"Otis"

Jay-Z and Kanye West prove again that they’re one of rap's all-time great tag teams — up there with Run-DMC, OutKast and EPMD — on this teaser from Watch the Throne (due August 8th). West twists a few seconds of Otis Redding's "Try a Little Tenderness" into a Blueprint-style barrage, setting the stage for some slick collar-popping from Jay-Z ("Photo shoot fresh, looking like wealth / I’m about to call the paparazzi on myself"). Jay’s performance, in turn, inspires Ye to step up his wordplay ("Luxury rap, the Hermes of verses / Sophisticated ignorance, write my curses in cursive"); the younger star sounds like he pulled an all-nighter trying to outdo his mentor’s rhymes. They keep trading punchlines for three minutes, opting not to interrupt the fun with anything resembling a chorus. When the verses are packed with this much wit and style, who needs one?

Listen to "Otis":

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