Murder. To. Excellence.

Jay and Kanye are getting  a decent amount of bad press about their “luxury rap” approach to Watch The Throne.

A lot of this criticism is coming from people around Jay-Z’s age that think this is a disrespectful direction to take rap and that the two men are completely out of touch.

Really Now.

I could probably rattle off every lyric to 80 Jay-Z songs and 45 Kanye songs and none of them ever had the impact that their respective lyrics did on the track “Murder to Excellence”



Bloody Murder, murder murder

The paper read “murder
Black-on-black murder”

This is to the memory of Danroy Henry
Too much enemy fire to catch a friendly

Strays from the same shade
Nigga, we on the same team
Giving you respect, I expect the same thing
All-black everything, nigga you know my fresh code
I’m out here fighting for you
Don’t increase my stressload!
Niggas watching the throne, very happy to be
Power to the people, when you see me, see you

[Kanye West]
And I’m from the murder capitol
Where they murder for capital
Heard about at least 3 killings this afternoon
Looking at the news like “damn! I was just with him after school”
No shop class but half the school got a tool

And “I could die any day”-type attitude
Plus his little brother got shot repping his avenue
It’s time for us to stop and redefine black power
41 souls murdered in fifty hours

The paper read “murder
Black-on-black murder”
The paper read “murder
Black-on-black murder” AGAIN

Is it genocide? Cause I can still hear his mama cry
Know the family traumatized
Shots left holes in his face about pirranha-sized
The old pastor closed the cold casket
And said the church ain’t got enough room for all the tombs

It’s a war going on outside we ain’t safe from
I feel the pain in my city wherever I go
314 soldiers died in Iraq, 509 died in Chicago

I arrived on the day Fred Hampton died
Real niggas just multiply
And they say by 21 I was supposed to die
So I’m out here celebrating my post-demise
If you put crabs in a barrel to insure your survival
You’re gonna end up pulling down niggas that look just like you
What up blood? What up Cuz? It’s all black, I love us

[Kanye West]
The paper read “murder
Black-on-black murder” again


It’s a celebration of black excellence
Black tie, black Maybachs
Black excellence, opulence, decadence
Tuxes next to the president, I’m present

I dress in Dries and other boutique stores in Paris
In sheepskin coats, I silence the lambs
Do you know who I am, Clarice?
No cheap cologne whenever I “shh-shh”
Success never smelled so sweet

I stink of success, the new black elite
They say my Black Card bears the mark of the beast

I repeat: my religion is the beat
My verse is like church, my Jesus piece

Now please, domino, domino
Only spot a few blacks the higher I go
What’s up to Will? Shout out to O
That ain’t enough we gonna need a million more

“Kick in the door” Biggie flow
I’m all dressed up with nowhere to go

[Kanye West]
Yeah it’s all messed up when it’s nowhere to go
So we won’t take the time out til we reach the T O P
From paroles to hold G’s, sold keys, low keys
We like the promised land of the OG’s

In the past if you picture events like a black tie
What the last thing you expect to see, black guys?
What’s the life expectancy for black guys?
The system’s working effectively, that’s why!

I’ll be a real man and take care of your son
Every problem you had before this day is now done
New crib, watch a movie cause ain’t nothin on the news
But the blues… hit the mall, pick up some Gucci
Now ain’t nothing new but your shoes
Sunday morning, praise the Lord
You’re the girl that Jesus had been saving me for

So let’s savor this moment
And take it to the floor
Black excellence, truly yours


This is a very important song. Not one that is usually made at the height of your career, especially when that height is bigger than everyone elses. That’s one of the many reasons it’s so impressive.

In “Roc Boys”, Jay-Z calls the song “Black Superhero Music”. At the time, I thought he was right, but now I know it wasn’t.

This is Black Superhero Music, in the same way 1971’s “Curtis/Live” was Black Superhero Music.

You know, “People Get Ready”/”We’re a Winner”/”Mighty Mighty (Spade and Whitey)”/”We People, Who Are Darker Than Blue”/”Stone Junkie”/”(Don’t Worry) If There’s A Hell Below, We’re All Going To Go”. BLACK SUPERHERO MUSIC. 

I’m very impressed. They’re constantly talking about how Black they are and how awesome that is, while simultaneously talking about all the unnecessary foolishness that Blacks get themselves into.

Apparently, your name doesn’t have to be Sharpton, Jesse, Cornel, or Cosby to be Black, famous, and racially provocative, and not ending up a social pariah.

It’s about time.

About Rembert Browne

NYC via ATL ////
This entry was posted in Important Ones, Music. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Murder. To. Excellence.

  1. Young Like Me says:

    so you’ve never listened to any other rap before then? haha want 100 other (better) rap songs about this topic?

  2. Young Like Me says:

    well considering how much you enjoyed this subject matter, there’s much more depth & relevance in Public Enemy’s “Fear of a Black Planet” & “It Takes a Nation of Millions..” none of the “hahah your life sucks puny peon!” sentiment either like w/ hov & ye. Please just stop purpatrating to readers this as some moment changing event when it’s been done before, it’s disrespectful to the HUNDREDS of rap acts from the 90s & today who’ve done so before “The Throne” & much better.

  3. Young Like Me says:

    They’re already on the way; I had to hold my recorder mic up to the radio though to get the songs I wanted but it works. Side A is this topic & Side B is miscellaneous.

  4. Rozenswag says:

    Michael Jordan caught a fair amount of shit for not making a stance on anything social or political. Not because people thought he had the right thing to say, but because a lot of people would listen if he said something halfway decent.

    While there’s been hundreds of songs of “conscious rap,” no one in the rap game, conscious or gangsta, has the attention of so many earballs as Ye and Hov.

  5. josie says:

    young like me you’re missing the entire point. it’s irrelevant if people don’t know it. a main reason this song is important is because of the artist not only because of the subject matter. i’m sure rembert’s heard the point before he’s talking about it in conjunction with the source.

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