No Trivia

Watch The Throne: “Welcome To The Jungle”

leave a comment

Jean-Michel Basquiat, “Defacement (The Death Of Michael Stewart)”

A simple, abrasive beat that, every few bars, sounds like it’s about to malfunction, angrily pumps until a mournful synth enters the mix at the very moment Kanye shouts, “I asked her where she wanna be when she 25 / She turned around and looked at me and said ‘alive.’” He’s referencing OutKast’s “Da Art Of Storytellin Pt. 1,” and specifically, he’s referencing Andre 3000’s description of a scene from his teenage years, when Three Stacks talks about a young girl named Sasha Thumper who, when asked what she wants to be when she grows up answers, says, “alive,” throwing Andre for a loop (“I coulda died,” he admits).

Like the hook’s update of Grandmaster Flash’s “The Message” (“It’s like a jungle sometimes…”), the somber hook of “Da Art Of Storytellin’ Pt. 1″ (“It’s like that now…”) is a clever, stiff-upper-lip twist on Run-D.M.C,’s state-of-the-nation rap “It’s Like That.” The Throne reference both songs here, employing socially conscious reality raps from the ’80s and ’90s to underline their point: Nothing has changed all that much. In his first verse, Jay implicates himself in “the jungle,” outlining losses early in his life (“My uncle died, my daddy did too”), while Kanye attempts to empathize, referencing the problems he’s mined for a few albums now (“Just when I thought I had everything, I lost it all”) and then, it’s right back to Jay who drops a fascinating virtuoso verse mixing street violence with “fame is fucked-up” freakouts…

Written by Brandon

August 24th, 2011 at 2:27 am

Leave a Reply