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.

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Spencer Kornhaber is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he covers pop culture and music. He was previously an editor of Patch.com and a staff writer at OC Weekly. He has written for Spin, The AV Club, and RollingStone.com.

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