Jay-Z, Kanye and the ChickenFoot Effect
by Alyssa Mastrocco (English), published August 11th 2011
I saw Jay-Z by accident once. Not completely by accident, but I bought my tickets with the intent to see The Beastie Boys. Adam Yauch was diagnosed with throat cancer sometime between the festival announcement and the actual performance, so Jay-Z ended up as the replacement. I was pretty bummed. However, he opened the show with ‘No Sleep Til Brooklyn’ which was both a nice tribute to the Boys and very impressive. He rapped all three parts without sounding too winded and then carried on with his own set. I have respect for Jay-Z. Kanye West is another story. He’s sort of the ass of the music industry.
With this week’s much-anticipated release of Watch the Throne, the two rappers’ joint effort, I’m not so much impressed as I am reminded of all the other super-groups in history. Sure, the super-group is a phenomenon mostly reserved for hair metal has-beens and other washed-up rockers. Take ChickenFoot. Just look at the name these men chose for their group. Chicken. Foot. I don’t think I need to say any more.
I must say that I am not a fan of rap. I don’t often seek it out, but I can appreciate a well-crafted track. ‘Why I Love You’ is a great track, but then again, Kanye’s presence in it is minimal. The appearance of Beyonce on ‘Lift Off’ screams of ‘yo look at my girlfriend.’ There are plenty of more talented female vocalists out there that could have sung that hook just as well. ‘Who Gon Stop Me’ got boring after about a minute and a half and the feminist in me died a little bit just reading the title of ‘That’s My Bitch.’ I’m in the process of listening to the rest of the album as I find it on my various social networks, but so far I’m not impressed.
This album seems to be comprised of half decent music and half hedonism. Kanye and Jay-Z both have a lot of money and can ‘ at this point ‘ afford to do whatever they want in the music industry, so we end up with albums like this. As with any other artist, there are fans out there who will like anything these two put their names on, but I’m not convinced. I do think it deserves a fair chance, and unfortunately the hype works both ways in cases like these.
Perhaps they’re each better off doing their own work instead of trying to fit both of their enormous egos into one CD case.
Obviously that’s a joke. Who even buys CDs anymore?