Illustration for article titled Jay-Z and Kanye Sample the Apollo 11 Launch

Watch the Throne has been knocking around Twitter, headphones, and radio stations since it dropped last week. The production is great—Yeezy, can you do no wrong? But one beat stands out. Probably because it samples NASA's moon launch.

The Beyoncé-infused Lift Off, The Atlantic's Alexis Madrigal points out, uses some very literal inspiration:

About 3:18 seconds in, we get to hear the famous countdown sequence from Apollo 11, the first mission to land on the moon from 20 seconds on down.


Rap blogger ego trip tagged the track as "Spielberg Rap," and it's easy to understand why. On a bombastic album, it's a particularly bombastic track—the hook is Beyoncé singing about going into god damn space. So where else would you turn, but to the real thing?

But! Kanye's not the first to dip into the Apollo program to bring heat to a song. Gang Starr's 1998 Moment of Truth featured Above the Clouds, another aeronautically-inspired track that took fragments of JFK's famous "We choose to go to the moon" speech for its introduction.

I don't think an entirely NASA-themed concept album would be a bad idea. And it's really only the next place for Kanye to head at this point, anyway. International Space Station status. [The Atlantic]

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