Jay-Z Establishes Himself As The Biggest Man On The Playground

noah | June 8, 2009 9:15 am
Jay-Z premiered his new track “Death Of Autotune” on New York hip-hop station Hot 97 Friday night, and The NoID-produced song employs Steam, a skronking clarinet, and a few disses of New York pop powerhouse Z100 to try and kill the scourge of pitch-shifted songs that are made for maximum exposure on pop radio. Well, sort of, anyway: in an interview he gave to Hot 97’s Funkmaster Flex after the song premiered, Jay absolved the three most prominent recent employers of the technology–Kanye West, T-Pain, and Lil Wayne–because they have the know-how to use Autotune in tandem with melodies that he approves of. So, uh, what is he fighting against then? Vibe‘s Sean Fennessey wondered about that, too:

Whenever the term “Auto-Tune” is raised to any reasonable music fan, the first three names that come up? T-Pain, Kanye, Wayne, who have all had major success with it. But the absolution leaves very few targets out there for Jay to shoot down. Perhaps the biggest is producer Ron Browz, who’s had a sort of career reinvention thanks to the technology, recently crafting hits for Busta Rhymes, Jim Jones and lately DJ Webstar, whose “Dancing On Me” is, ironically, a Hot 97 staple these days–it played just four songs after the Jay-Z conniption ended. So Jay-Z took a shot at Ron Browz’s piddling career. Tough guy!

(The Ron Browz production in question.) So yeah, it seems like Jay is trying to make a “statement” here while ignoring the elephants in the room, all of which are curiously shaped like his friends and collaborators who don’t seem to have too much of a problem with being able to crack top-40 radio playlists. There’s something a little bit high school about that, no? Or, dare I say, Internet? I guess the two are awfully similar at this point. (It’s probably worth noting, also, that I first heard “D.O.A.” over a crackly Blackberry speaker, and the bleats of the clarinet snapped into the air in such a way that made me think “this would make a great ringtone.” Meet the new boss?)Jay-Z – Death Of Autotune (D.O.A.) [YouTube] [Rapidshare]