I have heard rap music lately. It fucking sucks. Eighty percent of the rap artists out there make shit. There is no soul or movement in their music. Its just repeating the same beat over and over again while speaking of money and bitches. Very few artists stand out. Then I listened to Kanye West‘s work of art, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, and found hope in a somewhat hopeless art. Kanye’s music actually contains… well, music. There is a lot of thought and creativity put into his music and not just “beats”. Though Kanye’s lyrics aren’t the greatest, there is someone else out there who can lay down raps with class and swagger. That would be Jay Z. He has been around for a while and has never made a bad rap. Jay Z is a veteran artist that knows the game. Put these two artists together and you will sure get a great rap album.
Watch the Throne begins with a groovy should track called No Church in the Wild. A sure stand out track with its groovy yet creepy guitar line. It carries the same mood as Kanye’s MBDTF had. It is followed by Lift Off featuring Beyonce. It has the same club anthem feel as All of the Lights did. This is followed by Niggas in Paris which has an early 2000s feel to it. Jay Z’s rap is fantastic while Kanye deliver’s his rather different vocal style.
As we move on through the album, we get to the soul track named Otis. This track samples Otis Redding, a classic soul singer. There’s really no hook or anything, but it’s a feel good song with some decent raps from both Kanye and Jay Z. Through the rest of the album we have slow songs like New Day with the same autotune (or vocoder) voices as some of Kanye’s past works have had. The album closes off with fantastic songs like Murder to Excellence and the soulful Made in America.
Watch the Throne’s production is top notch. It was taken in the hands of Roc-a-Fella Records who have produced Kanye and Jay Z. Like West’s style, this album is heavily sampled from other songs. With that you have to spurt out a lot of money to use the songs. So I’m sure this album had a big budget to it.
The music itself sounds great. It is either really electronically upbeat, like That’s My Bitch‘s 8 bit feel, or slow and soulful like other I noted earlier. The music was mixed fantastically. One thing that is interesting is the short interludes between some songs that is like carnival like music.
As for the vocal delivery, Jay Z would be the stand out vocalist on this album. He makes most of the shining songs. Kayne more or less is there to add a few backing vocals (such as “HEH?!” or “YEAH!”). Yes, he has a verse is every song, they don’t stand out as much as Jay Z.
Overall, Watch the Throne is a fantastic album for any fan of Kanye West or Jay Z. They both kill it in their own ways; Jay Z lyrically and Kanye musically. There isn’t much I can say is wrong with it. It grows on you the more you listen to it. I would definitely recommend this album. It was produced well, the talent is fantastic, and the music is soulful and easy to listen to.
Watch the Throne – 9/10
1. No Church in the Wild
2. Lift Off
3. Niggas in Paris
5. Gotta Have It
6. New Day
7. That’s My Bitch
8. Welcome to the Jungle
9. Who Gon’ Stop Me
10. Murder to Excellence
11. Made in America
12. Why I Love You
Watch the Throne is currently available on iTunes via Roc-a-Fella Records