WWF European Champion, Eddie Guerrero [April 6th, 2000]
At WrestleMania 2000, Chris Jericho defeated Kurt Angle to become the European Champion in a Triple Threat Match, where Chris Benoitalso defeated Angle to become the Intercontinental Champion. With his friend and former co-Intercontinental Champion Chyna by his side, Jericho seemed unstoppable… until the following night, when Chyna cheated in favor of Eddie Guerrero to help Guerrero obtain the European Champion, effectively ending the one night reign of Jericho as champion! When asked why she had done what she’d done, Chyna stated that she simply couldn’t resist Eddie’s Latino Heat!
Essa Rios, the former Papi Chulo, returns to the WWF with the debuting Lita on Sunday Night Heat to answer Gillberg’s open challenge and quickly defeat him, ending Gillberg’s record 15 month reign as Light Heavyweight Champion.
Today marks the fifth anniversary of the release of Watch the Throne’s second single ‘Otis.’
The track was premiered by Funkmaster Flex on his Hot 97 radio show, and was released onto the Internet the day afterward to critical and public acclaim. The cover art for ‘Otis’ was designed by Italian fashion designer Riccardo Tisci, who had previously produced the artwork for ‘H*A*M’ and would also design the Watch the Throne album cover. ‘Otis’ debuted at #47 on the Billboard Hot 100 after a partial week of sales and airplay. It would reach #12 on the chart and has been certified 2x Platinum by the RIAA for over two million sales.
At the 54th Grammy Awards in 2012, ‘Otis’ was nominated for a Grammy Award for ‘Best Rap Song’ and won the Grammy for ‘Best Rap Performance.’
I’m sure y’all remember the moment you first heard the epic track. ‘Otis’ opened with a slowed-down refrain from Redding’s famous ‘Try a Little Tenderness’ single, no doubt bringing back beautiful memories from our childhood. “Sounds so soulful, wouldn’t you agree?!” Hov exclaims as Kanye chops and reworks the piano sample, ushering in the heavy bass line and drums. The two musical legends proceed to spit eight quick, decadent bars each, before handing the mic over to the other. Redding’s daughter, Karla Redding-Andrews, was asked to clear the sample and said she was very happy to have “two current, legendary artists” use the “legendary music” of her father. Karla also revealed there was some initial back and forth about the title of the song, over whether it was to be titled ‘Otis Redding’ or simply 'Otis.’
Bu Thiam, Def Jam Vice-President of A&R at the time, was with Hov and Yeezy throughout the album’s recording process and saw how the duo came up with several of the Watch the Throne tracks. Here he recalls the story of the origin of the now-classic ‘Otis,’ recorded circa-June 2011 at the Mercer Hotel in New York City: “[Kanye] was late for his flight, we were in the studio working all day and so he was late for his flight. As we were leaving he was like, 'Yo hold on for a second.’ So he drops his bags and goes to the MPC … and he’s just fucking with [the beat]. What’s so crazy is the whole time he’s doing that Jay is writing his verses in his head. But Jay is watching the NBA playoffs, I think it was the championship; Miami Heat and the Dallas Mavericks. So Jay is watching the playoffs. I’m not even thinking Jay is paying attention to what 'Ye is doing and by the time he is finished Jay is like 'I invented swag…’ And I’m like, 'What the fuck just happened?!'“