Jay-Z and Kanye West join forces to release what they call “luxury rap” for ‘Watch The Throne’, which has been released exclusively on iTunes today August 8th both standard and deluxe versions. However, on August 12th stores around the country will have the standard version meanwhile Best Buy will exclusively have both. Then, on August 23rd both standard and deluxe will be available in stores everywhere.
You might wonder why I bother writing about the whole release process of this album, here’s the thing: it’s the first album in months, perhaps years, that has not leaked before its release date, which is of course very impressive because of all the hype behind this collaboration between Hova and Yeezy.
The opening track of the album, “No Church in The Wild” opens up with vocals Frank Ocean from OFWGKTA, and in a way sets the tone for the whole record: songs that go hard on the beats, offers soft vocals to soften up the potent rhymes, and last but not least incredible production.
‘Watch The Throne’ is a colossal collaboration between Jay and Kanye, but also the amount of samples from other songs that make this album great sound great as the production behind the beats. In songs like “Otis”, Jay-Z and Kanye rap over a sample of Otis Redding’s “Try A Little Tenderness” and they’re just building up rhyme after rhyme kind of continuing what the other one is saying and from the moment you listen to it you notice their talent and ability to develop amazing punchlines. Some other songs like “New Day” show a different face of Yeezy and Hova, both of them in a way kind of dropping their facade of Hip-Hop mogul’s and admitting the mistakes that they have done and what their future sons will have to endure the moment they are born. In a way, “New Day” should have been titled “Sins of Our Fathers”, both rappers are talking to their unborn sons about the consecuences of fame over a mellow tune that samples Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good”. Kanye talks about how people say he’s too egoistic and how he won’t let his son become one, Jay-Z talks about how his son isn’t even born nor even conceived, yet it seems like its the media’s business to find out when he will have a baby with Beyonce. Here’s a sample of Kanye’s verse:
And I’ll never let my son have an ego
He’ll be nice to everyone, wherever we go
I mean, I might even make ‘em be Republican
So everybody know he love white people
And a sample of Jay-Z’s verse:
Sorry junior, I already ruined ya
‘Cause you ain’t even alive, paparazzi pursuin’ ya
Sins of a father make yo’ life ten times harder
I just wanna take ya to a barber
Bondin’ on charters, all the shit that I never did
Other songs of the album that caught my attention were “Ni**as in Paris”, which samples a scene from ‘Blades of Glory’ at the beginning, and then both rappers go over one of the sickest beats in the whole album, the lyrics could have been better but nevertheless, they were great for the song. “Made in America” features vocals from Frank Ocean (who is great by the way) and they pledge allegiance to not only the flag but the country that has enabled them to make it in the industry. “Who Gon Stop Me” caught me a little off guard, Kanye and Jay-Z are now doing dubstep? Yes they are, and you know what it isn’t bad at all. “Why I Love You”, “Primetime” and “Lift Off” featuring Beyonce are also some of my favorites.
In conclusion, ‘Watch The Throne’ is one of the best albums of 2011 hands down, but it doesn’t get to the level of production and this whole “masterpiece” feeling that ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy‘ gave me last year, mainly because MBDTF was more compelling in the sense of adding a 3 minute piano solo at the beginning of some songs that made you go “wow did Kanye really do this?“. Chicago and Brooklyn, be proud of your two boys because this album will be a standard when it comes to collaboration records in future years.