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Welcome! I am Jason Nguyen, a graduate student in ethnomusicology at Indiana University, Bloomington, and this blog is where I make observations about music, culture, and academic life.

Kanye and Jay-Z slice some “H.A.M.”

Kanye West / Jay-Z "Ham" single coverSince the entire world apparently has an opinion on the new collaborative effort by Kanye and Jay-Z, “H.A.M”, which previews their album Watch the Throne due out in a few months, I thought I’d share mine as well.

Kanye’s trying to get bigger and bigger, but I think it’s about time he tried going smaller–the (melo)dramatic overtones are starting to become a bit much, and I don’t think his thematic material can keep up with his big head (which I was already worried about when his album came out last year).  Jigga actually sounds pretty darn hard here, and I’m down with that: a grown-ass man gets to strut a bit from time to time.

Lex Luger’s production is okay.  The ‘Ye influence makes it a little too schizophonic with the digital stuff alongside, but not really meshing with, the booming strings and voices.  I would have preferred a little more griminess instead to match the verses.

All-in-all, I don’t think this is going to sway anybody or give any insight into what Watch the Throne will be like overall.

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