This week marks the 6th anniversary of what can easily be certified as one of Hip Hop’s most legendary collaborations. Uniting two kings of hip hop, ‘Watch the Throne’ was masterminded by Jay-Z and Kanye West – a 16 track album produced at the pinnacle of their careers.
A classic from its artwork to the cinematic videos, the ‘Watch The Throne Tour’ went on to become the highest grossing live arena tours at the time. The production of the album came courtesy of Swizz Beatz, RZA, The Neptunes and Hit Boy (amongst others), and although we can easily spot the Otis Redding samples, what about the lesser known ones?
Here’s a rundown of a few of our favourite obscure samples from the album.
No Church in the Wild
‘No Church in the Wild’ brings together Jay Z, Kanye, Frank Ocean and The Dream but did you know that the strong guitar rifts that run through the track were taken from a 1979 released song called K-Scope, by a Phil Manzanera? Take a listen below, and you’ll instinctively hear the sample…
British artist and producer Manzanera eventually recorded his own take of ‘No Church in the Wild’, for his 2015 album ‘The Sound of Blue’;
Illest Mother Fucker Alive/ No Church in the Wild/ Welcome to the Jungle/ New Day
It’s rare that one single song is sampled twice on an album, let alone 4 times, however moody, atmospheric Italian ‘Tristessa’ by Orchestra Njervudarov was sampled 4 times on Watch the Throne. Check it out in its entirety below,
N*ggas in Paris
Along with the great Will Ferrell sample from Blades of Glory, ‘N*iggas in Paris’ (produced by Hit Boy, Mike Dean and Kanye) also samples a baptism. Yes, you read correctly, a live recording of a baptism. If you listen closely, a few seconds in you’ll hear a very low ‘yeah’. Now listen to the below track and you’ll be sure to spot where the sample came from.
As for the chances of a follow up, Kanye declared while on tour in 2016 that “there will never be a Watch The Throne 2”. While rumours of a feud between the two rappers are rife, lawsuits and beef aside, ‘Watch The Throne’ remains one of the all time greatest collaborations in Hip Hop.