Kanye finally delivers on his promise of boom bap beats. You can tell Pete Rock relishes the magnitude of the placement as the beat oozes with soul. The oddball vocal sample shows definite J Dilla influence (Syl Johnson going “UH” followed by a high-pitched laugh that sounds just like the Dilla siren). Kanye and Jay-Z take to the beat like a long lost friend and acknowledge the departure from their usual pop rap. Kanye raps, “No electro, no metro / A little retro, ah perfecto.” Jay-Z, who has long since forsaken Ski and Clark Kent for Pharrell and Timbaland, reminisces on growing up.
This is the Yeezy that heads have been waiting for, but the mass audience might be a little lost here. Nevertheless, the combination of Kanye and Jay-Z could make “The Joy” one of the most well known songs in Pete Rock’s discography along with that song from NBA Street Vol. 2.