Listen: Kanye West and Jay-Z are hard as a mother… in ‘H.A.M.’

01.11.11 7 years ago 5 Comments

It’s kind of nice that when Kanye West says he’s gonna do something, he’s actually done it. A 30-minute mini-film for “Runaway?” A collaboration with Justin Bieber (sigh)? Solid Getting Out Our Dreams (G.O.O.D.) signees and a G.O.O.D. Friday release every week leading up to his album release last year? Check, check, check, check.

When he boasted of a forthcoming EP — and then a full-length album — with Jay-Z, I’ll admit I doubted. But this thing, “Watch the Throne,” just got a lot more real.

As previously reported, Ye and Hov plotted a single release for today, and I’ll be damned, they’re trying hard. “H.A.M.” is raucous and urgency, bursting with paranoia when those choral voices jump in, dripping with bravado when both rappers are released from their respective cages with some of the same *rowr* they harnessed in “Monster” from West’s “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.”

But — hear this — West’s nasally “haaaam” on the chorus sounds downright silly, a made-up acronym for “hard as a motherfucker,” as bleating, double-time beats, a full string-orchestra and instrumental interludes force “Transformers” level of mechanized drama. It makes me take the thing less seriously, but I don’t blame producer Lex Luger, who’s signature move is those gargantuan peaks. Jay-Z seems to have more fun with his rhymes, so maybe it’s just West you makes it sound like he’s the only one who thinks he’s got something left to prove.

[More after the jump…]

I don’t expect you’ll be hearing this on top 40 — too many expletives, too street, and there’s too much going on there. But it will make the common rotation somewhere, and it does hint at great things to come when “Watch This Throne” drops. Oh, and it will drop.

Kanye West made my top 10 for 2010, and Jay-Z was there in 2009. Way to already start owning 2011, guys.

“Like” the “Watch The Throne” page on Facebook to stream, or just check the YouTube version below, before UMG pulls it. And keep your eyes on for more announcements from the pair.

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