H.A.M. By Jay-Z And Kanye West
With all the hype, rumors, and speculation (when is it coming out? Will it be an EP or a LP? Is the world ready for an album that will probably melt its face off?) about Kanye West and Jay-Z's joint record Watch the Throne, it's hard to listen to the single they've released off of it as an autonomous song. This is a pretty solid preview, I imagine, for how many people will react to the record itself: allowing the pomp and circumstance of this legendary collaborative effort to cloud their senses. However, the new song "H.A.M." shows us that the pomp and circumstance don't actually cloud anything at all. The single, while lacking a little bit in the lyrical department, is still a track of the most epic magnitude, but not in the way you'd expect. The power is in the production. The chorus is a dominating, cascading mix of a choral refrain and a beat so strong you feel it in your chest. The breakdown is unlike anything heard in Kanye and Jay-Z's work before — even though they're both well known for their creative sampling, Lex Luger, the album's 19-year-old producer, brings something totally new to the table in this track by mixing the macabre with a beat that's fresh and fun.
The issue of the subpar lyrics is, admittedly, a little unsettling. With all the established respect and critical acclaim for these iconic MCs, I feel that the lyrics should be more creative than they are- as the song stands now, it's about four and a half minutes of
Kanye and Jay-Z bragging about how awesome they are. Let's be frank: their cockiness is not unfounded, but something new wouldn't hurt. Could it be that these two greats have begun to take themselves too seriously? Time, and Lex Luger, will tell.