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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Monday September 19th, 2011 15:58

Pilot Clip: Kanye West

Kanye West

So, Kanye West had his very own comedy puppet TV show? Not many people were aware of it at the time, but Yeezy really did make a pilot episode of a Muppets-style sketch series called ‘Alligator Boots’ for Comedy Central that, somehow, didn’t quite made it past the production suite and onto our screens.

In partnership with Ye’s hip-hop buddy RhymeFest, the show was shot back in 2008 at the Jim Henson Company studios in LA. Thanks to ‘Alligator Boots’ director Konee Rok, we now get to watch a newly-emerged compilation of moments from the Kanye Comedy Showcase that never was. Highlights include guest appearances from Eminem and Snoop Dogg and Kim Kardashian (who’s dressed as Princess Leia, for some reason), plus plenty of lewd puppet stunts, all presided over by Mr West; the host-with-the-most.

It’s a real shame this never got to air, there looks to be some comedic potential in amongst the show’s… err, more ‘adult’ content. The highlights compilation is screening here, see what you think. Does Kanye have a future in comedy?

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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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Wednesday July 27th, 2011 09:58

Live Clip: Rihanna feat Kanye West

Rihanna

Rihanna’s just-wrapped US segment of her international Loud Tour may have been halted momentarily by a fire in Dallas, but the feisty Barbadian wasn’t going to let a slight pyrotechnical malfunction stop her from seeing the American leg of the tour through to its conclusion.

With her final US date done and dusted in Boston a few days ago, a clip of RiRi performing ‘All Of The Lights’ with Kanye West at a concert in Long Island is now available for screening to commemorate a successful US run.

Though Jay-Z and Drake were brought out as guests on stops throughout the tour, the moment onstage with fellow Def Jam affiliate Kanye was clearly an especial high point for Rihanna. It’s made all the more significant by the presence of her mom and grandma at the show, who are filmed watching proudly from the audience. For the sake of their nerves, we sincerely hope all Rihanna’s more senior relatives went home to bed before the raunchy ‘S&M’ shenanigans kicked off. Check out the Kanye-featuring clip 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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Thursday July 14th, 2011 09:58

Live Clips: Kanye West & GOOD Music

Kanye West

Just as the star-studded tracklisting for Kanye West and Jay-Z’s certifiably massive Watch The Throne LP does a lap of honor round the blogosphere to unanimous gasps of awe, we get another dose of Mr West via new clips from Yeezy’s GOOD Music set at this year’s SxSW showcase in Austin, TX.

As put together and presented by the considerate team at Vevo, ‘Ye disciples can now watch high quality cuts from a commanding ensemble performance co-starring Kid Cudi, Mos Def and John Legend (oh, and Jay-Z guesting on ‘HAM’, naturally) plus a score of other high-ranking GOOD label associates.

With a full selection of swaggerific live footage to take your pick from, why not start off by watching the below Mos Def-helmed prologue featuring the full GOOD line-up.

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Monday July 11th, 2011 15:58

New Track: Consequence feat Kid Cudi

Consequence

Kanye West took a backseat production role on former GOOD Music affiliate Consequence’s anthem to independence ‘On My Own’, letting the one-time A Tribe Called Quest rapper take his moment to shine on the just-surfaced track, which will feature on Consequence’s upcoming mixtape ‘MOD 3′.

Considering it was recorded over a year ago, some time before Consequence’s well-publicized split from the GOOD family he originally co-founded with Kanye, the tone of ‘On My Own’ is oddly prescient. “I can do it on my own/ I don’t have to listen to your lies/ I been moving on my own for some time now/ So I gotta say goodbye”, sings fellow autonomous mover Kid Cudi on the chorus, reflecting the same independent sentiment as in Consequence’s defiant verse lyrics, not to mention this recent tweet: “In a world where we all seek validation from OTHERS, Me & Cudi make the anthem for those who dare to say I can do it”.

Stream ‘On My Own’ below, or don’t. It’s entirely up to you.

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On My Own (Full Version) by Consequence

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Friday June 17th, 2011 14:30

New Remix: Ellie Goulding

Ellie Goulding

It was a bright idea that Chicago-based DJ The Hood Internet had when he opted to mix The Portland Cello Project’s orchestral rendition of Kanye West staple ‘All Of The Lights’ with English songbird Ellie Goulding’s LP title-track ‘Lights’. Far from paling into insignificance beside the sample’s wall of strings-laden sound, Ellie’s fragile-seeming vocal proves deceptively strong, shining beacon-bright amongst the dark classical crescendos.

The finishing strait of the remix is in some ways its finest moment, as the two tracks quit competing and fade out to leave the shimmering electronic traces of one to enmesh with the woodwind flourishes of the other.

Explore the various shades of this ‘Lights’ vs ‘All Of The Lights’ mix by downloading it below for free via The Hood Internet’s SoundCloud page.

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The Hood Internet – All Of The Lights (Ellie Goulding x Portland Cello Project x Kanye West) by hoodinternet

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Thursday May 12th, 2011 09:33

Free Download: Kanye West

Kanye West

Kanye West confounded his many critics at this year’s Coachella with what was unanimously agreed to be one of the defining sets of the festival.

Closing out the event with a spectacular performance complete with a huge cast of balletic backing dancers, staggering light show, and a couple of special guests (see if you can spot them in the videos below), Kanye also dedicated the show to his late mother. Seeming at times uncharacteristically humble (even at one point admitting he wasn’t too good at singing), Kanye rattled through most of his huge hit singles, keeping up a super-human stamina throughout the sprawling two hour set.

It’s all available to download thanks to Complex; coming complete with the crowd noise, slip-ups and improvisations that made the performance such a thrill to watch live.

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