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top 5 jay-z & kanye collabos

08/07/11 , , , , ,

as we get closer to the release of  jay-z and kanye’s joint project watch the throne, here’s a look back at their five best songs rocking the mic together.  spoiler alert: “that’s my bitch,” “h.a.m.” and “otis” didn’t crack the list.

5. the bounce – jay-z f/ kanye

a slept-on track from bp2.   it brought jay back together with longtime collaborator timbaland and served as yeezy’s commercial debut on the mic (he wasn’t even listed as being featured on the song).

quotable:  “Business mind of a Ross Perot, but never lost my soul/ Crossed the line? I bought pop across the road/ Let em walk through the hood, where they up to no good/Slangin them O’s like a real O.G. should/ Oh, he’s good, no he would never sell out he’s so hood” – Jay-Z

4. run this town – jay-z f/ kanye west & rihanna

this song fit the formula for a lead single:  big name artists + pop star singing catchy hook + good beat.   some relative fluff content-wise but it does its job.

quotable:  “It’s crazy how you can go from being Joe Blow/ To everybody on your dick (no homo)/ I bought my whole family whips, no Volvos/ Next time I’m at church, please no photos/ Police escorts, everybody passports/ This the life that everybody ask for/ This the fast life, we are on a crash course/ What you think I rap for?  To push a fuckin’ Rav 4?!” – Kanye

3. the joy- kanye f/ jay-z, curtis mayfield, pete rock, charlie wilson & kid cudi

originally released in kanye’s “g.o.o.d. friday” series but will be included on the deluxe edition of wtt.   in some ways, it’s a more polished version of “otis” (both have some solid lyrics but “joy” has smoother production).  and while we’re here, shout to pam grier.

quotable: “I never understood Planned Parenthood/Cause I never met nobody planned to be a parent in the hood/ Taking refills of that Plan B pill/ Another shorty that won’t make it to the family will/ If I don’t make it, can’t take it, hope the family will/ They ain’t crazy, they don’t know how insanity feel/ Don C just had a shorty, so it’s not that bad/ But I still hear the ghosts of the kids I never had” – Kanye

2. never let me down – kanye f/ jay-z & j. ivey

this was my favorite song for a while but here it comes in at 2nd place.  the lyricists all shine at various moments but i was most impressed by kanye’s production.  his “take em to church” line was fitting since the song moves with both the solemnness and frenzy of a sunday church service.

quotable: “I get down for my grandfather who took my momma/ Made her sit in that seat where white folks ain’t want us to eat/ At the tender age of 6 she was arrested for the sit-ins/ And with that in my blood I was born to be different/ Now niggas can’t make it to ballots to choose leadership/ But we can make it to Jacob’s and to the dealership/ Swear I hear new music and I just don’t be feelin’ it/ Racism’s still alive, they just be concealin’ it”  – Kanye

1. diamonds (remix) – kanye f/ jay-z

a tough choice between the top two, but “diamonds” pulls it out.  kanye does a much better job marrying his content to the diamond theme on the remix than on the original.  jay follows suit with one of my all-time favorite verses.  add those things to great pacing over a tough beat and the song is an experience for the ears.

quotable: “How can you falter when you’re the Rock of Gibraltar?/ I had to get off the boat so I could walk on water/ This ain’t no tall order, this is nothin to me/ Difficult takes a day, impossible takes a week/ I do this in my sleep/ I sold kilos of coke, I’m guessing I can sell cds/ I’m not a businessman/ I’m a business, man/ Let me handle my business, damn” – Jay-Z


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great compilation. thanks for this. i was looking for the Joy.



1 notes

  1. Quora reblogged this and added:

    Of all the songs Jay-Z and Kanye West have rapped on together, which is the best?…

    I love Never Let Me Down, but the answer here is Diamonds remix. Lyrically, Jay and Kanye do a good job linking their verses to both the Shirley Bassey sample and current events (Yeezy: blood diamonds; Hov: Roc-A-Fella breakup). Production-wise, the so…

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