Analyzing “Otis”: Kanye and Jay’s Best Lines From Latest ‘Watch the Throne’ Track


Vibe / July 21, 2011

Kings love to stunt. Last night Hov and Kanye graced hip-hop fans with a sip of their regal stuntmanship by dropping “Otis,” a soulful and showboat cut (flipping Otis Redding’s 1966 “Try a Little Tenderness”) from their forthcoming album Watch The Throne. In an exercise of awesome try-to-f-with-me narcissism, the two rap deities take turns spinning bars into gold with lines of scrunched up swag we can hardly relate to. But that doesn’t keep it from sounding damn good. Nor does it relieve the question of whether two boastful kings can fit on one throne. To come up with some sort of answer we plucked our favorite Hoveezy lines from each verse and pinned them side-by-side to see who’s crown shined the brightest.


Hov: “I invented swag/Poppin bottles putting supermodels in the cab”

Kanye: I adopted these niggas, Phillip Drummond ‘em/Now I’m bout to make them tuck they whole summer in”

Lead Stunt Man → Jay-Z

Why: Hip-hop put the word “Swag” on overkill this past year. Thanks to young bucks like Lil B and Odd Future, this adjective has taken on new life. But in reality, Hov has been referring to his swagger since the Blueprint era. He made it hot, they made it into a hot catchphrase.


Hov:Flee in the G450 I might surface/Political refugee, asylum can be purchased

Kanye: “I made “Jesus Walks” I’m never going to hell/ Couture level flow, it’s never going on sale”

Lead Stunt Man →  Kanye West 

Why: Ye once again proves being so wreckless and stuntastic can take you to the top. Even with God watching, he goes for it everytime.


Hov: “Driving Benzes, wit’ no benefits/Not bad huh? For some immigrants”

Kanye: “Can’t you see the private jets flyin’ over you?/Maybach bumper sticker read “What would Hova do?”

Lead Stunt Man → Tie 

Why: Without thinking twice,  Kanye puts himself on a pedestal that most rappers can only dream about but with Hov’s frckin’ name being the kicker in his verse, Shawn Carter is just as much to credit for this perfect line.


Jay-Z: “Truth: new watch alert, Hublot’s Or the big face Rollie I got two of those”

You think Rolex and Jacob are the only watches worth wearing? Get on Hov’s level, he’s been rocking this celebrated Swiss watch companies timepieces since before you could even pronounce Hublot.

Kanye West: “I adopted these niggas, Phillip Drummond ‘em/Now I’m bout to make them tuck they whole summer in.” 

Phillip Drummond isn’t some high-end fashion designer you’ve never heard of. All you 90s-babies need to take a TV history lesson and tune into an episode of Different Strokes.

Rappers have been advised to “tuck their chains” since the beginning. But Kanye advises to hide everything the competition is doing for the summer. Yikes!

Jay-Z :Uh, live from the Mercer/Run up on Yeezy the wrong way, I might murk ya” 

Hov and Ye recorded a large portion of the album at the Mercer hotel in New York City. The duo set up make shift studios on an entire floor of the hotel.