The Joy

Album: Watch The Throne (Deluxe Edition) (2011)
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Songfacts®:

  • This track from the bonus edition of Watch The Throne features a beat by Pete Rock, who is best known for being one half of the '90s Hip-Hop group Pete Rock & CL Smooth. The beat was originally intended for a Kanye solo album after West's bodyguard informed him his boss was looking to collaborate. So it was a surprise to Rock when Kanye's engineer played him a verse from Jay-Z over his beat, for The Throne project. "That came as a surprise to me because Jay-Z and I had never worked together," he told Billboard magazine. "I used to go to Jay-Z sessions to hang out, and once he asked me to help clear a Nas sample, but other than that… When the engineer called and said, 'Pete, I got a surprise for you,' and I heard Jay rapping over my beat, I was like, 'Wow!'"
  • The song samples the voice of the late soul singer Curtis Mayfield taken from a live version of his track, "The Makings of You."
  • Kanye West and Jay-Z were sued by musician Syl Johnson, who alleged that the two Hip-Hop moguls sampled his 1967 song "Different Strokes" - not the TV show theme - for this song. According to Johnson's suit, West first solicited permission to sample his tune for an earlier version of "The Joy," which was released on October 29, 2010 as part of his "G.O.O.D. Friday" series. Permission was denied but after the song was re-recorded for Watch The Throne the defendants received permission to sample the song from the Numero Uno Group. However this entity has never had any authorization to license the tune.

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