The Joy (song)

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"The Joy"
Song by Jay-Z and Kanye West featuring Curtis Mayfield
from the album Watch the Throne
Released October 29, 2010
Recorded 2010
Length 5:17

"The Joy" is a song by American rappers Kanye West and Jay-Z, which features Curtis Mayfield. Reks rapped over the track's beat in his 2012 song "Parenthood".[1]


Song producer Pete Rock revealed that he'd had the beat since 1997 and thanked the rappers for making usage of it.[2]


Mayfield's feature on "The Joy" is composed of a sample from his 1971 track "The Makings of You (Live)".[3] This doesn't mark the only time that a song from the featuring album has a sampled artist credited with a feature, since Otis Redding has a featuring credit on "Otis".

The track also samples the sound effect "Uh!" from 1967 song "Different Strokes" by Syl Johnson throughout the entirety of it.[4]


In August 2011, Jay and Kanye were sued by Johnson for sampling his song, since he claimed they did it without his permission.[5] A settlement was reached between them and Johnson in March 2012, allowing the sample to be kept.[6]


"The Joy" was originally released on October 29, 2010 as part of West's GOOD Fridays series of songs, with Pete Rock, Jay-Z, Charlie Wilson, Curtis Mayfield and Kid Cudi all being listed as featured artists.[7]

When the Jay and Kanye collaborative album Watch the Throne was released on August 8, 2011, the track was only made available on it as a bonus track on the deluxe edition and Mayfield was the only featured artist listed.[8] Rock, Wilson and Cudi may not have been listed as featured artists, but they were included in the album's credits as having additional vocals on the song.[9]

Critical reception[edit]

Consequence of Sound praised the production and Jay's rapping, writing that: 'Pete Rock drops a beat that, as Kanye says, "deserves Hennessy," Jay-Z uses a Reasonable Doubt flow'.[10] "The Joy" received praise from Pitchfork, since the site wrote of it that: 'there's no one else that can do soul-sampling hip-hop like Jay and Kanye' and voiced the belief that it's 'a unique throwback'. [11]

When listing West's 25 best verses of all time, Complex positioned his appearance on the track at number 23.[12]


External links[edit]