Kanye West and Jay-Z unleashed “H.A.M.,” on their fans on Tuesday. The highly anticipated track is the first major hip-hop release of the new year, and the first single from their super hyped-up collab album “Watch the Throne," which is due out March 1, 2011.
After sifting through, what seemed like a million reviews of the “H.A.M.” single, I stumbled upon, "Kanye, Jay-Z ‘H.A.M’ it up," written by Martin Caballero and published by the Boston Herald [BH] on Wednesday. This review was most effective because of Caballero's ability to say so much, in so few words. The following is an excerpt from the article. If you would like to read the original, there is a link to it at the bottom of this post.
"Individually, Kanye West and Jay-Z are charter members of hip-hop’s elite. As a duo, they need a throne for two.
With Tuesday’s release of “H.A.M.,”...Jay and Kanye crush any lingering doubts that success may have tempered their grand musical ambitions - or massive egos.
While West was enjoying critical acclaim (and reputation rehab) with his album “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” Jay added author to his resume with his semi-autobiographical book “Decoded,” a New York Times [NYT] bestseller.
But their recent individual successes will likely be dwarfed by “Watch the Throne,” which was first announced by West via Twitter in August. Big-name collaboration albums never seem to match the lofty expectations - as Jay well knows from his two spectacular “Best of Both Worlds” failures with R. Kelly - but if any pair has the confidence to break the mold, it’s these two.
Case in point: Originally planned as a five-track EP, the project was expanded to be a full-length joint, with Jay throwing around words such as “fantastic” and “another level of recording” to describe the album in a recent interview with MTV.
“H.A.M.,” which was leaked via Facebook just after midnight Tuesday, gives weight to Jay’s words. The track, created by 19-year-old Virginia producer Lex Luger, lives up to its title: loud, aggressive and “hard as a (expletive).” Dripping with the expected sense of grandiose decadence, the beat invites Kanye’s ego to run rampant over the Southern-esque double-time bounce: “It was all good just a week ago/(expletive) feel they selves, then ‘Watch the Throne’ drops/they kill themselves.”
By the time the chorus hits, the backing swells to a symphony of crashing drums and wailing choir.
For his part, Jay takes his usual shots at the few doubters still remaining (“I play chicken with a Mack truck, y’all (expletives) would’ve been moved” is the best verbal jab he lands). As a whole, “H.A.M.” is a natural extension of Kanye’s “Twisted Fantasy” sound: dark, weird, bombastic and unapologetically indulgent - and just what you’d expect from two kings on their thrones."
The YouTube links are getting pulled down. Listen to the track at RapRadar