Toppa Top 10: Kanye West’s Most Jamaican Moments

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June 18, 2013

4/3. Jay-Z’s Lucifer and Encore (2003)

Kanye’s Jamaican Moment: “Lucifer” samples Max Romeo’s “Chase the Devil” and “Encore” samples John Holt’s “I Will.”

Describing “Lucifer” on camera for the concert movie, Fade to Black, Kanye West told Jay-Z this record wasn’t a record, it’s like a scene from a movie. Sounds like a page out of Inception, right? Then we were able to catch a glimpse of the process of “Lucifer” being made. It was almost as if it happened by accident: Young Guru cycles through Kanye’s beats only to cue a version of “Lucifer” that has Kanye rapping over his flipped sample of Max Romeo’s “Chase the Devil.” The rest is history with Kanye giving Jay-Z the chorus and bridge to one of the best tracks from The Black Album.

Meanwhile, the horns from John Holt’s reggae cover of The Beatles’ “I Will” blare across “Encore,” signaling what was intended to be Jay-Z’s grand send off on his retirement album. At this time—three months before the release of College Dropout—Kanye’s production was still heralded as his bread and butter. While Danger Mouse’s mash-up masterpiece The Grey Album was heralded as a visionary project for its pairing of Jay’s Black Album a capellas with the sounds of the Beatles, it’s important to note that Kanye also went leftfield by weaving in Holt’s Beatles cover to create “Encore.” Mash it up Yeezy.