No I.D. Challenged Kanye West to Make “Otis” on the Spot

Jay-Z and Kanye West’s Watch the Throne may be in contention for Best Rap Album at the Grammys, but Dion “No I.D.” Wilson—who produced one of the disc’s bonus cuts, “Primetime”—initially wasn’t too impressed with the blockbuster collaborative LP.

“I kinda didn’t agree with the direction that Watch the Throne was going because I felt like, ‘Y’all were two of the best that did it as far advancing, pushing the bar, the envelope of what hip-hop can do and is,’” Wilson told “And I felt like some of the songs were copping out a little to me.”

Months after his first listen, Wilson was fortunate enough to hear the final WTT version while in New York for Big Sean’s Finally Famous listening session. Again, Jay and ‘Ye’s frequent collaborator wasn’t thrilled. Something was missing. Yeezy had been working closely with RZA, Q-Tip, The Neptunes and Hit Boy, just to name a few, but he hadn’t produced a record on his own as he did on his previous records.

“I get the co-productions, but how you gon do an album and you don’t go to the machine and do one beat by yourself?” No I.D. explained. “We have always sparked this challenge in each other and it bled into the world, so I just wanted to hit him in the stomach real quick. This is what you got? He was like, ‘No, that’s cool. I’m bout to do something.’”

No I.D.’s challenge resulted in Yeezy chopping up Otis Redding’s “Try a Little Tenderness” for The Throne’s smash hit, “Otis.” The song was added to WTT at the 11th hour and became the LP’s second single. It’s now nominated for Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance at the Grammys.

“I remember even at the time at the label they was like, ‘What the hell? No I.D. just came in and messed up our release schedule,’” he recalled. “We all amongst ourselves really are battling each other each and every minute of life, but it’s all in the spirit of advancement and the pursuit of dopeness is what I call it.”

Tune in to see if Watch the Throne and “Otis” win when the 54th Annual Grammy Awards air on CBS at 8/7 c.—Carl Chery (@cchery)

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  • Decatur ATL BOI

    I’m not sure what Kanye has to prove, but he proved it with Otis because that beat was insane and the sample was right on point.

    • KidNice

      “Otis” beat was hella wack and simple! Ye and everybody else knows it!

      If their names weren’t behind that song, nobody would’ve given that much praise

    • CaponeMOB

      SMH that otis beat was Hot Garbage,i could make a beat like that in my sleep, thats the most Terrible beat i’ve heard some body use as a single,it just sounds like some Looped up old school record,nothing special about that beat.

      Otis was a smash hit? really? so now in days not only you dont have to have Lyrical skills,but you also could have Garbage beats and it still would be a Hit? SMH @ the new generation of dick riders.

  • land lord

    Nothing like inspiration. Ye stepped up to the challenge & absolutely answered

  • annoyingorange

    True. True.

    If it wasn’t for Jay-Z and Kanye on that beat, and all the publicity behind the “Watch the Throne” (That made everyone scratch their heads at the title, the website, the new years show Kanye did while announcing the album, HAM, etc etc etc) then no one would care for the song. Period.

    If Kid Cudi tried this song – it would flop.
    If Lil’ Wayne tried this song – it would flop.
    If Young Jeezy tried this song – it would flop.
    If Rick Ross tried this song – it would flop.
    If Drake tried this song – it would flop.
    If Common tried this song – it would flop.
    If Wale tried this song – it would flop.
    If Tyga tried this song – it would flop.
    If A$AP Rocky tried this song – it would flop.
    If Waka Flocka tried this song – it would flop.

    But if Kanye and Jay do it.. Well, did the album go 2x platinum yet?

    • steab

      terrible examples, how many of those rappers COULD do that. You need to stop and think.

      • yeah2

        shut up

        • Fait

          Yeah you dumb most of those artists could kill the beat too. Use your head.

  • Tatenda

    Kanye is too dope anything he touches turns into gold.So dnt act like the summer aint his.

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  • Mel Blunt

    Well Otis won for best hip-hop performance. It was a breath of fresh air in a stale, barron hip-hop landscape that’s littered with hot garbage, weak artists, gimmicks, smoke and mirrors promotion, played out shock-value tacktics and oh yeah Swagger-smh. Bruh it aint swag if you have to call it out yourself. True swagger is recognized and noted by others and doesn’t need to be self broadcast lames. Pick up a Webster’s dictionary and find a new synonym. Swag is so tired and two years ago. let it go people!

  • diesel

    The video made the song pop off like crazy! I do agree on the song not being so great, but the video imo makes up for the song.

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