Ah, Timbaland. Where would popular culture be without the big man from Virginia Beach? How would Justin Timberlake’s last uber-success have sounded without the ‘wicky-wicky’ sound effects of the man who charges $200,000 for an hour-long set in Australia? Would the world ever have known the irritating extendo-vowels of One Nation if Missy Elliot’s high-school friend had never yelped ‘eh!’ before it was too late to apologize? Would Keri Hilson be hitting up mad clubs alongside everyone’s favourite white boy (and rebuffing him!) if Mosley bear hadn’t told her that he liked her just the way she are? Undoubtedly, Timbaland is a career-saver/starter/booster all rolled into one large outline of a man. And he’s done it again for Jay-Z.
Notably, here at One A Day we haven’t been that overjoyed with the couple of cuts we’ve heard off the Roc CEO’s forthcoming September 11 release ‘The Blueprint 3’. But we remain psyched for the main event. On ‘Off That’ – apparently the first official single (how happy are Rihanna/Kanye/T-Pain going to be?) – we get, regrettably, more of Jay’s apparent new catchphrase ‘argh’ and, impressively, a bit of a better verse and slightly less repetition than the first two efforts delivered.
That being said, this is nothing to go really ape shit about. It’s sort of more of the same which, unless the same is bad, isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But at the same time, you can’t really see any progression in Jay’s lyrical subject – here, waxing lyrical with the ACL-ripping-prone Canadian Drake on how good they both are, how ahead of the game they is. Self-aggrandizing hip-hop is fun in small doses. Jay-Z delves into politics by taking a swipe at the Republicans, delivering one of the track’s best lines in “tell Rush Limbaugh to get off my balls” but a more sustained intellectual thematic premise wouldn’t go astray. On another point, Drake’s robotic Cudi-esque vocals seem to suit Timbaland’s beat nicely. It doesn’t really matter what he’s saying, his singing voice has a monotonous pleasantry about it. Is ‘Off That’ single-worthy? I doubt it. But in an age where physical releases are extinct and the most effective marketing is free word-of-mouth, hit-quality doesn’t really matter does it?
Jay-Z – Off That (Ft. Drake)