A ham sandwich > Hamsterdam > “H.A.M.”
With all due respect, past and present, and without further to do.
1) Watch the Throne is just a worthless cash-in, right?
Jay-Z hasn't had an album out in a couple of years, and there doesn't appear to be a new Jay-Z album on the horizon. I'm not sure if his 42 year-old brain is capable of just mumbling any ol' shit into a microphone and coming up with a halfway decent album, like he did back in the days of The Dynasty and The Blueprint. Even if he could have an album recorded and ready to release by the summer, that wouldn't leave very much time to come up with the marketing tie-ins necessary to release a rap album in 2K11. Jay Electronica already has that nasty red Mountain Dew 'pon lock, and I'm pretty sure the other flavors, which only appear intermittently, have been claimed by Taco Bell and the original Xbox. Kanye West, theoretically at least, is still riding high off the buzz from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, even though it sold worst than 808s & Heartbreak; it''s now being outsold by Nicki Minaj's Fish Friday, which even Noz and his ilk didn't pretend to like; and it might eventually be outsold by the Nicki Minaj album, if it hasn't been already. (Fuck research.) It used to be the case that Jay-Z could release any ol' shit six months after his album came out (collaborations with R Kelly, Linkin Park, etc.) and make a few dollars off it, but that was back when you could easily dupe people into buying a CD that wasn't worth a shit, by stamping the name Jay-Z on it. I guess they figure Watch the Throne at least looks like a good idea on paper.
2) Big brother is teaching little brother all of the tricks of the trade.
I can see it now. Jay-Z and Kanye West were in Peter Gabriel's studio, trying to recapture some of that "In Your Eyes" magic (which is understandable), when they both realized they were out of ideas. Kanye West was all set to call it quits and go sniff cocaine from the crevice between Shay UK Bombshell's gigantic cans, when Jay-Z, who might be jealous of the random British Twitter ho, announced he had an idea. They could just do the same thing he always does when he's hard up for an idea: borrow one from someone else - in this case, obscure southern rapper Pill, who had that song "Trap Going Ham," or whatever it was called, a couple of years ago. He may have been one of those XXL Freshman who went on to not do very much in their careers, just like... well, pretty much all of them, but I can't remember, even though I work here and hence have no choice but to visit this site at least once a day. If Pill is hard up for money, which I'm sure he is, he might want to consider extracting some blood money from Jay and Kanye, for the use of his "swag." If he doesn't want to take them to court, like in that Facebook movie, or he can't afford to, he should at least try to get a sympathy verse on a potential remix. Or maybe he can get a job at Jay-Z's new fried chicken restaurant. He could become a member of the chicken fryers union, which I really did found as a teenager back in the late '90s.
3) Freestyling is for MCs who have skills.
The lyrics to "H.A.M." are obviously pure stream of consciousness. You can tell from both the fact that they aren't any good, and the fact that Kanye's verse eventually veers off into discussion of his desire to make sweet, passionate love to white women. Jay-Z can kinda get away with it. His verse is not very good, especially if you don't care for the whole double time thing, but it's not any worse than any of the verses from his past few albums. Kanye's verse, on the other hand, is just awful. He rhymes Jigga with nigga, Mark Twain-style; he brings up Pam from the TV show Martin, seemingly for no other reason than to rhyme her name with the word ham. And those are just the things I can remember from the two times I subjected myself to this crap. I'm sure there's more. Let me guess, they were too strapped for time to fly someone out to write Kanye's verses for him, like they did on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.
4) Don't trust anyone who pretended this is a good song, or acted as if they didn't have an opinion.
Believe it or not, I really did expect this to be a good song. It's Jay-Z and Kanye, who, on many an occasion, have combined like chocolate and peanut butter. No fishsticks. I spent what seemed like an eternity this "morning" clicking through article after article re: "H.A.M." in my Google Reader, and none of them mentioned anything about it sucking balls. In fact, none of them seemed to have anything to say about whether or not it was any good, except for the King of the Internets, Miss Info, who seemed very enthusiastic. It just goes to show how useless the hip-hop Internets have become.