Murder to Excellence

Album: Watch The Throne (2011)

Songfacts®:

  • This is actually two songs spliced together, the first of which is questioning and dark and finds Kanye revisiting one of Watch The Throne's themes: black-on-black murder, in this case in his Chicago hometown. The other tune is more soulful and triumphant and finds the pair celebrating, "the new black elite" and "black excellence."
  • Whilst "Murder" is driven by a guitar sample and production from Alicia Key's sonic architect husband Swizz Beatz, "Excellence" was helmed by Dallas-based producer Symbolyc One whose previous credits include West's single "Power" and Beyoncé's hit tune "Best Thing I Never Had."
  • West begins his "murder" verse by quoting an old Jay-Z line, "I'm from the murder capital, where they murder for capital," which Hova originally spat on his The Black Album track, "Lucifer."

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