Jay-Z and Kanye West have something new in the world: The latest cut from their forthcoming "Watch the Throne" album, a tune called "Otis." In it, the two modern-day monarchs of hip-hop step aside to make room for true soul music royalty: Otis Redding.
The sample-driven banger premiered Wednesday on New York radio station Hot 97 FM (97.1), courtesy of DJ Funk Master Flex.
With grainy snare snaps, greasy organ and a stomping floor-tom pulse, the song pays homage to Redding’s gravelly baritone with a sample of "Try a Little Tenderness" while the two titans of braggadocio trade verses that champion street-level cockiness wrapped in the elegance of a three-piece suit.
"Photo shoot fresh, lookin' like wealth/ I'm about to call the paparazzi on myself" Hova raps while Yeezy talks about "writing his curses in cursive." Though the duo's knack for flossing takes precedence over most of the track, Redding's raw power screams through in the final seconds like a rude wakeup call, reminding us that "Watch the Throne" is positioning itself for a chart takeover.
"Otis" follows the Lex Luger-produced "H.A.M.," which made its way to the tweetosphere in January.
The digital version of the album drops Aug. 1, with the physical version out four days later. Take a listen to the track here (there's some strong language -- scroll down for the audio link) then tell us what you think.
-- Nate Jackson
Photos: Kanye West, left, and Jay-Z. Credits: George Pimentel / Getty Images, left; Andrew Gombert / European Pressphoto Agency, right.