Monday, January 17, 2011

Classy Rapping

In some ways it feels like I only started this blog so I could talk about the new Kanye West/ Jay-Z duo and that may be true. My other blog, A Beautiful Party, is a place for me to talk (sometimes complain) about art but this is a new forum for me to talk about other things on my mind that don't quite fit into the artsy category. Like H.A.M.
As soon as I heard that Kanye and Jay-Z were making a song together, just the two of them, I really expected something absolutely epic, dripping in gold. So when I first previewed it on Itunes I was a little bit unimpressed.
Many people are usually shocked to hear how into rap I am. More often than not I have a rap song streaming through my head. I am not into rapping for ironic reasons. I just genuinely appreciate it, I love the passion.
Anyway back to H.A.M. When I was previeiwing it I wasn't into it but as soon as I heard Jay-Z I knew right away I was going to download it. Now I can't stop listening to it. It reminds me of old school rap, it feels really stripped down. There isn't a one-hit-wonder 80s song being sampled through it like so many songs are, there also isn't a million people singing on it including an ironic indie singer (ahem... Bon Iver, Monster). I think they may have even left out the autotune which is so rare these day.
Oh yeah, and then there is some operatic music streaming through. As soon as I heard that I was like, "Of course. Yes, of course Kanye would put this in his song." The thing about Kanye is a lot of people hate him because he's so cocky and arrogant but I think that's the reason to like him. He's like that friend you have with the over-inflated ego. You roll their eyes but at the end of the day they are still the Jack Donaghy to your Liz Lemon.
I imagine a conversation between Kanye and Jay-Z went like this:

K: I want us to do a song together, just the two of us. Something classy but subtle.
J: You want to be subtle?
K: Classy subtle. Like, rapping, but some opera in it. Opera will make it classy. But we'll keep it tough by calling the song H.A.M.
J: Ham? Like the meat?
K: No, H.A.M., hard as a mother f******. You know, so people will remember we are tough. The opera will make it classy tough.
J: Ham? Like the meat? It just makes me think of sandwich meat.
K: No trust me. It will be classy.

And it is classy, and it makes me want a sandwich. And I love it.

I do not think the song is doing as amazing as Kanye's ego thinks it is on the billboards. It's definitely a change from a lot of his other stuff. What are your thoughts?

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