Mason posted this video for the fourth of July:
I haven’t got any idea what this song is about. I couldn’t keep my mind on the lyrics. Instead, I mentally tripped, over and over and OVER, on the Otis Redding sample they used as the backbeat for the song. The sample is from “Try a Little Tenderness,” and comes from a moment about 85% of the way through the song (around the 2:50 mark in the video below), as the music in the background reaches a crescendo and Redding’s voice gets louder and more enthusiastic.
The range on the song is such that the moment Kanye West and Jay-Z have sampled is the crucial moment, a rising tension in the song that leads up to the final cathartic shout of the song’s title among the musical cacophony that leads quickly to the end of the song. By sampling that moment of tension without ever moving past it, this song creates an entirely different experience for someone who knows Redding’s original than for the people encountering it for the first time as a sample. It’s the musical equivalent of every time two meet-cute romantic leads in a television series (say,Castle) almost kiss and then get interrupted. But repeated, over and over, for three minutes.
More stressful than it was supposed to be, I suspect. If I were a responsible writer or crafting this commentary for more than just a passing fancy, I’d rewatch the video and concentrate on the lyrics, so I could comment on the connection between the sample and the music. Instead, I leave that work to someone else.
PS – The title of this post refers, of course, to one of the most delicious moments in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when Dr. Frank sings about temp… … … tation. At live screenings, during the pause between syllables, the audience often shouts “Wait for it,” if my memory serves me correctly.