Kanye West and Jay-Z: H.A.M.

Posted January 14, 2011 by J Matthew Cobb in Reviews 1.0

On over-cooked sneak-peak of their highly anticipated collab LP, rap kings prove to be out of control with bragging rights

It’s easy to coin a tag-team effort of this magnitude as being a big deal for hip-hop. It’s like Bonnie & Clyde, David & Maddie, Batman & Robin, Simon & Garfunkle. Teaming up for a full-length album dropping this quarter, Kanye West and Jay-Z are hoping that “H.A.M.” gets our attention. No, the two rapmasters aren’t ranting about meat, but they do dispel the myth behind the obvious acronym (meaning “hard as a motherfucker”). The two take their turns: Kanye’s up first and Jay-Z finishes things out. Both are loaded with their fair share of explicits – you know, the N-bomb, “B & D” references, the M-F word. Kanye’s strutting his vulgarity a little tougher, as if he’s trying to prove he’s got the biggest Johnson in the room. But Jay-Z comes out of the cage swinging, bragging about his net worth and indirectly putting other rappers like Lil Wayne on blast (“I’m like really half a billion nigga/Really, you got baby money”). He even brags about his ladies’ money (“Niggas ain’t got my lady’s money!”). This is pretty much a song about a man’s cockiness and volcanic pride done to a Lex Luger (not the wrestler, the music producer) beat that feels like leftover loops taken from the Rick Ross “B.M.F.” sessions. The pair never work together like OutKast or Run DMC. Instead, West and Carter rhyme as if they recorded in two different rooms. Mosy likely they did.

And then, like a flashback to Kanye’s Twisted Fantasy’s “Runaway,” the last minute of the track finds the song inverting into a classical aria, but with less-than-average fizzle. It isn’t the Josh Groban/Kanye viral mashup that bubbled out of Jimmy Kimmel’s sketchbook. But even that would’ve been far more interesting.



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About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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