Track 6: "New Day"
Sounds Like: Watch the Throne's first introspective moment. RZA produced the track, anchored by a stormy piano line, clinical chimes and slightly '90s beat, with a brief brass sample that appears just to collapse in on itself. Nina Simone's "Feeling Good" recurs throughout "New Day," but her voice has been twisted into a minor key and salted with autotune so all the joy leaches out; when Nina sings "it's a new life," it's eerie enough that you sense the last was regrettable.
Pros: All the above is gorgeous, and it's in service of Watch the Throne's most humble lyric. Dedicated to their (hypothetical) sons, Kanye and Jay resolve not to make the mistakes their parents did, but it might all be for naught. "Sorry, junior, I already ruined you," Jay raps, and it's hard not to be moved--if not by the verses, then by their moody underpinnings, particularly by the end, where a distorted, panned guitar sample and Simone's full lyric lends them a coda.
Cons: So what if Jay-Z and Kanye end up having daughters? What if their kids are gay or otherwise don't have college girlfriends, or what if they really do want to hit the strip club? What if Kanye's kid turns out Republican anyway, or Jay's son doesn't want to have a drink with his dad in his tweens? To be fair, these designer-kid lyrics plague every "to my unborn child" song in music history. They're still a problem. If you're looking for cons in the production, though, look elsewhere.
Song Winner: RZA and Nina Simone. "New Day" wouldn't be nearly as haunting had either's work been absent. We'll give Kanye an edge here, since he helped produce.
Definitive Self-Aggrandizing Lyric: None, really. It's not that kind of track.