Hip-hop has been proclaimed dead almost as many times as rock and roll at this point, so when two of the arguably biggest rappers in the game plan on releasing an album together gaudily entitled Watch The Throne
, forgive me if I get skeptical that there is really a throne to be had. One of them could even be the best-album-of-the-year toting, off-the-wall rapper/producer Kanye West, it doesn't matter. The lawless rap kingdom doesn't need a king, it needs a revolution. And Jay-Z hasn't exactly been "killing it" as an artist, although his influence and business savvy are not under dispute. So how does the first single "H.A.M." stand up to the hype? Surprisingly well for a "swinging our weight" kind of track, that's for sure.
"H.A.M." dropped on Tuesday, and it's only competition for attention was a piece of plain-Tofu-pop Brittney Spears that was so depressingly mundane, it made me revisit Jason Derulo b-sides as "maybe acceptable". Yeah, that bad. But let's "H.A.M." it up!
The track is kind of awesome. The dramatized operatic bits and the epic, old-school backing track add a bit of self-awareness to the whole experience, like Ye and Hov know that they are being a bit ridiculous trying to tell us to "watch" the throne at least one of them already occupies (if not some sort of time-share). Jay actually brings worthwhile thoughts to the mic, finally outshining his more production-leaning apprentice with his lines (the juice that got him a career in this business). The supposed star-power of the track shines through in all the right places, and my only complaint is that every time it ends on my iTunes I have to suffer at least three or four seconds of Ke$ha before I change it back.
Listen and download over at Nah Right
. Watch The Throne
is out soon. -joe puglisi
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