Five years ago today, Kanye West and Jay Z released their hit track “Otis,” the second single off their collaborative project Watch the Throne. The song has since become one of the most recognizable and acclaimed releases in hip hop—widely lauded for its lyricism and accompanying visuals. But, above all, people were obsessed with the incredible beat.

Verses about Rollies, popping bottles, and driving around in Benz were delivered over a chopped-up sample of Otis Redding’s “Try a Little Tenderness.”

The song, which was often considered a throwback to Kanye’s early days, did impressively well on the charts and eventually went platinum in sales. Many people attribute its success to that infectious Redding-sampled beat we all know and love. So it’s only fitting that such an amazing track would have an equally amazing story behind it.

In celebration of the song’s fifth anniversary, Roc Nation executive Lenny Santiago went to Instagram to describe the time “Otis” was made. It turns out, Kanye created the song in NYC’s Mercer Hotel, and he did it within 15-20 minutes. Insane, right?

"He was being reminded that he had to leave to catch his flight, he sort of brushed that off and was like, fuck it, let me just play y'all a piece of the song so you could see how dope it is," Lenny recalls. "He then approached the MPC and Keyboard and plays it. Everyone in the room does the ugly face like when you hear some dope shit or see the sickest slam dunk at a contest."

"15 or 20min later before he runs off to catch his flight, he creates the phenomenal track known to us as "OTIS," he adds.

You can read Lenny S.'s full story in the Instagram post below.

 

Five years ago today, the song "Otis" was released. It's one of my favorite songs, tracks and Lyrics from the classic Album, Watch The Throne by Jay Z & Kanye West. This record stands out to me cause I vividly remember the day of its inception. We were in the Mercer Hotel, NYC, where a lot of the album was made. The day or rather session for that day was coming to an end. Kanye had to catch a flight if I'm not mistaken. We were almost towards the end of the album and he was telling everyone in the room that as soon as he returns, he wanted to fuck with this Otis Redding sample idea he had. As he was being reminded that he had to leave to catch his flight, he sort of brushed that off and was like, fuck it, let me just play y'all a piece of the song so you could see how dope it is. He then approached the MPC and Keyboard and plays it. Everyone in the room does the ugly face like when you hear some dope shit or see the sickest slam dunk at a contest. Lol. He then begins to chop the sample lil by lil (But fast) and actually starts creating the track. Ye being one of my favorite producers, I'm literally hype as Fuck and in awe. I begin to snap the Canon cam like an Uzi. Lol. This is 1 of the pictures captured here of course. 15 or 20min later before he runs off to catch his flight, he creates the phenomenal track known to us as "OTIS". #Otis #WatchTheThrone #WTT #RocNation #GoodMusic #DefJam #JayZ #KanyeWest #RocafellaRecords

A photo posted by Lenny S. (@kodaklens) on Jul 20, 2016 at 4:00pm PDT