While numerous critics are blasting Jay-Z and Kanye West for talking about expensive trips, clothes, and cars on their new album “Watch The Throne” during an economic recession, there are plenty of tracks on the album that touch on serious topics specifically, “Murder To Excellence.”
On the album’s tenth track, Jay-Z and Kanye West focus on police brutality, Black-on-Black crime, and the police killing of 20-year-old Danroy Henry. They specifically zero in on the city of Chicago’s high-crime rates (435 homicides in 2010) and the tragic death of Pace University student, Danroy Henry, who was killed at the hands of Westchester, NY., police in a murder still clouded in controversy.
Read our timeline of Danroy Henry stories: Click here
Jay-Z opens the track letting us know where the track is going from start to finish when he says, “this is to the memory of Danroy Henry/ too much enemy fire to catch a friendly/strays from the same shade ni**a, we on the same team/ Giving you respect, I expect the same thing.”
In the verse, Jay obviously takes a shot at police officers who have proven to have quick trigger fingers when it comes to African-Americans. He mentions how cops want respect and all we want is the “same thing.”
On the second verse of the track, Kanye takes over focusing on his home of Chicago which he calls the “murder capital.”
“And I’m from the murder capital/where they murder for capital/ heard about at least 3 killings this afternoon/ looking at the news like damn I was just with him after school/ in shop class/ but half the school got it to/ and an I can die any day type attitude/ plus his little brother got shot repping his avenue/ it’s time for us to stop and redefine Black power/ 41 souls murdered in 50 hours…I feel the pain in my city wherever I go/ 314 soldiers died in Iraq, 509 died in Chicago.”
The hook to the song is as follows:
The paper read “murder, black-on-black murder”
The paper read “murder, black-on-black murder” again
The numbers he’s referring to are from 2008 when 314 soldiers died in Iraq, and Chicago reported 509 people dying in violent crimes. This isn’t the first time Kanye references Chicago crime numbers in his rhymes.
From “Everything I Am”
“I know that people wouldn’t usually rap this/ But I got the facts to back this/ Just last year, Chicago had over 600 caskets/ Man, killin’s some wack s**t.”