect, under a full-dome movie screen hypnotizing you with basically Carl Sagan’s Cosmos x Michael Bay’s Transformers. Then to moving along with The Throne and their caboose to Philippe Chow for crab legs and The Darby for banquette trampolining until 4am.
So, yeah…still in awe of that night. Whoever raised their hand and suggested the Planetarium in a marketing meeting deserves a bonus or some sort….But I’ve distanced myself from the celebration and listened to Watch the Throne enough this week to have a few thoughts…
There are moments during WTT that suffer from overkill (or more specifically overproduction) but I really enjoy when the duo get introspective, both musically and lyrically. I twitch when I hear “Gotta Have It,” bop when I hear “N—as in Paris,” sway to “Murder to Excellence.” But I stop moving for “Made In America,” “New Day,” and “Why I Love You.” And just listen very carefully. I imagine how that Gladys Knight hook must weigh like a ton on the chest of whoever Jay is addressing. They know who they are. Also I’ve mentioned before that, even though the two-seater Throne is the focus, Watch the Throne also feels like the cotillion ball for Frank Ocean’s rising star. He’s gonna be a monster.
Watching the WTT watch: There’s been a steady stream of reverential lyric quoting on twitter. And some really self-absorbed folks who think we all want their steady stream of hot air. There’s been some hilarious backlash. And some folks who are just trying to be contrary. But I’ve been fascinated by some of the very heady criticism, most of which centering on the fact that Jay and Ye are just too damn rich! LOL. I get it, but it’s ironic. Mostly because I wonder if rap fans with the most intimate knowledge of financial hardship are having the same complaint?
Personally, at this point, the “luxury rap” lingo doesn’t impress or offend me. At least Jay and Ye know what they’re talking about. (as opposed to the guys who think Louboutin is actually Lou Vuitton. *hoots*) As a teen Vogue fiend, I don’t need a glossary to recognize all the labels and I also know most of them don’t even make clothes that you really want to wear. Unless you’re this guy, or it’s Halloween. But I still get a thrill from hearing word play like “Bueller had a Muller, but I switched it for a Mille.” (I’m a bit confused why some folks thought Hov said Miele. I mean, they make a mean washing machine but huh? LOL)
-I didn’t always agree with but enjoyed this Hua Hsu review:
“Let Them Eat Cake” on Grantland.
-Here’s a gallery of some lavish label-naming on Watch the Throne:
Business Insider’s “13 Most Surprising Brand Shout-Outs”
-And a timeline of Jay-Z’s artworld references on Watch the Throne:
Complex’ “Jay-Z’s Obsession with Art”
-And all the Egotripland parodies have been hilarious:
“10 Signs That the Hype on “Watch The Throne” Has Gotten Way Out of Hand.”
“10 Names Jay-Z & Kanye West Could Have Chosen That Would Have Actually Been Worse Than “The Throne.” (I died at #3, #8, and #9. Triple death)
And I’m sure there’s more….let me know what your favorite WTT posts were!
Meanwhile, RollingStone reported on Givenchy designer Riccardo Tisci’s WTT fold-out cover design:
“I am honored to have been asked to be part of this incredible music moment with such amazing artists,” Tisci says in a statement. “I am impressed by the amount of respect they have for music and art. We share the same way of working: like a family.”
…a representative for the house of Givenchy provided further insight into the process that went into Tisci’s imagining and creation of the product. Bold colors and angular lines were incorporated symbolically to convey the “masculinity of two of the most iconic rap figures of our time.“
Oh gawd. These fashion people are so extra. I liked the gold panel, and the flag. But I actually thought someone had vandalized the portraits…didn’t love those big cat morphs. (And no, that’s not because I just don’t know enough about fashion or art to get it. LOL)
What’s interesting is that I had heard months ago of a plan to release very limited collector’s editions of Watch the Throne….like Tisci art objects, with thousand dollar price points. What if there had been a wearable version….
The Throne (Kanye West & Jay-Z) Preview Their New Video For “Otis”
Jay-Z Is #1 On Forbes’ 2011 Hip Hop Cash King
Kanye West Still Feels Unloved: “People Look At Me like I’m F**king Insane …like I’m Hitler”
Jay-Z Stops By Hot 97 For Surprise Interview with Angie Martinez (Audio)
Kanye West To Debut His Women’s Line at New York Fashion Week…What Can We Expect?
An Elegant Overview of Cannes With Kanye West, Michel Gondry, Spike Jones and more
Kanye West and Director Spike Jonze: We Were Once A Fairy Tale (Video)