Jay-Z premieres new song 'D.O.A.'
Hov crashes Summer Jam, reveals the death of auto-tune
Jay-Z is proselytizing the "death of auto-tune," and has now taken it to the stage. Aptly abbreviated "D.O.A" is the new track from Hov's forthcoming "Blueprint 3," the rapper's much-anticipated new studio album, and it's a track with a message: let's leave the era of mechanical melodied rap songs behind.
"You rappers singing too much/ get back to rap, you T-Painin' too much," Jay-Z rhymed as he made an unannounced performance at New York Hot 97's Summer Jam this weekend in East Rutherford, N.J. He stepped to the mic during buddy Young Jeezy's set and the crowd apparently cheered so loudly, it nearly drowned out the rhymes: "I know we facin' a recession/ but the music y'all makin' gon' make it the Great Depression...This ain't a No. 1 record/this is practically assault with a deadly weapon... you boys' jeans is too tight/ colors too bright/ your voice too light/ I might wear black four years straight/I might bring back Versace shades."
"D.O.A.," produced by Kanye and NO I.D., premiered on Friday on Funkmaster Flex's show on Hot 97 and is the first glimpse we have into the new record, due Sept. 11 via Jay-Z's new label home Roc Nation/Atlantic.
Doubtless, Jay-Z will be revealing more "Blueprint" content as he goes out on a short tour in July. Dates below.
The first "Blueprint" came out in 2001, followed by the double-disc "Blueprint2: The Gift & The Curse" (Roc-a-fella reissued it a few months later as a single-disc "Blueprint 2.1" with all the best material." He released one of his most-acclaimed sets "The Black Album" in 2003, swore he was "retiring" from rap, released some side-projects, was crowned president of Def Jam, broke his retirement in 2006 for best-selling "Kingdom Come" and headed up the tracks to "American Gangster" in 2007.
Since then, he's been revealing bits and bobs of details on "Blueprint 3," particularly revealing the juicy all-star collaboration with Kanye West as one of the album's primary producers. He announced he was leaving longtime label Def Jam last month.
Here are Jay-Z's tour dates:
July 3rd, 2009 - Pearl Concert Theater - Las Vegas, NV
If the coolest guy in the room tells you to drop it, drop it.
Auto-tuning (or the "Cher effect," after "Believe" became a smash hit) used to be a vocal processor for fine tuning, pitch-correcting to making tone sound more pure. But it's quickly become a crutch for singers who can't sing, rappers who want to sing and singers who can probably sing but would just rather not in the buff.
Oft-featured T-Pain has made an entire, ridiculous career of it. Jamie Foxx ruined "Blame It" because of it. Rihanna had no need for it on "Disturbia," but why let a money-making fad go to waste? And then there's Lil Wayne... let's just see how far he takes it on "Rebirth."
So it was about time somebody killed auto-tune. Jay-Z "D.O.A." murders the thing with a simple brush off the shoulder, with the skronk of horns, an out-of-tune "Na na na na, goodbye" and funky, ripped guitar licks. It's minimal, thumping, raw, with a sluggy beat and succinct rhymes. Jay-Z reasserts his old-school cred with a new school scoff, ripping on rappers who have lightened up. He crowns himself to be The Man In Black of rap, a threat that would have had ten times less cred if it came from the commercial mind of 50 Cent.
It's a brilliant move to use Kanye - an auto-tune affecianado himself - as the producer on the track, like an adept doctor issuing a second opinion.
No doubt (heh) pop acts will continue to use the auto-tune technique for a good couple years A.D., since the learning curve on Top 40 radio seems to lag picking up urban music trends - we're looking at you, Black Eyed Peas and Sugar Ray. We're just hope MCs will cease resuscitating the thing after a time of death has already been called.
July 7th, 2009 - Charter One Pavilion at Northerly Island - Chicago, IL
July 10th, 2009 - Mohegan Sun Arena - Uncasville, CT
July 12th, 2009 - Chastain Park Amphitheatre- Atlanta, GA
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