Artist: Jay-Z and Kanye West as The Throne
Album: Watch the Throne
AH! One of the most highly anticipated albums that came out last year featuring two of the best, Jay-Z and Kanye, how would it end up? Nobody knew what to expect from the album because a) we all know they are capable of dope music and b) they were rumors that there was tension during the recording. The finished product was the first expectation: dope. Having one of the anthems of the year certainly helps, especially if people don’t get annoyed at you for playing it multiple times. For these reasons, and others, Watch the Throne gets the third spot.
How can this formula fail? You have Hov, probably the greatest rapper alive, err, ever, and Kanye, one of the most talented rappers to ever enter the game. The past collaborations should be an indication that they are able to produce dope music as a duo, just look at Diamonds in Sierra Leone (remix); Never Let Me Down; Power (remix); and various other features on various tracks and posse cuts.
At first, the single, H.A.M., and the follow up Otis were ok, they were cool, but I was expecting a lot more. As release date came, I was able to listen to the whole album and I noticed that those two tracks went well with the rest of the product.
Other songs that caught my ear were the first three, No Church in the Wild, Lift Off, with Beyonce, and Niggas in Paris. Those three songs were a great way to start the album. Whether it was the great but kind-of controversial hook on No Church in the Wild, Beyonce’s hook on Lift Off and that amazing beat or the catchy, Hit-Boy produced anthem Niggas in Paris that has everyone shortening the pronunciation of crazy to cray. Niggas in Paris took on a life of it’s own. Everywhere you went you either heard it or caught a reference of it whether it was the new word cray or someone reciting lyrics off it.
Other standout tracks are Who Gon Stop Me, Gotta Have It and The Joy. These tracks have a dope beats from Kanye and the Neptunes, and Kanye, respectively. Who Gon Stop Me has enough bass that it makes you want to own a system just so one can blast it through the speakers and feel the vibration the bass produces. Even though it sampled a dub step track, Kanye was able to make it his own production and create a dope beat. Gotta Have It also contain a dope beat, and gave new life to the Racks on Racks fame, however, the only downside to it was that it was too short when compared to the others. The Joy was a song that leaked during Kanye’s G.O.O.D. Fridays run. It was dope back then too. The soulful beat, as well as the dope rhymes, makes this song an unforgettable gem on the album.
New Day has both rappers speaking on different subjects, speaking to their unborn child. The subject matter is none like before to them. It has Kanye claiming his verse as “his best ever.” Kanye speaks about not letting his son live the life he has lived aka the “Yeezy life” and only wanting him to live an easy life, if possible, where he wont be hated or judged. His verse becomes one of the most honest ones as Kanye says things we would all hope for our son to follow, an honest and caring Kanye, what a guy.
While on Why I Love You, the Jay-Z only track, has Hov subliminally responding to Beanie Sigel. Not really responding to Sigel’s diss but just questioning his motive, like why would you diss me after everything you been through, WE’VE been through. Jay goes on to say how could Sigel diss him when he helped Beanie out financially with his lawyer and court fees. Jay continues questioning why Beanie would ever go after him still claiming that he has love for him even though Sigel might have acted out of frustration after all Jay did show him the good life…
Great album by The Throne, still don’t understand why they chose THAT name. The album was able to meet those high expectations we all knew they were capable of, hopefully the second one can match the first Watch the Throne.