Public Enemy – ‘Know This’ Video is Ingenious Script Flip of Jay-Z/Kanye’s ‘Otis’ + Editorial

A special shout goes out to the legendary hip hop scholar and all around solid cat, Dave “Davey D” Cook, for bringing this incredible flip on the recent collaboration by Kanye West and Jay-Z called ‘Otis’ to our attention.   In their version, ‘Ye and Jigga flow effortlessly over an agitated classic soul Otis Redding “Try a Little Tenderness” sample.  They definitely go in with super excess and chronic brand drops (e.g. Rolex, Mercedes, G450, etc) and current day ‘swag’ appeal.  Yes, we know guys, you’re super rich, ballin, kickin it with models and yes “Jay is chillin’ and ‘Ye is chilling”, but what more could you say?….. A LOT MORE….

Public Enemy leader, Chuck D on the other hand uses the ‘Otis‘ backdrop (see above) to bring light to the current reality based condition impacting the country like high unemployment, education, health care, etc.  Bravo Chuck! Bravo!  In ‘Know This‘, which, when rapped, sounds very similar to NOTIS or NO OTIS (nudge to Jay-Z and Kanye West), our hood CNN anchorman brings the heat.  This makes me remember the days when conscious hip-hop ruled and we looked forward to complementing our book knowledge with some street knowledge.  We love and support most of what these two titans have been able to accomplish, but we would welcome a broad-based return to some of the positive themes that hip-hop used to embrace.

While we all know what sells and gets played currently, we also know that these brothers wield significant power and influence and if we all share in the motive to improve our collective condition, then change can (and we hope will) come.  The irony to me is that the sample, ‘Try a Little Tenderness‘, is actually what a lot of modern rappers need to do at this time.  People out here are hurting and now is not the time to be throwing your wealth up in the collective country’s faces at a time of high unemployment and near economic collapse.  Many of the kids who listen to this display of excess go back to small apartments in the projects or the streets, wish of better days, and may even go to bed hungry.  How about something to inspire them guys?   How about you trying some tenderness?!

Again, thanks Davey D and Chuck!

Chuck D. – Know This

Compare for yourself. Here is the Kanye West/Jay-Z song ‘Otis’:


Otis Redding – Try a Little Tenderness (THE ORIGINAL)


We sure hope this new ‘Watch the Throne’ album has the balance, quality, and variety we so sorely need.

Related Articles

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap