On Friday evening (June 5), Jay-Z caused a stir among hip-hop fans and speculation on who he was dissing when he leaked his brand new track, “D.O.A. (Death Of Auto-Tune).”
The hip-hop mogul sets it off with lines like: “You rappers singing too much / Get back to rap, you T-Pain-ing too much / I’m a multi-millionaire / So how am I the hardest n**** here?”
Jay called into New York’s Hot 97 radio station to premiere the new song from his forthcoming Blueprint 3 LP, and explained his motivation behind it as well. But he made it clear, he’s not dissing guys like T-Pain, Lil Wayne, or even Kanye West who is producing the bulk of the album.
“The guys who did, did it great,” Jay said. “T-Pain, he does great melodies. If you listen to Kanye, great melodies. If you listen to [West’s] ‘Say You Will’ or ‘Heartless,’ great melodies. [Lil Wayne and T-Pain’s] ‘Lollipop’ was a fantastic melody. Everybody can’t do it. Let them guys do it. They got their little niche, let’s move on. That’s just my opinion. I don’t know if everybody feels the same way.”
“This is anti-auto-tune, death of the ringtone,” Hov starts, rapping over a beat produced by both Kanye and No I.D.
“This ain’t for iTunes, this ain’t for singalongs,” he later spits. “This is Sinatra at the opera, bring a blonde … My raps don’t have melodies / It should make jackers commit felonies / This ain’t a #1 record, this is practically assault with a deadly weapon.”
West told MTV last month that Jay was taking a stand against the use of the auto-tune, removing any instance of it on BP3.
“We actually removed all the songs with Auto-Tune off of his album,” West said, “to make the point that this is an anti-Auto-Tune album, even though I released an album that has all Auto-Tune!”
Jay later confirmed rumors that the long-awaited project would be released via a new joint-partnership with Atlantic Records and his own Roc Nation, following news of the mogul buying out his contract with Def Jam.
“I got the foundation and I’m ready to blast off,” he said.
“I bought my album back — I overpaid for it,” he added. “I believe at this point in my career, I wanted to be totally independent and free in what I wanted to do. Def Jam and Universal, they did a beautiful thing in letting me pay. They overcharged me a little bit, but I appreciate all the years they put into my career … I could never have a [traditional] record deal. I’m working with Atlantic, they gonna distribute the album and they’re doing a fantastic job. I get a chance to connect with the people I started my career with. It’s almost like poetic justice.”
So what else should fans expect? An album with a “classic” feel to it, says Jay.
“My thing … The vibe I’m in right now is stripping it down and bringing it back to classic. I hear people. I gotta get back to my square and let people know what time it is.”