Like everything on their collaborative effort Watch the Throne, Jay-Z and Kanye West’s latest single ‘No Church in the Wild’ aims for the epic. The song opens with a brilliantly tension-raising bassline, quietly accompanied by soulful and moving vocals about “gods” and “non-believers” from Odd Future member Frank Ocean, who is quickly becoming the latest soul musician in the R&B scene. Before the two stars have even entered it, the song has set itself up as something more akin to a track off Kanye’s lament-filled masterpiece 808s & Heartbreak than the pair’s usual style.
The comparisons with the aforementioned album continue with the robotic Auto-Tuned wails provided by The-Dream at different bits of the song, reminiscent of The Weeknd’s brilliant contribution to Drake’s song ‘Crew Love’.
As expected, Kanye and Jay reel off the verses between the vocals in their usual fashion, producing nothing brilliant but at the same time nothing bad. What really makes this song a keeper is the input from newcomers Ocean and The-Dream, who have definitely taken this opportunity to be on the biggest rap album of recent years in order to prove themselves, and in the process, perhaps even outshining their mentors.