In a surprise performance, Kanye West and Jay-Z decided last minute to take the stage and perform "Otis" on the VMA's last night. They were not advertised in any of the teasers for the show so when I heard the intro for Otis coming from the TV, literally everyone in my apartment starting rallying like Hurricane Irene had just unleashed itself in our living room.
Unlike other performers, ahem Chris Brown, who resorted to using a harness and flying around the Nokia Theatre like some kind of hip-hop Peter Pan, Jay and Kanye need only to step on a stage and it's already a world class performance.
Kanye was wearing a denim shirt over denim jeans and Jay was in nothing but a white tee, jeans and a pair of Timberlands. They had some pyrotechnics, but did not need any dancers or back flips to prove that these two can command a stage.
The best things about this performance is that Jay Z and Kanye's bromance seems so genuine. When they both turned to each other and simultaneously rapped together, "What more can I say?" I swear I saw Jay-Z giggling. This is one of the few performances of a rap song where I was grinning from ear to ear like some dumb Cheshire cat. Jay and Kanye's chemistry is just perfect, and if they are faking it, they are doing it well.
But I'm going to credit their silly gleefulness to Beyonce's announcement that Jay Z is going to be a dad!
Oh and then half-way through the performance a giant American Flag drops down from the ceiling. Which was so out of place yet so perfect, nothing says "America" like "Poppin bottles, putting supermodels in the cab." Amiright?
But the best part was when some random guy from the audience jumped onstage right in the middle of the performance but was quickly tackled by a security guard while Kanye rapped and Jay kind of just starred at the random stage crasher.
The stage rushing rando was quietly unnoticed because everyone was so transfixed by their performance. Honestly, I would rather see Jay and Kanye trade rhymes any day than see Gaga in a pantsuit try to do an impression of an Italian dude.
Finally, at the end of the performance the camera cut away to audience reactions and who do they cut-to, but Justin Bieber. As Justin sat there in his non-prescription grandma glasses and stroking his pet snake he looked utterly confused, I could see the thought bubble forming as Justin wonders, "oh so that's what SWAG is?"