It's finally here: Watch The Throne, the much-anticipated, album-long collaboration between hip-hop luminaries and best friends forever Jay-Z and Kanye West, earned its iTunes release today after having been revealed to a handful of people during a listening party at the American Museum of Natural History in New York over the weekend.
Early reviews are mixed on the release: it's everything we hoped; it's nothing like we hoped; it's too bombastic; it's awesomely bombastic; and so on.
But one thing, pretty much, appears universal: The track that Dallas' Own Symbolyc One had told us he'd have on the album -- "Murder to Excellence" -- is being lauded everywhere we look. Noted music critic Michelangelo Matos, in his album preview, calls the song "the obvious centerpiece of the album, its grandest statement."
Give "Murder to Excellence" a stream after the jump.
Jay-Z and Kanye West -- "Murder to Excellence"
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We should note that the song isn't all S1's. Rather, it's a co-production between S1 and the always high-profile Swizz Beatz. But it's not a really traditional co-pro, either. As has been all the rage these days in the music world, the song is less a single track than two separate tracks combined into one. At the 2:42 mark in the song, it changes gears completely.
Interestingly, though, S1's not the mind behind the first half of the song, which sounds very much like S1's previous Kanye effort, "Power." Instead, that first half effort ("Murder") came from Swizz Beatz. S1 produced the second half ("Excellence").
No surprise there, though. As we've noted before, dude's got range.