"The only rapper who rewrites history without a pen . . . " -- Jay-Z
If you haven't heard, Hova is back in the buildin'!
On June 5, Jigga unveiled the street single from his upcoming eleventh disc, The Blueprint 3. According to reports, the collection will hit shelves Sept. 11, eight years after The Blueprint LP was released in 2001. Some are questioning the release date, which is on a Friday, but let's keep it real -- it's Jay-Z, he could probably release an album on Easter Sunday and nobody's going to complain.
The street single, "D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune)” was produced by No I.D. and Kanye West. It's only a teaser, the official radio single is called "Off That" featuring the other most-in-demand rapper Drake. Here in the NJ/Philly/Delaware area, "D.O.A." has been playing on the radio non-stop, along with every Jay-Z song that he ever recorded. It was certainly a Hova weekend in the tri-state area. Undoubtedly, the song is a head-nodding, fist-to-the-wall street banger, and apropos since the track is reminiscent of "Takeover" from The Blueprint. And no, the sales of Auto-Tune software won't take a hit because of this song. Quite frankly, I like the Auto-Tune sound when its done properly and not used as a gimmick. But yes, I agree with Jigga -- "Y'all niggas are singin' too much/ Y'all T-Pain-in' too much." Some have called Jay-Z's song a generational attack -- the old veteran rhyme-slinger angry at the young rappers who making hit songs using Auto-Tune. DJ Webstar who has the hottest song right now on radio ("Dancing on Me"), has already fired a shot at Jigga via Twitter. "Bottom line is . . . a 40 year-old can't relate to a 17 or 22 year-old," he tweeted. "So he could never end my career. In a radio interview, Jay-Z explains that the song wasn't an attack on young artists, but a critique on rappers who use Auto-Tune as a "musical crutch." For Jay, he's ready to move on from Auto-Tune and explore new ways to create music. *Sidebar*: the Auto-Tune backlash has now gone further to rappers targeting those who wear nut-hugging skinny jeans. Rapper Craig G recently dropped the anti-skinny jeans song, "Skinny Jeans Funeral" via imeem. Click here to listen. (props to @Jean Grae) Vibe's Sean Fennessey offers his thoughts on Jay-Z's "D.O.A" via his editorial. He also hit on something that I thought was interesting too [via his Twitter]: "[Wale's] 'Chillin' and Kristinia DeBarge's pop hit 'Goodbye' all use Steam's 'Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye.'"
Me: And those artists are not using Auto-Tune! Is Jigga trying tell us something? Is he listening to rap-pop (or hip-pop) now?
Ian from A Different Kitchen offers his thoughts on Jigga's "D.O.A." jam.
"The record is meh to me," he writes. "I'm getting deja vu from when [Funkmaster] Flex and them were hyping up 'Blue Magic' and 'Jockin' Jay-Z.' They dropped crazy bombs and rewound both a million times just like they did tonight. Two weeks later nobody cared or was talking about either of those records."
What I also like about Jay-Z's "D.O.A." (Death of Auto-Tune) is the clarinet sample used throughout the song. I've been whistling that clarinet riff for the past 48 hours.
I knew sooner or later, someone was going to go dig in the crates and find the sample.
Who better to find it than Joe the Sample King?
The sample is Janko Nilovic & Dave Sucky -- "In the Space." Listen to it right here:
Conclusion: Don't kill yourselves over this dope record. Listen to it and enjoy. Hova is back! We all should be grateful.