Best rap song at the 2011 Grammy Awards, finds Kanye West and Jay-Z rapping about luxury cars in a year when many of their countrymen were trading in their used junkers to make rent. Nevertheless, we know that rappers brag.
Internet speculation posits that Otis is an acronym for “Only The Illuminati Survive” (the Illuminati being a secret group bringing about a New World Order). But Otis Redding is also sampled throughout, if you prefer to believe the obvious!
Whatever, New World Order goes back to the period after the Second World War, when idealistic talk looked at the possibility of global governance for peace and security. The United Nations came out of this. The phrase morphed into a conspiracy theory that unaccountable elites would install a single totalitarian government for the whole world. (Or maybe they already have and we don’t know it).
Otherwise, the song is a grab bag of political and religious references. The verses touch on Jesus, political refugees, border customs, illegal Mexican immigration, and Cuban President Fidel Castro. The song was released in the year Castro officially retired from his country’s Central Committee of the Communist Party, though his brother, Raul, has been nominally in charge since 2006.