S1, also known as Symbolic One, supplied the beat for “Murder to Excellence,” included on Jay-Z and Kanye West’s chart-topping Watch the Throne. In a new clip, the producer recreates the instrumental for the track, explaining how he got the placement on the album.
“The ‘Excellence’ beat was actually in the second batch of beats I ever sent Kanye,” he said. “‘POWER’ was in the first batch that I sent. I had the pleasure of going to London with him and Jay to start Watch the Throne before we went to Australia. That’s when Kanye would always be playing that beat in a session. So when Jay first heard the track, I remember him looking at me like, ‘What the heck is this?’ So 10, 15 minutes later, he’s at the mic, knocking his verse out, and Kanye immediately follows.”
S1, who also has a recent production credit on Beyonce’s “Best Thing I Never Had,” focused on beefing up the drums to channel a classic Hip Hop sound.
“Musically, I have a really strong Hip Hop foundation, so I knew when it came to drums, I would really go back to the texture of chopping break beats and really just sampling from vinyl just to get that feel and that dirtiness.”