The long awaited, highly anticipated powerhouse collabo album from Kanye West & Jay-Z royally entitled Watch The Throne is finally upon us so let’s get right to it.
Straight out the gate the opening track “No Church In The Wild” featuring Frank Ocean of Odd Future (with The Dream sneaking in some vocals via Auto-tune) produced by Kanye West and 88 Keys open’s your musically inclined pores. This has been gettin’ a lot of buzz all over the social networks. Not wasting any time Hova spits,
“All for Plato, screechâ€¨/Iâ€™m out here ballinâ€™, I know yaâ€™ll hear my sneaks/â€¨Jesus was a carpenter, Yeezy, laid beatsâ€¨/Hova flow the Holy Ghost, get the hell up out your seatsâ€¨…Preach.” Not to be outdone Ye gives you, “Thinkinâ€™ â€™bout the girl in all-leopard/â€¨Who was rubbinâ€™ the wood like Kiki Shepard/â€¨Two tattooes, one read â€œNo Apologiesâ€â€¨/The other said â€œLove is cursed by monogamy.â€
For all intents and purposes, “Lift Off” featuring Beyonce is the epitome of stadium music meant just for that but not exclusively for the luxury boxes at The New Yankee Stadium. The “Otis” joint featuring Otis Redding has already been blazed with freestyles all over the net compliments of rappers Jadakiss, Styles P, Busta Rhymes & the return of DMX to name a few of the many MC’s who jumped on this track.
So let’s head overseas to Paris with “N****s In Paris” produced by Hit-Boy, Kanye, Mike Dean and Anthony Killhoffer. This will definitely be a club banger with a little down south flavor to it. Another monster team up was The Neptunes and Kanye creating the track for “Gotta Have It” so turn your headphones up classic style. Jay, Ye and RZA connect on a “New Day” super producer collabo including Mike Dean and Ken Lewis with that Nina Simone sample of “Feeling Good”. Both Ye and Jay give a prospective on their unborn kids on how they would do things different. I’m not one for using the word much but “That’s My b****” featuring Elly Jackson of La Roux,Connie Mitchell of Sneaky Sound System and Justin Vernon frontman of Bon Iver. “No disrespect, Iâ€™m not tryna belittle/But my d*** worth money I put Monie in the middle” says Ye which is so appropriate with co-production by Q-Tip and Jeff Bhasker. The track has an old school feel like with a sample that’s reminiscent of UltraMagnetic MC’s “Papa Large”(Check the Hip-Hop encyclopedia). H.O.V. shares his P.O.V. “I mean Marilyn Monroe, sheâ€™s quite nice/But why all the pretty icons always all white/Back to my Beyonces/You deserve 3 stacks for the Andre.”
Swizz Beatz “Welcome To The Jungle” also lends his talents on the hook with Acapella Soul; Jay really opens up little on this joint “My nephew gone, My heart is torn/Sometimes I look to the sky, Ask why I was born/My faith in God, Every day is hard/Every night is worse, Thatâ€™s why I pray so hard” as Ye follows “Why I pray so hard, This is crazy God/Just when I thought I had everything, I lost it all/So que sera, Get a case of Syrah/Let it chase the pain, Before it goes too far.”
SIDEBAR: I’ve been hearing complaints about layers and things of that nature on this album but no matter the thought on “Who Gon Stop Me,” Shama “Sak Pase” Joseph, Mike Dean and Mr. West throw changes in throughout the track however; I’m good with it along with vocals from Mr. Hudson, Swizz Beatz, and Verse Simmonds. Mr. Carter and Mr. West go in but S.C. torches this one. Murmurs and comments have been made around the web that Kan & Jay have strayed away from their audience, talking about money, expensive clothes, trips and cars in this recession, watered downed layered tracks, etc. I know this was supposed to be a fun project with two icons but they took time to do a couple of conscientious songs. For example, “Murder to Excellence,” speaks on the murder of a 20 year old Pace Universtiy student Danroy Henry at the hands of the Westchester NY Police Department, black on black crime, police brutality and Chicago’s high crime rate with 435 homicides in 2010. In “Made In America” featuring Frank Ocean opening with “Sweet King Martin/Sweet Queen Coretta/Sweet Brother Malcolm/Sweet Queen Betty/Sweet Mother Mary/Sweet Father Joseph, Sweet Jesus” This song entails the success and accomplishment while depicting how they paved their road to success accompanied with some family memories. The American dream through all obstacles placed in their way you can too can achieve success. Another message reins clear that no matter how much money you have as a black man you’re still reminded from a country that still thinks of you as second class. Filling out the tracklist is “Why I Love You” featuring Mr. Hudson allows a few bars to express that though darts were thrown at the throne they still got love for those that still got love for them. But if no forgiveness, f*** you too.
The deluxe edition includes “Illest Motherf***er Alive,” “H.A.M.,” “Primetime,” and “The Joy” with Hip-Hop Super Producer Pete Rock and Curtis Mayfield. My thoughts overall is “Watch The Throne” is a good album but it’s not the best thing I ever heard. Compared to a lot of music that have been recently released this still holds its own. There are critiques on price of the album $14.99 deluxe on itunes, $9.99 on the regular and flowin’ about materialistic things with this recession. Wow, all of a sudden this is the first album Kanye & Jay-Z have spit about luxurious things, cars, money and travel. Ummm, they’ve been reciting verses like that for a minute now. But some way or another people still find a way to buy cigarettes and liquor in this recession so you missed the mark with that argument. I guess it boils down to some to “Watch The Throne” or watch your pockets; nevertheless it’s not a bad listen. All in all I think you should refrain from throwin’ stones at the “Throne.”