News: Jay-Z Explains "D.O.A." Controversy, "It Was More Of A Challenge Than A Diss Record" [Audio]

Monday, Jul 27, 2009 9:01AM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Jay-Z recently spoke on his controversial "Death of Autotune" record and why the song was his challenge for rappers to step up their emcee skills without the voice-altering effect.

Speaking with radio personality Tim Westwood, Jay shared his reaction to people taking offense to the track.

"Absolutely, it shook it up," Jay said about the song's impact. "It shook the town up. 'D.O.A.' for me, the meaning of it was really, it was more of a challenge than a diss record. I guess a lot of people took it as a diss record but for me it was more of a challenge. For me it was more of a challenge, you know, let's go. That's been done, we done that. That sounds good, I like the way those records sound. I'm not saying I hate auto-tune, I hate a hundred thousand people using it 'cause I don't wanna hear the same record over and over again. I'm a fan of music so that was my push to my peers, to the music business in general to a counter cultural movement. Hip-Hop is about if you're doing that, I'm doing this. Everybody doing their own thing and being individuals. I felt we were losing that." (Tim Westwood TV)

Producer No I.D. recently spoke on the song's creation and how Kanye West, Cool & Dre, Don Cannon and Timbaland were each in the studio crafting it.

"Jay is the type of artist that can go so many directions," I.D. explained in an interview. "It was me, Tim, Ye, Cool & Dre, Don Cannon and a deejay. The deejay said Jay needed a record like Soulja Boy got to get the kids. The energy shifted from Kanye, he was like 'Man, enough is enough.' But then I put the headphones on and started finishing the unfinished idea I had. And Kanye was like 'Put this in there, put this in there,' and soon as I played it, all the heads went to the 'Jay-Z pocket,' and Kanye said how the chorus should be, Jay just took it and came back the next day with the whole song...[The sample] was so unique and so emotional that I knew it would cause a reaction no matter what. I wanted to try to get as close to authentic 90's style hip-hop without being limited to the 90's style program of drums." (Zach Wolfe)

Jay previously said Yeezy played a big role on the song's overall success.

"He actually sparked the idea," Jay revealed. "When he heard the beat he said, 'Man, this is just so hard! This has to be against everything -- no auto-tune, none of that type of stuff!' He didn't know what I was going to do or where I was going to take it, but it was actually his fault...After we made the 'D.O.A.' record about a month ago, we were like, 'if it's got to go, it's got to go' [from my album]. In hip-hop, our job is once a trend becomes a gimmick, to get rid of it. We've done that since the beginning of time...Now people are using auto-tune even in Wendy's commercials, and it's like, 'Oh no! That has to go!' It's become part of main culture. It's the same thing like when the old lady in Oregon starts saying, 'bling, bling.' It's like, 'I'm never saying that again.'" (Billboard)

Fabolous spoke with SOHH last month about his reaction to the controversial record.

"Jay-Z is like the so to say trend killer if he states that something is done," said Fab. "Certain people may feel that way but never say it...but Jay, he'll take the stand and everybody be feelin' that way and be like, 'Yeah Jay's a hero for saying what we've been feeling.' I think what Jay is trying to do is help people get back to the talent of rapping. Let's get some artistry back in the music, some good writing. I think 'Death of Autotune' is dope. I think it's good for the climate too. At some point a lot of these kids, artists are coming out and they're just putting this autotune on their voice... I guess Jay is just tired of everybody jumping on that bandwagon. I kinda was over it too." (SOHH)

Check out Jay-Z's interview with Tim Westwood below:

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