Well, it turns out Otis’ daughter Karla Redding-Andrews is a fan of both Hov and Yeezy. “Actually, those two artists are in my iPod,” she told MTV News on Tuesday (July 26) before citing Jay’s “Empire State of Mind” and ’Ye’s 2005 album cut “Gone” as her two faves.
On “Otis,” Kanye and Jay use a sampling of Redding’s 1996 version of “Try a Little Tenderness” . But before they could add the track to their upcoming Watch the Throne LP, they first had to get permission from Concord Music Group (which holds the song’s masters), Otis’ daughter and his wife, Zelma Redding.
“When it was brought to us, it was quite interesting. We wanted to, first of all, see the lyrics and, secondly, hear the song,” Redding-Andrews said. “We couldn’t find anything negative as it relates to the association with Otis Redding. My mother has protected that legacy for so many years; therefore she gave them the approval to do it.”
For the Redding family — who also run the Big “O” Youth Educational Dream Foundation, which teaches music to 30 youngsters yearly — it was significant that the Throne’s sample would help to keep Otis’ legacy alive.
“It really means a lot to me, particularly to a whole new generation of young legends, because that’s what Jay-Z and Kanye are,” Redding-Andrews said. “I just think it’s wonderful to tie an old legendary artist whose music history will never die to something [that] they have come up with. I just think the collaboration was certainly a tribute to him, and it’s really great.”
In September, the foundation will celebrate Otis’ 70th birthday anniversary with an entire weekend of festivities, including a concert in Macon, Georgia, that they have dubbed “An Evening of RESPECT.”
Ultimately, “Otis” is exposing a new generation to Redding’s music in a very hip and cool way. “With what we do with our foundation — pairing music with education, always involved with young people — how can I not be a fan of Kanye West and Jay-Z?” Redding-Andrews said.
Are you a fan of Jay and Kanye’s “Otis”? Tell us in the comments!