This week “H.A.M.”, the first single from the highly anticipated Jay-Z and Kanye West collaborative album, Watch The Throne, dropped. Internet insta-reaction was mixed, which is understandable considering expectations were so high. After all, West’s recently released My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is the greatest thing since the advent of air, and the pair have always made solid collaborations. (Although, did Jay really need to drop another verse at the end of “Never Let Me Down?” That’s always annoyed me.)
My only real problem with “H.A.M.” is Jay again complaining about how terrible his life is. XXL writer Thomas Golianopoulos summed it up well when he tweeted: “You’re rich. You’re married to Beyonce. Stop whining.”
The beat, though, is nice, and as you can tell from that effect near the beginning that sounds like an airplane taking off, it’s produced by Lex Luger, whom we recently profiled in our year-end issue. Quite a coup for a 19-year-old who works on entry-level software. In any case, it’s not as hard as his typical lost-your-shit beats like “Hard in Da Paint” or “MC Hammer,” but it’s still got crunch. The long, operatic coda—-the highlight of the song, if you ask me—-seems highly influenced by West, who tends more toward the melodic, so perhaps he did some tinkering. In any case, Internets be damned, I think this song has balls.