Ye & Jay-Z’s ‘No Church in the Wild’ Soundtracks ‘Gladiator II’ Trailer: See How Fans Are Reacting

The long-awaited Gladiator sequel is finally on the way, and the Ridley Scott-directed film released the first trailer for the Roman Empire blockbuster on Tuesday (July 9) featuring Ye (formerly Kanye West) and Jay-Z’s “No Church in the Wild.”

Ye’s bars didn’t make the cut, but vocals from Jay and Frank Ocean’s soothing chorus are heard at various points of the bloodthirsty teaser. Some viewers were confused by the Watch the Throne reference, but a deeper look into the lyrics used make more sense as a fit for the film’s themes.

“Tears on the mausoleum floor/ Bloodstains the Colosseum doors,” Hov raps while seemingly referencing the varying reactions to deaths from opposite sectors of society. Colosseum battles are also part of the Gladiator lore. Ocean sings about the different levels of social hierarchy: “Human beings in a mob/ What’s a mob to a king/ What’s a king to a God.”

Ye and Jay have sampled Gladiator with their music in the past. Vultures cut “Burn” finds West using the classic “Are you not entertained?” line. Hov sampled the same on The Black Album‘s “What More Can I Say.”

Still, there were mixed reactions from fans hearing the Frank Ocean-assisted Watch the Throne track used in the sequel’s trailer.

“This reminded me: 1. Gladiator is one of the best movies I’ve ever seen and we need more 2. Watch The Throne is one of the most important rap albums of all time and has real staying power 3. I really shouldn’t watch dope movie trailers this close to bed time,” one fan wrote to X.

On the other side of the fence, one person blasted the decision: “The marketing team slapping Jay-Z & Kanye West’s No Church In The Wild on the trailer are so f—ing out of their element or the movie really is gonna be just that bad.”

Gladiator II hits theaters Nov. 22. The sequel to the 2000 classic stars Denzel Washington, Pedro Pascal, Paul Mescal, Connie Nielson and more.

“No Church in the Wild” served as a standout on the Billboard 200-topping Watch the Throne, which arrived in 2011. The platinum track reached No. 72 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Find more reactions to “No Church in the Wild” soundtracking the Gladiator II trailer below.

This movie feels like it should’ve been released in the early 2000s a couple years after the first Gladiator.

We got Ridley Scott, Denzel Washington, a rap song from over 12 years ago featuring Jay Z and Kanye West, this is a culturally anachronistic product for Millennials.

— FaithAndHeresy (@faithandheresy) July 10, 2024

Kanye West, less than 2 years after his insane Nazi pro-Hitler rants, still getting that Gladiator trailer money. Incredible.

— Jared Kaplan (@JaredKaplan) July 9, 2024

Gladiator 2 JUST HAD to use “No Church in the Wild” by Kanye West & Jay Z

— Tae N. | 𝙇𝙤𝙨 𝙋𝙤𝙡𝙡𝙤𝙨 𝙃𝙚𝙧𝙢𝙖𝙣𝙤𝙨 (@_TaeInfinite) July 10, 2024

Massive Jay-Z fan but whoever decided to have his music/hip hop as the soundtrack to #Gladiator2 deserves to be FIRED!

On a side note, check out @Grok_Project. Billions programmed.

— CRYPTO X (@LSEX2024) July 9, 2024

GLADIATOR had Kid Rock in their Super Bowl trailer. This is definitely an upgrade even though this track feels like it was picked by AI or an algorthm because Jay-Z says “coliseum.”

— BenDavid Grabinski (@bdgrabinski) July 9, 2024

How did Ridley Scott:

A) Sign off on the wildly anachronistic song choice for this Gladiator 2 trailer?


B) Allow Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington to do a NY accent in a movie set in Ancient Rome?

— Ryan McCaffrey (@DMC_Ryan) July 9, 2024

What nut monkey moron thought putting a Kanye and Jayz song into the Gladiator 2 trailer was a good idea?

— Epic Mike (@The_Epic_Mike) July 9, 2024

This is a decent trailer (though having a Kanye song in it is a very questionable choice), but it hasn’t convinced me that this movie needs to exist. #Gladiator2

— Kevin Anthony Carney (@kevinacarney91) July 9, 2024

Yesterday I was like, isn’t Gladiator the movie sampled in Jay Z’s “What More Can I Say”? Still haven’t seen it.

Seeing this Denzel poster has singlehandedly made me care about the sequel

— Christina Lee (@MinaAnnLee) July 9, 2024

Jayz took a big risk on Gladiator still being remembered as one of the best movies of its era when he sampled it for The Black Album that paid off and now one of his records used in the sequel 25 years later

— GateKeepTheCulture🏁 (@jawnlouis) July 9, 2024

I grew up on theater, loved epic music scores. Later, I had a deep appreciation for Jay Z/Kanye tracks like ‘No Church in the Wild’. But rap on Gladiator 2? What were you thinking 🧐

— Charana Kanankegamage (@CharanaK) July 9, 2024