WATCH THE THRONE: Kanye West & Jay-Z - Otis (C) 2011 Roc-A-Fella Records, LLC
"Otis" is a song by American hip hop artists Kanye West and Jay-Z, from their first collaborative album Watch the Throne (2011). The song posthumously features soul singer Otis Redding, whose version of "Try a Little Tenderness" is sampled in the song. The production was covered solely by West. The track was premiered by Funkmaster Flex's Hot 97 radio show and was released onto the Internet the day afterward. Lyrically, the song has the two rappers sharing lines discussing wealth, decadence and fame. The track received highly positive reviews from music critics who praised the trading off of verses by the two rappers and the Redding-sampled beat, which was compared to the style heard on West's The College Dropout. Several publications placed the song amongst the best of the year.
The track was released as the second single from Watch the Throne on July 20, 2011. The song peaked at number 12 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and reached position 2 on both the Billboard Hot Rap Songs and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts. The song has since been certified Platinum for sales exceeding 1,000,000. The song received a music video directed by Spike Jonze on August 2011. The video primarily shows West and Jay-Z modifying a Maybach luxury car and then driving around in it with no doors or windows, while four girls are smiling in the backseat. After its release, the video was met with positive reception. The cover art was designed by Italian fashion designer Riccardo Tisci.
Jay and West performed the song at all the stops on their 2011 Watch the Throne Tour. It was also performed at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards and at the 2012 Radio 1's Big Weekend musical festival. At the 54th Grammy Awards in 2012, "Otis" was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rap Song and won a Grammy for Best Rap Performance.
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