When “Otis” dropped this past week, I couldn’t help but chuckle at all the praise filled tweets and blogs, as if the track’s quality somehow caught folks off guard. It’s Hov and Yeezy! What do you expect?
This mini documentary really just teases us with what it might be like to live the uber-baller, can’t tell me nothin’ kind of life that Jay and Kanye exist in. When you live in this plane, whatever you want to do, you just will it and it’s done. Want to record a masterpiece with your friends in Hawaii? No problem, MBDTF is your result. Want to switch locales to Australia, rent castles, hang out with Russell Crowe, and immortalize him in music history? You got it.
Despite a few folks trying to get their attention, there isn’t any competition in hip-hop for these two. They live on the throne, we watch it.
I’ve been watching Hov make the rounds to damn near every media outlet in NYC over the past week, but I wasn’t really sold that I wanted to check out Decoded until this interview at the New York Public Library. It’s almost 2 hours, so it’s certainly long, but if you can watch it, I highly recommend it. There’s really good, insightful commentary from Jay, Cornel West, and Paul Holdengraber throughout.
Shout to Shad’s manager, G, who sent it over and summed it up nicely:
There is a video link below. It’s not short. But it’s great.
It reminded me about how important the work that we do is. We are quite literally changing the future.
For the remaining history of this world, people who love really good food, will undoubtedly stumble upon the creative output of our friends. I think that’s f*cking incredible, and I often forget…to remember it.
It was great to revisit Jay-Z as an artist…and it was great to see Cornel West attempt to evoke just a bit more enlightenment in a person who he clearly has a ton of respect for already.
This video also made me realize how important it is to have a Cornel West Uncle at the dinner table.
If you’re part of the Twitter world, then you’ve probably heard the news that Kanye West has recently joined the community. Lately he’s been dropping hints of a collaborative five-track EP between him and Jay-Z that should be dropping sometime soon. I don’t know what’s more surprising: the thought of a Hov and ‘Ye EP or the fact that I’m kind of feeling a verse from Nicki Minaj. Kind of.
A few weeks back on Sound Session, we had the pleasure of chopping it up with one of hip-hop’s rising stars, J. Cole, during his first trip to Seattle. I’ll admit that I wasn’t up on J back when The Come Up dropped, but a few homies recommended it shortly after the release, and I once I checked it out, I was hooked. Now that The Warm Up has solidified his “got next” status and he’s on tour with Jay-Z, it’s only a matter of time before he becomes a household name.
Peep our 3 part interview with Cole to hear him discuss all sorts of topics:
I have mixed feelings about this song and video. First off, since switching to a job where I see hundreds of music videos a week, I’m afraid Hype’s clips just don’t do much for me these days. Perhaps he was at his pinnacle when I was younger and I was easily impressed by the old super glossy, big budget videos he shot, but I haven’t seen anything from him lately that’s absolutely wowed me. This one is cool visually, but nothing too special and I see more innovative clips every day at the office.
Secondly, you will never, ever…[old school Jay] eva eva eva eva [/old Hov]…look cool/hard playing the piano in a video. So while Alicia is quite possibly the hottest girl out there right now, I still think the piano shots look hilarious. I don’t care if you’re a guy or a girl, you just can’t try to look cool in a video while playing the piano. Sorry, just how it is.
Lastly, this song is overrated to me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still good, but it seems like everyone is trying to make it some epic, classic record. Sorry again, it’s not. The beat is cool, but not great, and there’s a horrible glitching sound in the loop from where they cut off the tambourine that comes around every time and annoys the hell out of me. Jay’s lyrics are dope, but that sing-song flow gets old real quick and makes for boring repeated listens too. Being one of the best songs on Blueprint 3 doesn’t mean it’s an incredible record. It just means it’s not “Forever Young.”
I think this is a classic case of the music industry being a bit too NYC-centric. With a lot of the labels, magazines, websites, and TV stations centered out there, they automatically assume what’s big in NY should be big all over the country (and the world). NYC isn’t the center of the hip-hop universe anymore and just because this record is a great anthem for them, doesn’t mean it’s going to resonate with everyone else throughout the country. Or if it does, not nearly to the extent they think.
It’s kinda like when XXL pressed up this cover:
There’s no way in hell…in 2009…that cover ever should have been made for a national publication. None of those artists are remotely hot or popular outside of the Northeast. I’d say 90% of people who listen to hip-hop on the west coast don’t even know who Freekey Zekey is, let alone like him. Anyway, I get a similar feeling when I hear all these magazines, TV hosts, and label dudes tell me how classic “Empire State Of Mind” is.
If you’re from NY? Sure. Bang it.
If you’re not from NYC? It’s cool, but it’s not a classic hip-hop record and nowhere near one of Jay’s best.
As I mentioned on this week’s SNSS recap, Jay-Z’s Blueprint 3 tour came through Seattle this weekend and pretty much shut down the city. Along with Hov, J. Cole, Wale, and N.E.R.D. performed and all the opening acts came through our station (KUBE 93) to chop it up before the show.
In these clips, peep the homies Karen Wild and Producer L talk with Pharrell, Shay, and N.E.R.D.’s newest member, Rhea, all about their upcoming Instant Gratification album. They also revealed some secrets behind their creative process in the studio and gave lots of insight to the motivation behind their art. Some lucky listeners also got to ask the group a few questions as well.
Check out all 4 parts of the interview…P kicks knowledge throughout.
This past Saturday, Jay-Z performed in Seattle for the first time in 10 years (apparently Bill Gates needs to remind Hov about our lovely city) and pretty much shut down the city. Aside from a few Blueprint 3 songs that really have no business being performed at a Jay-Z show, the concert was epic from start to finish. Call me old fashioned, but I’d like to see at least one song from Reasonable Doubt (“Dead Presidents”!?!?!) or In My Lifetime, Vol. 1 (“A Million and One Questions”!?!?!?) rather than “On To The Next One.” Maybe that’s just me. *Kanye shrug*
That said, in front of a sold out Key Arena, Jay killed it from beginning to end and the opening lineup of J. Cole, Wale, and N.E.R.D. was excellent. Big shout to all those artists for coming through the studio before the show. We’ll have interviews with them coming soon…
Meanwhile, on this week’s SNSS, we played new joints from (who else) Hov, N.E.R.D., J. Cole, Big Boi, Slick Rick, the CunninLynguists, Ghostface Killah, Fashawn, and more. Local artist Sol joined us in studio and we played a snippet of our interview with Royce Da 5’9″. Cop Street Hop in stores now! Last but not least, we world premiered a new track from the one and only YZ featuring Slug and Brother Ali. If you don’t know, now you know.
Show #229 (10-18-09)
Jay-Z ft. Pharrell – “So Ambitious”
N.E.R.D. ft. Santigold – “Soldier”
Janelle Monae – “Come Alive (The War Of The Roses)”
Lupe Fiasco – “Fire”
Dynas ft. Slick Rick – “Family Jewels”
Keelay & Zaire ft. Tunji, Thurzday, Kam Moye, Ragen Fykes, & the Park – “Addicts For Real (Remix)”
**INTERVIEW WITH SOL, PT. 1**
Sol ft. Grynch – “No Sleep” (Local Music)
**INTERVIEW WITH SOL, PT. 2**
Big Boi ft. Gucci Mane – “Shine Blockas”
J. Cole – “World Is Empty”
**INTERVIEW WITH ROYCE DA 5’9” (SNIPPET)**
Royce Da 5’9” ft. Phonte – “Something 2 Ride 2”
Yoshi ft. Buff1 & Darien Brockington – “Magnetic”
Jay Rush ft. D-Black – “I Ain’t Even Mad (Khrysis Real Sh*t Remix)”
BK-One ft. Murs – “Eighteen To Twenty-One”
YZ ft. Slug & Brother Ali – “Did I Ever Tell You” (WORLD PREMIERE)
CunninLynguists ft. E-40 & Evidence – “Running Wild”
Macklemore ft. Geologic – “Church” (Local Music)
Debaser ft. Phat Kat & Rasco – “Out Front” (Local Music)
*Ok, ok…to be fair, I haven’t even heard it. I sure hope the early reviews I’ve seen on Twitter aren’t accurate though. The leaks I’ve heard thus far haven’t been that impressive, but I’m about to give it a real listen…here goes nothing!