A few days ago, while I was tweeting aimlessly about watermelons & Justin Bieber, I heard that Sade had apparently agreed to do a song with Jay-Z. So, as part of my regular routine, I tweeted my one hundred and forty characters on the subject, and carried on with my day of classes. About an hour later, I was sitting in a lecture when my phone buzzed to let me know that I had a new follower. A couple seconds later, another buzz. Then another, and another. Soon, my phone was vibrating off the table, and I could not figure out what was going on. Little did I realize, my tweet about Jay-Z & Sade had been retweeted by a friend of Jay-Z’s, the legendary drummer Questlove, and then subsequently by a few hundred of his one and a half million followers. It was kind of cool, but I was more surprised than anything. I wasn’t trying to get attention, I was simply sharing my feelings on a potential Sade & Jay-Z collaboration. But as I soon discovered, other people felt very strongly about the collaboration as well: among the hundreds of @replies I received, there was a decent mixture of people for and people against the project.
The truth is, when it comes to Sade, people are very protective. Remember when she turned down Drake for a collaboration, at a time when he was at the height of his buzz? Drake fans were shocked and disappointed that someone could say no to the greatest singer and rapper to ever walk the planet, but Sade fans were mostly relieved. Sade has developed and perfected her own musical style, and everyone knows not to mess with perfection. There’s no call from her fans, asking her to experiment or do something new. However, it seems that people are more open to the idea of a track with Jay-Z, perhaps because he has a good track record with collaborations, or perhaps simply because he’s a better emcee. Either way, the excitement does not give Hov a free pass: he still has a huge responsibility to deliver some stellar work on this track. I’m sure that if he doesn’t, his die-hard fans will forget it ever happened, but Sade fans like myself will never let him live it down.
For now, I’ll just keep my fingers crossed.