But Why Did They Have to Bring “Otis” into This?

07/21/2011 9:50 AM |

The internet was aflutter last night, when “Otis,” another track from the much-anticipated Watch the Throne collaboration started making the rounds. As its title implies, this time out, Jay and Kanye are working off an elaborate Otis Redding sample, from “Try a Little Tenderness.” It’s a neat trick, and there are times when the verses (especially Kanye’s) intersect with Redding’s raspy, pleading vocals in a way that will stop you dead in your tracks. The sample is a little too out of left field, though, with no link to the new stuff, either thematically or in tone. Both rappers are in decent enough form here, but you get the sense they’re both holding back just a little, that they’re not quite putting forward the best, most interesting versions of themselves. And perhaps it’s a product of the headphones-listening I’ve been limited to so far, but the production doesn’t seem befitting of royalty, self-appointed or otherwise.