While the early release of “H.A.M.” proved to be just a warm-up exercise, Jay-Z and Kanye West’s new collaboration “Otis” offers the first genuine taste of what to expect from Watch The Throne, due out August 1 (unless they decide to just move it again because they can). Much as “H.A.M.” was colored by orchestral bombast straight out of a Lord Of The Rings battle scene, “Otis” similarly toys with expectations, constructed around a simple, soulful sample of Otis Redding’s “Try A Little Tenderness.” (And once again, it also lacks a standout hook, suggesting they’re still waiting for the album’s actual release to bring out the really big guns.) Lyrically speaking, though, it’s par for the private golf course: Both Kanye and Jay-Z brag about their respective champagne lifestyles, dropping references to their watch collections, their many expensive cars (“Last week I was in my other other Benz,” Kanye explains helpfully), and further examples of their “luxury rap” custom-designed to make you feel like a poor piece of shit. They also put themselves in the league of both Fidel Castro and Diff’rent Strokes patriarch Phillip Drummond, which is probably the first and last time those dudes will share song space.
(If the embed gets yanked, you can also hear it at Jay-Z's website.)