AO Reviews: Jay-Z & Kanye West’s “Watch The Throne” Album

20110704-THRONE

To be quite honest, this album is good, I don’t think anyone ever questioned that it was. I think the only question was HOW good it would be? Would it live up to the world’s expectations? Are they really “The Throne” as they’ve so aptly named themselves w/ out any type of election or contest? Well, we’ve given our opinions on the tracks and album as a whole & answered this question. View our thoughts after the “continue reading” joint………

 

No Church In The Wild (feat. Frank Ocean)

Virtue:

These guys start the album off with a pretty strong track. With Frank Ocean on the hook, the low tone guitar strums, and the heavy baseline tempo the song has a slight dark feel to it. Not too dark but a late night feel if that makes any sense. On my first listen this song had me feeling like I’m driving through the city at night on some solo dolo type sh*t. Of course Jay would drop the first verse of the album with Kanye close behind. Listen to the message in this one… All in all it’s pretty dope.

Human beings in a mob… whats a mob to a king?… whats a king to a god?… whats a god to a non-believer?…Who doesn’t believe in…anything

4 AO’s out of 5

SB:

This is probably the most thought provoking track on the album, the one that will have people sitting around either mad or impressed. But I like the contrast of love and religion that’s created, and just the use of religion in general and how it can be misconstrued…….or just apply to something you’d never expect it to. Production wise, the track was just all right to me. I found myself constantly waiting for the snare to shift or something, but that’s just me. Take the message how you want, just don’t close your mind, you’ll miss out………..

4 & 1/2 Dope Logos Out Of 5

Lift Off (feat. Beyonce’)

Virtue:

Jigga mans main joint graces the hook this time around. Bey blasts off on this one (all pun intended). This beat is real bouncy but in a good way. Kanye starts this track off over heavy synth’s. He goes in and out of autotune/ distortions but it doesn’t really mess up the track.  Jay comes in later but doesn’t do much. I should mention that every track on this album has an alternative beat switch either at the end or half way through. This one is no different and it’s pretty real…

3.5 AO’s out of 5

SB:

The production on this is like an epic to me, the chords that overlay the choir and Beyonce are beautiful. And the bridge on this…………crazy. This is just that epic, feel good track, like a spirit lifter. Nothing incredibly deep here to me, but I’ve mostly been on the chords for this for these past 2 days…………

 4 Dope Logos Out Of 5

N***as In Paris

Virtue:

Ok this is where sh*t gets real. The Hit-Boy produced track starts off with something that sounds like an electric xylophone (I know right… but stay with me tho). When the drums come in its pure fire. A Jay-Z “Ball so hard” sound bite is sampled throughout the track bringing it all together. Jay-Z doesn’t wait to start spittin bars all crazy either. He’s spitting that $400 million net worth rich-man rap and I’m not mad about it either. Jay passes to baton to Kanye and he holds the rest of the track down with his patented “I’m that n*gga” flow. It’s hard to say who went in more on this. Might be tied… One of the best songs on the album.

Ball so hard mafu*kers wanna fine me… but first n*ggas gotta find me… what’s 50 grand to a mafu*ker like me could you please remind me?

 

Whats gucci my n*gga?… whats luis my killa?…whats drugs my dealer?…whats that jacket Margiela?

 

4.5 out of 5 AO’s

SB:

Just some “I got more money than you” song w/ a hot beat, but when the guys rapping are Jay-Z & Kanye and the beat’s by Hit-Boy it’s just on another level. And that “Blades Of Glory” quote after Kanye’s “got my niggas in Paris, and they’re going gorillas” line is hilarious to me. And I actually do get the line, I’ll let yall figure it out, might be a prize in it for you. Not really gonna go into this one more than this, just know it’s tight……….

 4 Dope Logos Out Of 5

 

Otis (feat. Otis Redding)

Virtue:
I’m sure the whole world has already heard this track to I’m not going to spend too much time on it. The back and forth/in and out flow reminded me of the classic Lupe and Gemini track. Kanye goes in on this one.

I made Jesus walk so I’m never going to hell…Couture level flow, it’s never going on sale….

 

3 AO’s out of 5

SB:

Eh………..I don’t really like Otis. I’m sure Kanye and Jay say something clever or dope on it, but the beat is too underwhelming for me to listen to. So much more could’ve been done w/ this sample…………

2 Dope Logos Out Of 5

Opine Vain

After reading the line by line breakdown of this track, I’ve realized the two artist are speaking a language that one will have to analyze completely to get a full understanding of what they are referring to. Hov’s line,”Political Refugee, Asylum can be purchased…” is Hov referring to the amount of power he does have in this world. He can buy his position. My opinion

 4 Dope Logos Out of 5

Gotta Have It

Virtue:

I wish this song was too 2 minutes longer! This vibe this track gives off is too live. There is a looped sample of some kind of hymn that makes the song sound exotic. I like this track.

4 AO’s out of 5

SB:

Best track on the album to me. The combination of Pharrell and Chad’s beat w/ Kanye’s well placed James Brown samples make for incredibly dope production. And the way the hi-hat is kinda off but still on is tight to me. Flow wise, I like the exchange between Jay and Kanye. And some of the best lines from the album come from this joint. Jay’s “Buellar had a Muller but I switched it for a Mille ’cause I’m richer, and prior to this shit was moving freebase” is such a well thought out line, threw me off, best line in the album. Kanye’s “racks on racks…..blacks on blacks” line is hilarious to me. Yea, my favorite track……….

 5 Dope Logos Out Of 5

New Day

Virtue:

Probably the second deepest track on the album. Here they both talk about what they would do/teach to their future children. Whats more interesting is that the advice they give is based on their past experiences/mistakes. All this is going down over a mellow and screwed Nina Simone “Feeling Good” sample. Too deep.

4 AO’s out of 5

SB:

This is every father or future father’s song, how you don’t want your son making your mistakes. You want them to be better than you were, and to take all the good from you. This joint is touching……..

 4 Dope Logos Out Of 5

That’s My Bitch

Virtue:

The beat was doing a lot on this one. Both Jay and Kanye’s verses were OKAY. It’s not a bad track just not my cup of tea. Feel like the spent the least amount of time on this track compared to the others.

3 AO’s out of 5

SB:

Probably my 2nd favorite track on the album. Unlike Virtue up there, I think the beat is crazy. The sample under the drums that add to the track are dope. This would probably be a crazy song to break to……….but I don’t break dance. And the synth chords are dope. This joint had me thinking about fighting some dude w/ a girl friend and taking his girl, that’s what this song makes me want to do……….

 5 Dope Logos Out Of 5

Welcome To The Jungle

Virtue:

Ok I’m going to be honest, when I first heard that Swizz Beatz was going to be producing a track on the WTT album I thought he would ruin it. Dont get me wrong, he makes fire but sometimes he’s WAY off. Not this time tho, this is legit. The two rap heavyweights rap about the trials and tribulations of life. I can dig it…

4 AO’s out of 5

SB:

I feel like Swizz has a beat template that he goes to when it’s time to make beats. Sometimes he blows me, this time I can fade the track. Dope beat from Swizz, and the chords the 2 bars of chords over the beat are a welcome addition to keep it from being too redundant. Jay and Kanye give us a glimpse into their “Jungle” of lives. Yea, another one of the albums best tracks right here………

4 & 1/2 Dope Logos Out Of 5

Who Gon Stop Me

Virtue:

Mo fire! Bumboclatt! But no seriously. This track samples Flux Pavillion’s “I Can’t Stop”. The beat is real but its the lyrics that do it for me on this one. Once again, that rich man rap…
4 AO’s out of 5

SB:

I’m not like Virtue, so as long as the beat is dope I could care less about what’s being said for the most part. But I do like the way they’re flowing over this. T-Shirt worthy quotes all through this too. And that beat switch is TOUGH, and once it switches Jay-Z goes Track 13 (see what I did there). I need better speakers for this……….

 4 Dope Logos Out Of 5

Murder To Excellence

Virtue:

Deepest track on the album hands down, and the 2’nd best overall in my opinionGuitar strums laced this track smoothly. The bars are A+ from both Jay-Z and Kanye which is no surprise seeing as how you could ONLY go ham on a beat like this. About half way through the beat switches up into some kind of inverted evil step brother of the original. Jay comes in talking his rich man sh*t and then gets back to rapping.

The first half of the track they spit about the murder/ overlooked side of the world over a lifting and promising themed beat. It then quickly transfers over into a darker beat where they talk about the excellence and good life the world is used to seeing.

I could go deeper into this song… just know its like that.

5 AO’s out of 5

 

SB:

I wouldn’t say the track is that deep, but I will say it addresses the most prevalent issue facing the black community besides HIV/AIDS and I guess unplanned pregnancies. Black on black murder, the trap we’re stuck in. But then the beat shifts, and we celebrate the excellence that all the trials I mentioned before have brought us to. But this is still one of those tracks you’d have to listen to repeatedly to REALLY get………

 5 Dope Logos Out Of 5

Made In America (feat. Frank Ocean)

Virtue:

I remember a few weeks back after a private listening session of this album an editor from GQ Magazine said that Otis was one of the most soulful tracks he has heard in years. I guess he left before he heard  Made in America. Frank Ocean struck gold with this hook. Each rapper takes a look back and paints a picture of how life was before it all began.

4.5 AO’s out of 5

SB:

This is the “come up” track. How they went from nothing to something, how they made it in America. The hook to me seems like a thank you to everyone that came before them, like “we’re at the Throne, we did it.” Frank Ocean is an amazing writer…………

 5 Dope Logos Out Of 5

Why I Love You (feat. Mr. Hudson)

Virtue:

This was the rock inspired track produced by Mike Dean. It’s ok. Doesn’t seem to fit in with the rest of the album.

2.5 AO’s out of 5

SB:

This track actually isn’t that bad to me, it’s aptly named. I’m sure you can figure out exactly who Jay-Z is talking about in this joint. And for the most part, this should probably say “featuring” Kanye. He takes a back seat on this one and let’s Jay vent. Production wise, I really like the chords during the verses and bridge, and I like the way it’s mixed. And it’s kind of fitting how this track follows Made In America and ends the album (unless you have the deluxe version)………….

 4 Dope Logos Out Of 5

Illest Motherf**er Alive

Virtue:

I’m sure it was Kanye’s idea to put 4 minutes of silence before this track. It’s fire though… Hov has the best lines on the song.

“King Hov, I’m exactly what the f–k you think / 11 in a row, Bill Russell rings / Michael Jordan swag, y’all think Michael Jordan bad / N—a I got 5 more rings than Michael Jordan had”

 4.5 AO’s out of 5

SB:

I thought my file was corrupted when the silence hit………it’s there for a reason tho……………..I actually like Kanye’s verse in this joint. The whole “Pussy can’t be your only hustle, unless you bad as Naomi Russel” and on is dope to me. For now, this may be some of my favorite stuff from Kanye on the album. And I like what they do w/ the vocals on this, but again, I feel like I need to upgrade my sound system, b/c there’s so much harmony going on……….

4 & 1/2 Dope Logos Out Of 5

H*A*M

Virtue:

Most people have already heard these last few tracks. Not gonna get into it too much.

 3.5 AO’s out of 5

SB:

I still feel like moshing or mushing someone when this song comes on. I wanna disrespect someone while this is on, like I want to see Dr. Eros Lubomir out w/ some girl and they’re at Red Lobster eating the Chedda Biscuits and I wanna just run over and steal the biscuits and throw their lobster on the floor or something. Or I wanna just see G3n1us walking his dog, and I wanna drive up on him and kick his dog or something. That’s how this epic trap beat makes me feel………

 4 Dope Logos Out 5

Primetime

Virtue:

Producer No I.D. provides the thumping beat, piano riffs and repeated baby coos as Hov and Yeezy reflect on their legendary status.
“Damn Yeezy, they all gotta be dimes? / Well, Adam gave up a rib so mine better be prime,” explains West on why he only dates models. But Jay-Z one-ups him with this line: “Our 15 minutes of fame has stretched beyond / At 42 be better than 24 / I carried the 4-5, mastered 48 laws / Still wearing my 23′s they can’t f–k with the boy.” Throw your diamonds up for this song…

48 Laws? Yea he just referenced the book 48 Laws of Power. It’s a good read… get hip hoe.

 4.5 AO’s out of 5

SB:

Yea, this beat is crazy. Lyric wise they’re just on some “I’m better than you” tip, but I like the way they do it. And those 2 quotes Virtue gave yall are also my favorite from each rapper on this track. Yea, overall dope track…………….

4 & 1/2 Dope Logos Out Of 5

The Joy (feat. Curtis Mayfield)

Virtue:
Most people have already heard this since it was apart of Kanye’s G.O.O.D. Friday music series. Produced by Pete Rock, it’s a great song and closes out the album on a soulful note.

 3.5 AO’s out of 5

SB:

This is the Kanye track that basically features Jay-Z b/c they stop trading bars like they had been doing and Kanye just flows. This reminds me of Late Registration Kanye………but yea, yall’ve heard this joint and since it doesn’t inspire ignorance, I’m done speaking on it………

4 & 1/2 Dope Logos Out Of 5

Overall:

Virtue:

All in all, it’s a solid album. One of the first solid albums in a long time. There are more than a handfull of tracks that have replay value. Not only did these two create the the first leak proof album in 10+ years. They stuck to their roots and delivered an album full of great lyrical content. Minus maybe one track, I could play this WHOLE album through with touching the skip button. Watch the Throne is the kind of album that would have great replay value years later.

 4 out of 5 over all

SB:

Honestly, I don’t think they disappointed w/ this album. Like I said, everyone knew it was going to be good, and it is, to me it’s amazing. They’ve given us a solid, lyrical album that hasn’t been tainted by record companies and made into a “Pop” album so it can sell. And the production and mixing on this album leaves me lost for words. My speakers and headphones suck, but my ears don’t, so I catch the sounds under the sounds. Yea, one of the best albums of the year…………behind Kendrick Lamar’s Section.80 tho………….

4 & 1/2 Dope Logos Out Of 5 Over All

,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.