Two of the biggest names in hip-hop—Kanye West and Jay-Z (who is rumored to have a house in Scarsdale, though I don’t know of anyone who’s come across him here)—teamed up for Watch the Throne, an album they finally released this week to much Internet commotion.
I know lots of pop-culture followers were eagerly anticipating the album, waiting to see what the two high-profile artists would come up with for their collaboration. What I didn’t expect, though, was to see one of our local tragedies pop up in the lyrics.
Track 10 on the album, “Murder to Excellence,” mentions by name Danroy Henry, the Pace University football player who was shot and killed by a police officer outside of Thornwood’s (now defunct) Finnegan’s Grill during a post-homecoming brawl.
After an intro that uses a refrain of “bloody murder,” Jay-Z raps: “This is to the memory of Danroy Henry. Too much enemy fire to catch a friendly.”
The rest of the lyrics in the song deal with crime, race, and class. “In the past if you picture events like a black tie,” Kanye West says in a later verse, “What the last thing you expect to see? Black guys.”
You can read the rest of the lyrics here.
Or you could watch the video below, which puts the lyrics on the screen. A couple of caveats before you do: First, as expected, the lyrics are explicit. Second, this isn’t an official, sanctioned video by Jay-Z and Kanye West. It’s a fan-made thing, so it could be taken down at any moment. And, if you click through to the YouTube page, the fan who uploaded the video has posted some of his own personal links—as with anything on the Internet, follow them at your own risk.
What do you think of “Murder to Excellence?” Let me know in the comments.