Otis Redding's estate isn't the only entity benefiting from the success of Jay-Z and Kanye West's single "Otis." An article on the Wall Street Journal's website suggests that Mercedes-Benz, makers of the Maybach luxury car featured in the "Otis" video, linked with 'Ye and Jay in order to capitalize off the duo's buzz as well.
"It isn’t clear how deeply Mercedes was involved in the video’s production," the article reported, "but company spokesmen suggested the video’s producers worked with officials in the company’s German headquarters. West and Jay-Z could not be reached for comment."
The Spike Jonze–directed clip makes a big splash when it opens up with a shot of Jay-Z and Kanye approaching a $400,000 Maybach with a blowtorch and a sabersaw. The car is subsequently customized (some car purists and spendthrifts would probably go with the word "brutalized" instead) to the nth degree—in the video, the roof and doors are sawed off, fire-breathing exhausts are added and, of course, a gaggle of leggy models are squished into the back seat.
After the video premiered, the duo announced that they would be auctioning off the pimped-out luxury car and donating the proceeds to aid in the response to the drought and famine in East Africa. The auction will certainly provide even more publicity for Maybach, which has suffered from sluggish sales of late. It also could help deflect the criticism the pair has received for releasing such an over-the-top opulent album in the midst of a recession. Sounds like a good look all around.
(Photo: Roc Nation, Island Def Jam)