Illest Motherfucker Alive

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
"Illest Motherfucker Alive"
Song by Jay-Z & Kanye West
from the album Watch the Throne
ReleasedAugust 8, 2011

"Illest Motherfucker Alive" (censored on the album as "Illest Motherf**ker Alive"[1]) is a song by American rappers Kanye West and Jay-Z. It is only available on their collaborative album Watch the Throne (2011) on the deluxe edition. The song features additional vocals by Kid Cudi, Bankulli, and Aude Cardona.[2] It samples "Tristessa" by Orchestra Njervudarov for an interlude.


The song includes a sample of "Tristessa" by Orchestra Njervudarov for the interlude played before it, which is also used for the interludes played after fellow album tracks "No Church in the Wild", "New Day" and "Welcome to the Jungle".[2] Producer Southside revealed in an interview that he's responsible for the drums, the snares, the hi-hat and the breakdowns, and also that mostly all the synths were added by West.[3] Jay compares himself to The Beatles and Beyoncé to Yoko Ono.[4]

Release and recording[edit]

"Illest Motherfucker Alive" is only available on Watch the Throne as a bonus track on the deluxe edition.[5] The involvement of Southside was due to him being in the studio whilst Lex Luger was co-producing West's song "See Me Now" and being asked by West's manager for beats.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

Brian Josephs of Complex viewed the track's presence on Watch the Throne as being "pretty much there for you to revere two impossibly rich black men".[6] It was described by Simon Price of The Independent as "brilliantly absurd" and he pointed out West's lines: "Bulletproof condom when I'm in these hoes/Got staples on my dick. Why? Fuckin' centrefolds".[7]

Commercial performance[edit]

In the month of the album's release, the song peaked at number 4 on the US Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart and never managed to chart on it again.[8]


Chart (2011) Peak
US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles (Billboard)[9] 4


  1. ^ "Watch The Throne / JAY-Z". Tidal. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  2. ^ a b Watch the Throne (PDF digital booklet). Jay-Z and Kanye West. Universal Music Group. 2011.
  3. ^ a b ""The Illest Motherfucker Alive" - An Interview with SouthSide". RESPECT. August 30, 2011. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  4. ^ Rosen, Jody (September 1, 2011). "Watch The Throne". Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  5. ^ Ramirez, Erika (July 12, 2011). "Jay-Z and Kanye West's 'Watch The Throne' Deluxe Tracklisting Revealed". Billboard. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
  6. ^ Josephs, Brian (August 8, 2018). "'Watch the Throne' Songs Ranked: A Track-by-Track Review". Complex. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  7. ^ Price, Simon (August 14, 2011). "Album: Jay-Z & Kanye West, Watch the Throne (Mercury)". The Independent. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  8. ^ "Jay-Z Illest Motherf**ker Alive Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  9. ^ "Kanye West Chart History (Bubbling Under Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved June 25, 2018.

External links[edit]