Tuesday November 1st, 2011 12:58

Live Clips: Jay-Z and Kanye West

Kanye West & Jay-Z

So, the weekend saw the start of Jay-Z and Kanye West’s much-anticipated ‘Watch The Throne’ tour, which had its inaugural date in Atlanta, Georgia on Saturday 28. Speculation was rife as to how Hove and Ye’s finalized setlist would turn out, but pretty much nobody was disappointed by the mix of solo and collaborative tracks that made up the eventual running order.

Despite some technical glitches, the concert was widely agreed to be a feat of execution, staging, and performance; with Kanye and Jay combining the best from their separate and joint careers in a cleverly combined hip-hop narrative. The 24-carat twosome took it in turns to play their own hits; vacating the stage for each other’s lone portions before reuniting to tear through mega-mixes and ‘Watch The Throne’ LP cuts. Set alternately against lazer light-shows and a billowing backdrop of stars and stripes ala their ‘Otis’ video, ‘Watch The Throne’ live looks set to become the year’s must-see spectacle, without match.

You can keep track of backstage happenings throughout the tour here on just-launched entertainment platform, VOYR, which will provide paying members with behind-the-scenes clips and exclusive documentaries on a daily basis. Meanwhile, sample a couple of fan-filmed videos from Saturday’s show below.

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Tuesday August 23rd, 2011 12:58

New Track: Lenny Kravitz feat Drake

Lenny Kravitz

Back in action after a three-year hiatus from recording, Lenny Kravitz is all set to release his new record ‘Black And White America’ on August 30.

Boasting drop-ins from hip-hop giants Jay-Z and Drake, the high-profile LP is Lenny’s self-styled soul-funk chronicle, an autobiographical melting-pot of synth-led power ballads, retro rock standards and disco grooves, each wrung out with every last drop of his trademark rockstar flair.

Sample Drake-featuring album track ‘Sunflower’, which Lenny co-wrote with Swizz Beatz, below.

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Wednesday August 10th, 2011 12:58

Album Stream: The Throne (Jay-Z and Kanye West)

Jay-Z & Kanye West

A year since The Throne (that’s Kanye West and Jay-Z, to their friends) were struck by the thunderbolt notion to make an album together, the ultra-regal rap duo have delivered their ‘Watch The Throne’ LP onto iTunes without a single hitch or early leak.

Summoning the production strength of RZA, Swizz Beatz, The Neptunes and Q-Tip, plus the diverse talents of a host of featured artists ranging from English electro-pop star La Roux, to Odd Future’s Frank Ocean, to, of course, Beyonce, this is a predictably stellar affair. Well, the celeb-packed playback preview was held in a planetarium, after all.

Equally self-assured and experimental in its scope, the album affords bravado and fast-track quips courtesy of Redding-sampling lead single ‘Otis’, sub-bass dubstep dabbling in colossal synth stomper ‘Who Gon Stop Me’, and all-round opulence, ambition, and arrogance, served up with lyrical standards sufficiently supreme to suit hip-hop’s reigning royal fraternity. Kanye even shouts “LOLOLOL” at one point. He actually says that. Could “LOLOL” be the new “SWAG”, maybe? We hope so.

Ahead of its physical release on 12 August, stream ‘Watch The Throne’ below.

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Monday July 25th, 2011 09:58

Studio Clip: Jay-Z and Kanye West

Jay-Z & Kanye West

With the release of Jay-Z and Kanye West’s new collaborative single ‘Otis’ already serving to amp up anticipation for the duo’s upcoming LP, ‘Watch The Throne’ has been, for the most part, the foremost phrase on every discerning music fan’s lips lately.

And for those not yet in on the discussion surrounding Jay and Ye’s momentous joint project, there’s now a short but sweet making-of documentary clip to sink your teeth into.

Opening with uncommonly candid footage filmed at a select gathering held in honor of Jay-Z’s birthday, Kanye does his best to impress his friend and one-time mentor with a couple of personalized gifts. It’s all very sweet and just a little awkward.

Offering appraisals on one another’s individual ‘Watch The Throne’ input and careers to date, the brotherly rap peers are also pictured composing and discussing in the studio with a key production team. Oh, and there are also cameos from Beyonce (an obvious guest, since she features on the record) and Russell Crowe (not so obvious, though he is referenced on a particular track).

Watch the documentary below.

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Friday July 22nd, 2011 09:58

New Track: Jay-Z and Kanye West

Jay-Z & Kanye West

All our hours of attentive throne-watching have finally been rewarded with the release of Kanye West and Jay-Z’s new collaborative track ‘Otis’, which follows ‘HAM’ in the succession of singles to be lifted from their joint Watch The Throne album.

‘Otis’ hosts Yeezy and Hov in top form as they go head-to-head swapping whip-smart jibes, boasts and disses over a soulful sample from Otis Redding’s ‘Try A Little Tenderness’.”I made ‘Jesus Walks’, I’m never going to hell/ Couture level flow, it’s never going on sale”, quips Kanye of his self-styled “Luxury rap, the Hermes of verses”. What about that line of high-fashion silk scarves you designed, Ye? They were on sale at $350 each, as we recall.

Anyway, ironical scarf banter aside, ‘Otis’ features some top-ranking wordplay from the practiced Watch The Throne twosome, whose diamond-encrusted LP is due for release as a digital download on August 1, hitting real-life stores four days later.

Stream ‘Otis’ here via Jay-Z’s Life + Times site. Is this the golden moment you’d hoped for from rap royalty’s most distinguished duo?

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Friday April 15th, 2011 08:08

First Listen: Santigold

Santigold

Nobody has heard much from Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Santi White aka Santigold lately, not since her debut album ‘Santogold’ and various collaborations with best gal pal M.I.A, Lykke Li and Kanye West. Bringing things up to date, the new Roc Nation signing has chosen her label boss Jay-Z’s new lifestyle site Life + Times as the platform to premiere her new track ‘GO’. It’s a hurtling, synth-centric blend of styles and genres, pulled together by co-producer Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest. Other all-star affiliates of the song also include Yeah Yeah Yeahs guitarist Nick Zinner, and lead singer Karen O, who drops in for a lo-fi, chopped up third verse.

In an in-depth interview on the site, Santi sheds some light on the inspiration behind the lyrical content of the song. “It’s playful”, she says, “but like many of my songs, lyrically it was an opportunity for me to vent. It’s about the difficulties of holding onto what’s yours, everything from your ideas and energy, to your confidence.” As for future plans, Santi reports that a new LP is due out any minute now, once she’s waded through all the “red tape” involved in making an album.

Catch up on the rest of the interview, and stream the track via a new post on Life + Times here: lifeandtimes.com/american-dreaming

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Wednesday April 13th, 2011 07:33

New Remix: Sade feat Jay-Z

Sade

Having turned down a collaboration opportunity with Drake last year, picky soul greats Sade have selected Jay-Z to guest on a new rap-enhanced remix of ‘The Moon And The Sky’, which first appeared as the opening track on their 2010 album ‘Soldier Of Love’. With their ‘Ultimate Collection’ of greatest hits due for release on 5/3 via Epic Records, an older rework by production duo The Neptunes of Sade’s classic 2000 single ‘By Your Side’ has also made the final cut, alongside much-loved classics like ‘Smooth Operator’ and ‘By Your Side’.

See the SoundCloud bar below to stream Jay-Z’s contribution to ‘The Moon And The Sky’, which sees the more mellowed-out rapper putting out some smooth, ruminative lyrics, and “thinking about what wasn’t”. Poor Jay. But before he gets too subdued thinking over past regrets, he might want to remember his phenomenally successful and lucrative career, rap mogul status, and beautiful showbiz wife.

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The Moon And The Sky (Remix Featuring JAY Z) by SadeOfficial

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