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RA "Otis" Draft 4

RA "Otis" Draft 4

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Published by Daniel Ferrao

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Published by: Daniel Ferrao on Oct 24, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Page 1WR 13300Angel D. MatosWriting and RhetoricDaniel Ferrao
“The Path to the Thone”
Being two of wealthiest rappers in recent history, with a combined net worth of $565 million,Jay and Kanye are both extremely successful. In their most recent album “Watch The Throne” theyinspire others to strive for success, and to overcome any challenges they are faced with. With a greatcommand of ethos, pathos, and logos; the duo convinces their fans that success, the American dream,should be sought out no matter what stands in your way. Three songs off “Watch The Throne” portraythe intended message the best. “Otis”, “Made In America”, and “Gotta Have It” all entertain the idea of striving for success and overcoming anything in your way. On the heels of Jay Z's and Kanye West'srecord-breaking album “Watch the Throne”, their extravagant music video to the hit song “Otis” iscausing a stir. The video, which involved the two stars “chopping” up a $375,250 Maybach sedan andrapping in front of a large American flag, was a major success. With right under 50 million views onYouTube, its safe to say that it is one of the most succesful music videos of their careers. The “Otis”video conveys a strong message to the 50 million people who have watched it so far. A lesser knownsong on the album, “Made In America” explains how different Jay and 'Ye's paths to greatness were.However, no matter how different their paths were, they both succeeded based on a diet of sacrifice andhard work. In the song “Gotta Have It”, the duo reminds us that the hard work never stops. Even after reaching the top, they still face prejudice and obstacles to overcome.
Page 2“Otis” includes many visuals of success, from watches with five digit price tags to cars withseven digit pricetags, Jay and 'Ye show us how hardwork has rewarded them. When the line “new watchalert, Hublot, or a big-faced rollie; I got two of those” is rhymed, images of Jay and Kanye flashingtheir watches are shown. Those particular watch brands are chosen because they evoke a great deal of emotion in the viewer. Hublot and Rolex are both extremely exclusive brands who's base model watchesstart in the multiple thousands. Using lesser brands such as Timex or Casio wouldn't have the sameeffect because their watches are not exclusive. You don't have to put in the same level of work to buyone; so, in turn, they hold less emotional value than a Rolex. Utilizing brands that equate themselveswith luxury implies that Jay and Kanye live a luxurious life; and by saying that he has “two of those” heis just cementing the fact that he has been successful for a long time, and that he is a master of luxury.Jay-Z's line “Photo shoot fresh, looking like wealth” is drenched in ethos. He is being blatant andliterally saying he is the embodyment of wealth and success. His follow up line,“'bout to call the papparazzi on myself” tells us that he wants everyone to know so badly, that he will suffer theannoyance of papparazzi just to spread the word.In the video, the Maybach represents the “correct” or “socially acceptable” path to success. Theopening scene shows Jay and Kanye walking towards the car with a saw and a plasma torch cutter. They procede to dismantle the car rather violently. When the car surfaces again, body panels are missing andthe hoods is where the trunk is susposed to be. This is a metaphor that relates to Jay-Z's own rise tosuccess, which relied heavily on selling illegal drugs. He is saying your path to success might not fitwith the preconcieved notion; it may not be pretty, but keep fighting for success no matter what your  path looks like. Jay is an example of someone who fought through the “no you can't” and made his ownversion of success, that looks very different from societies.
Page 1Looking past the glamour of flashy watches and rhinestone encrusted hats, the video reveals itsmain point with two symbols that are cherished. A giant mural of the American flag is the backgroundfor most of the video, and Jay and Kanye are showing your their friendship. Both of these symbolsshow us how to reach the level of success that they share. Jay and 'Ye are showing what you need tomake it big, you need to utilize America, and you need to have a good group of people to support you.By acting like they are just “hanging out” Jay and Kanye also evoke a sense of pathos from theaudience. By showing them participating in a “normal” activity, it makes it easier to realate to the twomillionares. The presentation of success, in the form of wealth, paired with the symbol of America andfellowship, is intensely powerful. It shows Jay's and Kanye's affinity towards their version of theAmerican dream, and their ability to succeed in this country.In “Otis” they establish themselves as authorities on luxury and success with a few very clever  bars and images. With this authority, they convince the viewer that success should be sought. TheMaybach scene lets people know that the road to success won't be easy, and shows that once you getthere, it might not look like societies stereotype of success.Critics have said that the video evokes jelousy, and that it is just Jay-Z and Kanye being boastful. While the video does evoke jelousy in some, jelousy is a great motivator. If you see somethingyou want, and someone else has it, you are motivated to work harder for it. Whether it is jelousy, or desire, it is hard to argue that “Otis” doens't evoke the desire to succeed from its viewers. Lines like“When we die, the money we can't keep” and “Is pious, pious because god loves pious?” contradict thestatement that Jay and 'Ye are just showing off their money. By bringing up the fact that money is justan object that is only ours temporarily, and philosophers theories; the pair shows they aren't onlyfocused on money and watches. They clearly have deeper thoughts, which adds to the logos and ethosthey cultivated earlier.

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