It's Not Them, It's You: Stop Projecting Your Financial Woes onto Jay-Z and Kanye

Who are these regular dudes?
Let's pretend to pretend that you've never heard of Jay-Z and Kanye West. Partly because this appears to be the only way people can enjoy them -- especially the latter -- anymore. "Real rap fans," as they say, are so sick of these two, and rap production has gotten so cheap and insular (be it the Dirty South resurgence or collapse of the industry), that many haters expressed shock at the mere fact that this year's polarizing collaboration Watch the Throne wielded a single that sampled Otis Redding. This is supposed to represent grotesque opulence, they charge.

Never mind the fact it doesn't sound opulent. The minimal track boasts no chorus and barely any music beyond said sample, which is mostly an avant-garde cut-up of grunts and atonal moans removed from linear melodic context. And the tune only lives for an un-excessive 2:58. Would someone who's never heard of these people call this opulent? Their brags, maybe -- Jay's "five passports/ I'm never going to jail," in particular.

But mostly they'd be lauded as clever big dreamers. Because dreamers is what they are -- I'm pretty sure Jay isn't in possession of five passports. I'm also pretty sure if there's a hell, Kanye's not exempt from it because he recorded "Jesus Walks." And I'm pretty sure Kanye's Jon Brion-orchestrated Late Registration sounds more expensive, as well as Jay's Kanye-orchestrated The Blueprint. Both albums are from before they were as rich as they wanted to sound. They still deserve to connect with the dreaming audience.

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