Track 12: “Why I Love You”
Sounds Like: “I Love You So” by French group Cassius, buffed and slotted like a jewel into Watch the Throne‘s final track. “Why I Love You” is among the album’s most ambivalent tracks, about Jay-Z and Kanye’s paranoia, resentment and reluctant love toward fans, labels and each other. Other tracks on Watch the Throne might reward closer, repeat listening; “Why I Love You” demands it.
Pros: “Why I Love You” almost sounds beefy enough to justify its final-track slot, and there’s more direct interplay between Jay and Kanye here than anywhere else on Watch the Throne. Too many ostensible “features” don’t sound like the other guy on the credits even listened to his absent guest’s part before pasting his segment into the track; Jay and Kanye at least sound like they’re aware of what the other guy’s doing. It’ll probably sound great live.
Cons: Notice the “almost” in that last paragraph. For a closer to an album of Watch the Throne‘s scope, “Why I Love You” feels more like the third-to-last track, beat and verses and sample content to operate at 70% strength. The abrupt ending, lacking even an outro, doesn’t help, and to say Mr. Hudson doesn’t earn his featured credit is an understatement.
Song Winner: A tie; both Jay and Kanye impress even if you could untwine their respective contributions.
Definitive Self-Aggrandizing Lyric: “Please, Lord, forgive him / for these n—-s know not what they do.” What’s more definitive or self-aggrandizing than invoking Jesus’s final words?