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Watch The Throne: Album Review
Watch The Throne
Kanye West & Jay-Z
"Anticipation was too high for Jay-Z & Kanye West to match of Watch The Throne. Nonetheless, they still delivered a classic." - Alphonso Taylor
14-time Grammy-winner Kanye West made a triumphant return to NBC's Saturday Night Live in October, delivering breathtaking performances of his anthem "Power," and his newest single, "Runaway," from his highly anticipated new album MY BEAUTIFUL DARK TWISTED FANTASY.
MY BEAUTIFUL DARK TWISTED FANTASY includes Nikki Minaj, Jay-Z, Rick Ross, and Justin Vernon of Bon Iver on the smash street single "Monster" and Pusha T on "Runaway" which received the Best New Music stamp from Pitchfork. Other guests include Kid Cudi and Raekwon and contributing producers include RZA of Wu-Tang Clan, Pete Rock, and Q-Tip. The new album was recorded in Honolulu and at the legendary Electric Lady Studios in New York City.
There hasn't really been many successful, two rap artists forming duos, since the days of Erik B. & Rakim in the 80s, Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg in the early 90s to Method Man & Redman with platinum status around the beginning of the millennium. When two of Hip Hop's legends and Roc boys come together, Jay-Z and Kanye West to do one of the biggest albums in 2011 to more like in history, already the expectations are an instant classic because of their supreme clout in the game. Discussion of Watch The Throne all began when Grammy award winner, Kanye West announced he and longtime friend to mentor and Grammy Award winner as well, Jay-Z will be doing a joint LP in conjunction of releasing his fifth studio project, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. At first, Watch The Throne was only slated for a five-track record, basically from Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Fridays series. Then, the two pioneers decided it was going to be a full-length album as they now formed the group, The Throne.
Supposedly, the first and second single that was going to be released from Watch The Throne was 'H.A.M.', a pretty dope, hard track produced by Lex Luger, which can almost sound like a rendition of 'Diamonds Remix'. Kanye West might have spazzed out on 'H.A.M', but big brother came through and kicked his ass as Jay-Z delivered a flow with some wretchedness, not to be taken so lightly. However, 'H.A.M.' did not make the final cut. Second single, 'That's My Bitch' coming from G.O.O.D. Fridays is any typical song of money to a chick.
On July 20th, Watch The Throne was definitely going to be legit, when the official lead single, 'Otis' had hit radio play. 'Otis' features a sample from late Otis Redding's 'Try A Little Tenderness'. Also, it enlists Otis Redding as a feature. Mostly throughout his career, Kanye West have been known to love making music, sampling artists before some of us time. He and Jay-Z lace the track with a good job trading bars of how Hov invented swag and Louis Vuitton Don got the phonetic rhymes. GQ magazine labeled the song as the well, executed rap song of the year.
Watch The Throne, begins with 'No Church In The Wild' assisted by singer, Frank Ocean from Odd Future. This hot song gives a satirical religious approach as Jay-Z and Kanye West are simply making non-believers believe that The Throne actually exists and they shall take heed to it. 'Lift Off' is really not impressive. This track with wife of Jay-Z and sister-N-law of Kanye West, Beyonce was definitely unparalleled as it seem as if, all the pressure was put on Beyonce singing what is believed to be the chorus. Kanye West and Jay-Z give sloppy verses as Kanye attempts to sing one with tampering of autotune, which looks like there's no death of it, depending on what artists use it. It could have been much better from the three. As two of the greatest moguls in Hip-Hop, of course, there are going to be several cuts of Jay-Z and Kanye West showing off on 'Ni**as in Paris', 'Gotta Have It', 'Who Gon Stop Me' and the Swizz Beatz produced tune, 'Welcome to the Jungle'.
The highlights and more deeper songs come about midway on Watch The Throne of Wu-Tang Clan's RZA's ' 'New Day' as Kanye West and Jay-Z send good vibes to their unborn children as they want to be fathers and have sons of their good similarities, but not the differences they had to endure in their upbringing. 'Murder to Excellence' gives a new outlook on Black on Black violence especially the casualties of Black soldiers in Iraq and how it can pave the way for others to be quite successful. Swizz Beatz once again contributes and it feels like his best on Watch The Throne. 'Made in America' with additional production by Mike Dean is great as Jay-Z and Kanye West talk about how they achieved the American dream as it began with music for Yeezy and humble beginnings for Jigga. Frank Ocean helps one more time, naming outstanding leaders to even the most powerful being who ever came on the surface of earth.
The last track, 'Why I love You' is kind of interesting. Usually, Jay-Z & Kanye West are non responsive of engaging in beef with their fellow rappers. Featuring Mr. Hudson who gave his offerings to hits on The Blueprint III and 808s & Heartbreak, Jay-Z and Kanye West confronts all the disloyal and unappreciative artists whom they've helped from rags to riches, constantly taking shots at The Throne. Jay-Z carries most of the song as Ye does ad-libs and they both go in unison on certain parts. Still, they have love for these former associates to friends, but it will never be the same.
The Roc is definitely in the building, but the anticipation was too high for Jay-Z and Kanye West to match. Nonetheless, they still delivered a classic. Although, Jay-Z will always be considered the best rapper between him and Kanye West, Ye is the most outspoken musically and they push one another to be the best. Major guest appearances are Beyonce, Frank Ocean, and Mr. Hudson. Hit makers such as Q-Tip, No I.D., The Neptunes and Pete Rock did their deeds on Watch The Throne. Watch The Throne was recorded at various locations around the world from New York City to Australia. Speaking of locations, the record has embarked on a North American tour that looks like in September.... It'll be lifting off....
©2011, Alphonso Taylor. All rights reserved. No republication of this material in any form or medium is permitted without expressed permission of the author.