Kanye West and Jay-Z Rap About Pace University Football Student Danroy Henry in Murder to Excellence Song on New Album Watch the Throne
Two hip-hop superstars, Jay-Z and Kanye West, weigh in on a local tragedy in their new collaborative album, Watch the Throne
By Marisa LaScala
Two of the biggest names in hip-hop — Kanye West and Jay-Z (who is rumored to have a house in Scarsdale, though I haven’t seen him yet) — teamed up for Watch the Throne, an album they finally released last 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, “Murder to Excellence,” mentions by name Danroy Henry, the Pace University football player who was shot and killed by a police officer outside of Pleasantville’s Finnegan’s Grill during a post-homecoming brawl.
Watch the Throne album cover
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.”
Disclaimer: As expected, the lyrics are explicit. This isn’t an official video by Jay-Z and Kanye West; it’s fan-made, so it could be taken down at any moment. And if you click through to the YouTube page, the fan who uploaded the video posted some of his own personal links. As with anything on the Internet, follow them at your own risk.
Associate Editor Marisa LaScala joined Westchester magazine in 2003, and ever since she's blown every paycheck at the Greenburgh Multiplex. She also staunchly defends Richard Kelly, doesn't mind spoiling the endings of trashy movies you're curious about but don't want to pay to see, wishes the Hold Steady would come back and rock out Westchester, misses Arrested Development more than anyone can imagine, and still watches cartoons and Saturday Night Live. You can find more of her cultural criticism at www.popmatters.com, where she is a staff writer.