Jay-Z and Kanye West's Calculatedly Carefree 'Otis' Video

jayz kanye otis still 615.jpgThe Root has a nice line about Kanye West and Jay-Z's new, collaborative album Watch The Throne: It's "Avatar for your speakers." The first wave of criticism about the record—both in positive and lukewarm reviews—has focused on both the album's sonic opulence and the two rappers' incredible fixation on their own wealth. Seriously, you'll learn a lot about the names of luxury watch brands listening to this thing.

So yeah: It's a Trying Very Hard album. Which is why the music video for "Otis" is so refreshing. Basically, it's Jay and Kanye bro-ing out, trading lines and noogies, blow-torching cars, and performing donuts and figure-8s at some scrapyard-looking venue. Sure, those cars are Maybachs—which ranks second to Rolexes & co. as Throne lyrical memes—and by casually trashing them, the two superstars are once again telegraphing their own stratospheric fortunes. And yes, with Spike Jonze directing and Kanye/Jay involved, there's little doubt that the shooting-the-shit vibe of the proceedings was storyboarded and calibrated for maximum relatability. But still. Fun stuff.

Presented by

Spencer Kornhaber is a senior associate editor at The Atlantic, where he edits the Entertainment channel. More

Before coming to The Atlantic, he worked as an editor for AOL's Patch.com and as a staff writer at Village Voice Media's OC Weekly. He has also written for Spin, The AV Club, RollingStone.com, Field & Stream, and The Orange County Register.

Pittsburgh: 'It's Better Than You Thought'

How Steel City became a bikeable, walkable paradise

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Best 71-Second Animation You'll Watch Today

A rock monster tries to save a village from destruction.

Video

The Case for Napping at Work

Most Americans don't get enough sleep. More and more employers are trying to help address that.

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

Video

Stunning GoPro Footage of a Wildfire

In the field with America’s elite Native American firefighting crew

More in Entertainment

Just In