The official release of Watch The Throne has come and gone, and while the dust has settled and reviews are out, it still seems too soon for other artists to start siphoning off the joint work of Jay-Z and Kanye West for their own creations. How many of us have managed to commit all 12 songs (plus four bonus tracks) to memory yet? Lead single “Otis” did drop weeks ago, giving their colleagues and fans plenty of time to pay their respects by crafting their own versions. Ne-Yo has accepted the challenge, exchanging his smooth verses for rhymes as he raps over Jay and ‘Ye’s collective bragging and Otis Redding’s classic tune “Try A Little Tenderness.” Before you shake your fists out of sheer befuddlement at those singers who dare to attempt rap, the singer-songwriter does admit his shortcomings. “I don’t normally do this. I am not a rapper, but fuck it, this is a mixtape,” he begins, hinting at his own slightly unexpected collection of tunes. Recognizing the theme of the track—a blatant celebration of their riches—Ne-Yo attempts to follow suit by explaining his plethora of “swag.” A valiant effort, but even collectively his wealth can’t add up to the bank accounts that belong to its creators. How can we really settle for the fact that you have “a lot of money” when Kayne is about to drive away in his other other Benz? If you’ve listened to WTT in full already, you’ll smile at the inclusion of Swizz Beatz’s “Goddammit!” (featured on “Welcome to the Jungle“). It’s safe to say the freestyle hardly compares to the original, yet in the end, Ne-Yo admits to just joking around. “I thought I was having fun for a minute,” he laughs. But still, this is really happening. Chris Brown just released Boy In Detention, his first full-blown foray into hip-hop, and Ne-Yo’s 101 is set to drop later this year. Are these cases of talented artists trying their hand at everything when they should really stick to what they do best? Can we put an “Otis” freestyle out? Listen to Ne-Yo’s version and let us know what you think.