Tag Archives: Jay Z

Kanye West & Jay-Z – H.A.M

Another Lex Luger beat that sounds like it’s heralding the end of the world in the gaudiest comic book imaginable: programmed snares crackle, big bass hits shudder and there’s that metastasizing/transforming sound that he does. Plus, this time there’s operatic, Omen-esque choirs – a little bit of classical refinement that Kanye probably recommended.

Not so sure on the rest of the track. Ye’s got his ‘HUH?’ game down pretty well, I’d even say he’s poking fun at himself and has probably seen this if he didn’t have such a massive ego and didn’t sound so half-arsed on this. Jay-Z doesn’t really fit either and they both sound a bit shrill, a bit whiny (maybe they’re supposed to?). Can’t stop thinking how much I’d rather hear Waka or Rick Ross or something like this.

Think I’m treating most of this stuff as post-MBDTF offcuts and b-sides, finding it hard to muster up the excitement and expectation for another Kanye project.

But still, it’s worth your time, if only to admire how prolific Kanye is at the moment.

MP3: Kanye West & Jay-Z – H.A.M

Jay Electronica – Shiny Suit Theory

Non Kanye-related rap news. Jay Elec signs to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation label, becoming a stable-mate with Willow Smith in the process, and releases this distinctly jazzy, Mad Men feeling track hot on the heels of The Announcement.

For this guy, two tracks in a week is something of a prolific streak. Probably wasn’t the best week to manage it, but you must be ready to listen to something other than the Ye record by now.

MP3: Jay Electronica – Shiny Suit Theory feat. Jay Z and The Dream

Kanye West – So Appalled

I couldn’t understand the fuss over Swizz Beats’ verse on Lord Lord Lord. It’s probably the weakest, sure, but it did the job and had a certain charm in how laid back and shambolic it was (I mean, Kanye rhymes ‘movie’ with ‘cootie’ in the same song – with is almost as bad as the ‘Have you ever had sex with a Pharaaaaoooooh’).

Regardless, that track is the best, most consistent thing to come from this G.O.O.D Fridays project, which is more and more evidently a process for Kanye to clear out some tracks that won’t make the cut for his next album (I hope). Obviously that then asks the question of what he’s doing roping in Raekwon, RZA, not members of the Kanye stable like Jay-Z, Charlie Wilson and so on, for a free download project. But anyway…

Swizz Beats cumbersome rapping metre was fine.

But Swizz Beats singing…

Fucking ridiculous.

MP3: Kanye West – So Appalled (feat. Jay-Z, Pusha T, RZA, Swizz Beats, Cyhi The Prynce)

This Is How You Do a Stadium Show

Watching that video, the roar that erupts when she comes on and the quality of her verse in itself, it’s hard argue that Nicki Minaj doesn’t have some real potential. It’ll be interesting to see what she does with it.

Anyway, there were some real stadium-sized stars (and egos) on that stage yesterday. I’m not a big fan of stadium gigs, but the roster Jay-Z had supporting him and the whole set up deserves respect. Even if, like me, you’re not into 50 cent or Eminem so much, it’s staggering that he got those two supporting him – along with Dr Dre and Chris Martin popping in. Unlike Matt Bellamy, some guy from Kings of Leon, or even Bono, these guys are megastars, celebrities in their own right; without the music, it’s exciting just seeing Jay and Kanye stalking about the stage. I can’t think of a bigger spectacle this year. In the age of blogs and ‘nichification’, it’s worth doffing the cap to

Must have been a great show.

MP3: Kanye West – Monster (feat. Jay-z, Rick Ross, Bon Iver, Nicki Minaj)

MP3: Nicki Minaj – My Chick Bad (feat. Ludacris)

Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego

It seems that the Beastie Boys have been enjoying a new wave of critical appreciation in the past few months, for both good and bad reasons. The good being the reappraisal of their classic material brought about by the remastered rereleases of Ill Communication, Paul’s Boutique and Check Your Head, and the anticipation for their release of Hot Sauce Committee which was due September 15th, but has since been delayed thanks to the bad reason – the diagnosis of MCA’s throat cancer.

Most importantly, it looks like he’s going to be fine and we’ll hopefully be able to get our hands on that new album in the not too distant future. The revelation has also focused the appreciation of the Beasties backcatalogue and their undeniable influence on pop music. It’s not hard to draw a line of influence from the beautiful collage of samples that is Paul’s Boutique to DJ Shadow’s Endtroducing, the output of Girl Talk and, on a wider level, the remix and mash-up culture that has proliferated along with the internet and blogs such as this. Regardless of what you think about their music, they’re one of those big influential acts whose legacy will reverberate long after they’re gone, which hopefully won’t be for a while yet.

The tributes haven’t just been coming in critical circles, either. Just last week at the All Points West festival – another American festival that shows up our own, in terms of line-up at least. A two year old, three stage, medium sized festival with Coldplay, Jay-Z, Tool, and a sizeable collection of Hip Hop artists, damn – we had a couple of kind hearted covers as a way of tribute.

First was a rather well-intentioned, if a little bland and white, cover of Fight For Your Right by the prime purveyors of white, bland rock music, Coldplay.

And then a little more impassioned effort from Jay-Z with No Sleep Til’ Brooklyn, complete with exciting countdown and everything.

On a lesser, and perhaps, less relevant note, they’re also up for a VMA for the superb Sabotage video in the Best Video (To never win a VMA) category.

All much deserved. Get well soon MCA.

MP3: Beastie Boys – Sabotage
MP3: Beastie Boys – Shake Your Rump
MP3: Beastie Boys (feat Nas) -Too Many Rappers

Jay Z’s Intro Video at Glastonbury

This is the video montage that was played before Jay Z’s enterance at Glastonbury. Nice to see a little more ribbing of Noel Gallagher and Oasis.

Jay Z makes Noel Gallagher look like an irrelevant cunt. Amy Winehouse punches people.

As promised here is the opening slice from Jay Z’s Glastonbury headlining set, a nice little ‘fuck you’ to Oasis and imparticular Noel Gallagher. In a sort of “I’m in your stage, playing your songs, stealing your audience” sort of way. He followed up immediately with AC/DC fueled 99 problems, apologies for the fawning cunt that is Zane Lowe at the beginning but it’s the best video I could find.

The rest of the setlist along with other Glastonbury highlights, of which there were many are all over Youtube. Here’s another one that has provoked quite a lot of “discussion”

Michael Eavis defended her by suggesting that someone had “grabbed her boob” but from the video I can’t really seen any boob gropage. Her whole performance was a little harebrained and all over the place, so maybe she though someone looked at her funny.