8.18.2011

Review: Jay-Z's & KanYe West's "Watch The Throne" Album.

Why so surprised? Did you think I was going to let Jay-Z and KanYe West drop an album together and I wouldn't do a review on it? N*gga please! As usual, I'm one of the last people to do review on an album. I have my reasons. After much hype and excitement from the world, on August 8th, the Roc's own dropped Watch The Throne on iTunes for digital purchase only and then the physical was available on August 12th. 12 album tracks and 4 bonus tracks. Features include OFWGKTA's Frank Ocean (twice!), Beyonce (what a surprise! -_-), G.O.O.D Music's Mr. Hudson (fuck yea!), Otis Redding (kinda), and Swizz Beatz (damnit!). Production credits on the album go to KanYe, The Neptunes, 88 Keys, Hit Boy, Swizz Beatz, Q-Tip, RZA, and newly signed G.O.O.D Music producer, Don Jazzy. Fyi, virtually every song on this album contains a sample, some of them even have two or more samples! How many producers does it take to produce a track with two samples on it already?! Bad joke, bad joke.

As for other facts...

  • Watch The Throne debuted #1 in pretty much any country you can think of. At least on iTunes I believe. 
  • It was also one of the first major releases (since digital times) to not leak before it's release date. Mainly because Hov hooked up the engineers with custom WTT Rolex watches. Bribery? Maybe.
Watch My Review... suckas:
I was content when I heard Hov and Ye were doing an album together. I knew it could turn out to be one of two things: The best music I ever heard in my life or the shittiest shit I ever heard in my life. So I kinda forgot about it and just waited for it to drop with a clear mind. I've looked up to Jigga ever since I was a little girl and I think I even know all the words to "Big Pimpin'". If anyone knows me, they know that KanYe has a very big and special place in my heart forever and always. With that said, you would probably think I would be as excited as every other Hip Hop head was about this album. Nope. I'm a Rocafella stan but at the same time, I'm a self proclaimed music critic and I know good (or shitty) music when I hear it. I hated KanYe's Good Life when it came out and I still stand by my opinion that Hov's Blueprint 3 was a clusterfuck. I'm the kind of fan that even through the thick cloud of hype, can still listen with an objective ear and if needed, show a little tough love. 

So August 8th came around and the world wide web blew up!-Well at least my twitter timeline did. Your regular, music loving consumers went crazy over the album. Then fellow artists and big time media people were not very impressed. After seeing that, I quickly looked for a "link". Oh hush, I still plan on buying a physical copy! After listening to Watch The Throne all the way through once, I was left... confused as hell.

Concept: Where is it? Did they intend on having a concept because it was no where to be heard on this album. Maybe with some songs removed and some rearranging of the tracks, a concept could be created but how much something can we make out of nothing? With a title like Watch The Throne, you can make so many different storylines or even just vibes from the production for the album. I feel like each song on here can set the tone for a whole album on it's own. Like how do you put No Church In The Wild as an opener, which is dramatic and just dope, then put Lift Off with Beyonce after that? Those songs should not have been on the same project at all. I hate albums and EPs without concepts. That no concept shit should be left for mixtapes. And I expected a damn concept knowing that the concept king himself, KanYe, was involved. I guess we just gotta blame Hov for this huh?

"The Package": The damn packaging is more epic than the album itself. They got Givenchy designer, Riccardo Tisci for the artwork though. Swagged out move. The animal version of them freaked me out but if that's "high-end art"... I guesss. We're gonna put this one on KanYe.

Music: Honestly, after listening to this album, I thought it was a joke. It's freaking Jay-Z and KanYe West! Of course our expectations are high as hell! I assumed that this would be a RAP album first off. I thought every single bar on this album would just make you jump out your chair as if you were watching the final touchdown at the Superbowl. Like if you were physically at the Superbowl yourself. Didn't get that, I can live with that. At least they could have came hard as far as features! Don't tell me to "watch the throne" and have Swizz Beatz welcoming me to jungle on an album-it's cancels each other out. When you see Beyonce on there, you think the track is gonna the highlight of the album! I play Watch The Throne with Lift Off removed from the playlist, sorry Bey, That song should have never left KanYe's hard drive. And the so called Otis Redding feature? N*gga please, miss me with that shit. That was clearly a sample. No, not even Hov and Ye can pull that off. Only people I loved that was on here was Frank Ocean and Mr.Hudson. Even though the songs they were featured on didn't properly showcase their dopeness, if they weren't on the tracks, the tracks would have sucked. Frank and Hudson did The Throne a favor. Production was pretty epic though! I mean when you have RZA, The Neptunes, Hit Boy, and KanYe himself all producing on the same project? That in itself is epic. Favorite tracks production wise on the album for me is No Church In The Wild and Gotta Have It. But I know everyone's favorite is N*ggas In Paris, word to Hit Boy. Watch The Throne sounds like Jay and Ye did it in their sleep. Yea, that wasn't a compliment. As far as who did better on the album, I don't really know. I don't even think I pay attention to that when I listen to it because it is a collaborative effort and not a competition between them. Also because they both didn't give us their best. I'll admit there are a few lines from the album I recite sometimes like Ye in Otis, "Sophisticated ignorance, I write my curses in cursive." because I do the same thing. Lol And Jay in Gotta Have It, "What's up, what's up, what's up muthafucka where my money at? You gonna make me come down to your house where your mommy at." cause the line made me giggle. But see, I don't want to giggle when I listen to an album with these two on it! I want to go crazy, in a good way!

Favorite tracks: No Church In The Wild ft. Frank Ocean, Gotta Have It, and Murder To Excellence

Sidenotes: Personally, I feel like if you're gonna charged $60 to $263 per ticket for a tour based off one album, that album better be worth $263. I don't even feel like paying $14.99 for the ditigal version of this album on iTunes. I'm only buying the physical for my album collection to pass down to my children years from now. Jay needs to stop his bromance with Swizz Beatz because they keep making shitty ass tracks together. Also, Hov stop talking about "dope dealing" as if you're still doing! That was how many decades ago homie? You ain't Scarface! And supposedly, KanYe and Jay have a name for their "super group" and guess what it is! The Throne! I never would have thought of that! I know I called them by this name a few times in the review, it was only because I was getting lazy and not wanting to type out KanYe and Jay all the time. But best believe, I will not be calling them The Throne any time in the future. -_-

Overall verdict: I wanted this album to be better because it had the full potential to be the greatest album of our time. It failed miserably. They should have stuck to the original plan which was to drop it as a 5 track EP and it should have been for free. I want to like (even love) this album so bad just for the simple fact that its KanYe and Hov but I know shit when I hear it. It's not fair to us fans, it's really not. They hype us up just to bring us down with this album. Why am I even calling this an album? It's not worthy of that title. With the amount of music that I hear every day, from artists who don't even have 1/100th of the resources that these two have, that is AMAZING, it's hard to understand that two of the greatest artists of our time dropped this. It's a sad ass MONTH in Hip Hop. We're still on this Watch The Throne ride until the tour is over people! We will be haunted by this musical tragedy for a long time. I'm trying to find something good to say in this review because I don't want to seem like a hater as all us bloggers appear to many. I'll say that I've heard worse but not from artists of this status. Well, who really is on the level Jay and KanYe are on anyways? Maybe that's why they drops this album in this condition. Simply cause they can. After all, they do have a song titled, Who Gon Stop Me? No one I suppose. We can't stop you guys but don't be surprised when we "just can't fuck with it!". Watch The Throne could have been better. Final verdict.

If I had to do a tracklisting for Watch The Throne out of the songs released (excluding bonus tracks), this would be it:
1. No Church In The Wild ft. Frank Ocean
2.N*ggas In Paris
3.Who Gon Stop Me
4.Why I Love You ft. Mr.Hudson
5.Murder to Excellence

...5 tracks...original plan! Lol

Purchase Watch The Throne on iTunes and it's in stores now!



'Always More, Never Less'-Es

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