Ok, I have listened to Kanye and Jay-Z’s Watch The Throne enough times to adequately give it a review. I feel the need to give a FULL song by song review so here goes:
Watch The Throne (Deluxe Edition) Review
1. No Church In The Wild (feat. Frank Ocean) The opening track and the first of two featuring Frank Ocean. There aren’t that many features so the features that are there become very important. An alright beat with Ocean crooning “Human beings in a mob, but what’s a mob to king? What’s a king to a god? What’s a god to a non-believer who don’t believe in anything?” Fun fact: The-Dream makes a “cameo” before Yeezy’s verse. An interesting track to start off the album but not bad. 4 out of 5 stars.
2. Lift Off (feat. Beyonce) This track was hyped so much before the album dropped, but I don’t think it deserved the attention. Beyonce on the hook and Kanye getting his SANG on at times, but there wasn’t much to this song. It was rumored to be the single a bit ago and that it was the song to look out for, it sounds good, but it was just okay. 3.5 out of 5 stars.
3. Ni**as In Paris One of the stand out tracks of the album. Hit-Boy did an amazing job with the production of this beat and just may be the the coldest beat on the album. Jay-Z and Kanye go HARD on the beat too. With Jay-Z: “Ball so hard motherfu**as wanna fine me…” Both artists show how hard they stunt on this and then the beat breaks down into a choral wonder haha. 5 out of 5 stars.
4. Otis (feat. Otis Redding) The first official single for the album. It features a very simple sample from Otis Redding’s “Try A Little Tenderness”. The beat is very simple, so it makes you pay close attention to The Throne’s lyrics. They basically address how awesome they are and how they can do whatever they want haha but you know what? I like it. Some may disagree with the 5/5 for this track but I’m a sucker for old school R&B samples and Kanye lol so 5 out of 5 stars.
5. Gotta Have It A pretty great song with a James Brown sample. The Throne rapping about their cities and their haters. Some standout lyrics: “Hello, hello, hello, hello white America, assassinate my character. Money matrimony and they tryna break the marriage up.” Pretty good track and it keeps you involved. 5 out of 5 stars.
6. New Day Another stand out song on the album. Kanye and Jay-Z sample Nina Simone on this song where they talk about how they would raise their unborn sons. It’s a very touching sentiment. Unlike in “Ni**as In Paris” where the production helps give it that 5 star, the lyrics, delivery, and subject matter of this one get it there. Pretty good beat though too, with production credits to RZA. 5 out of 5 stars.
7. That’s My Bitch *Sigh* I kinda hate this song. I don’t think it holds up to any of the other tracks on the album. A filler track. The subject matter is kinda stupid and I just don’t think it was a necessary addition. Fun Fact: Bon Iver makes a cameo. The chorus gets it to 2 out of 5 stars.
8. Welcome To The Jungle Jay-Z takes over this track. A track produced by Swizz Beatz with much ad-libbing from him, Jay-Z expresses some of the problems in his life. The production is pretty good and the track gets 3 out of 5 stars.
9. Who Gon Stop Me Now this track, from the first few seconds, really gets you hype with its sample of “I Can’t Stop” by Flux Pavilion. It’s upbeat and Kanye’s boastful hook (“This is something like the Holocaust, millions of our people lost”) has an interesting message. But this is definitely Jay-Z’s song. That beat is infused with many dub step features and takes you to many different places throughout the song. For the first half the flows fit well with the gritty beat, but then for the second half the tempo speeds up and it could be very easy to lose the feel of the song. Jay-Z takes over for the second half and at times you wonder what’s going on, but he has some pretty good verses. So all in all i give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.
10. Murder To Excellence This track has a lot to it; it’s actually a two part song with the first part being “Black Murder” and the second being “Black Excellence”. Kanye sings in the first part, “The paper read murder, black on black murder”. Kanye kinda takes over this one and speaks on violence in the world and in his own city. “314 soldiers died in Iraq…509 died in Chicago.” The second part of the song picks up and even goes up an octave. it effectively makes you feel that “excellence” and Jay-Z goes in. 4.5 out of 5 stars.
11. Made In America (feat. Frank Ocean) "Sweet King Martin, sweet Queen Coretta….oh sweet baby Jesus, we made it in America" croons Frank Ocean in his second feature. In this song Kanye and Jay speak on their paths to the top and pay their respects to the people who helped get them there. A reflective beat; and someone said it best: this song is this year’s "Forever Young". The beat sounds really close to that Blueprint 3 track. It’s a decent song. 3 out of 5 stars.
12. Why I Love You (feat. Mr. Hudson) This track features Mr Hudson on the hook singing a sample of “I Love You So” by Cassius. The last song on the album if you got the regular version and it’s an awesome closer. Jay-Z controls most of this song. Despite the title The Throne seems to be lashing out at their haters and maybe even a little more personal than that. Jay-Z raps, “Showed love to you niggas, You ripped out my heart and you stepped on it, I picked up the pieces before you swept on it, God damn this shit leaves a mess don’t it? Shit feeling like death on it…” 5 out of 5 stars.
13. Illest Motherf**ker Alive The first part of the deluxe section. This track starts with about a 4 minute moment of silence…:O the song just doesn’t start until after 3 minutes in haha but the song that ensues is amazing. Kanye takes over this one with some notable lyricism. “What you after? Actor money? You in line after currency…yeah you after money. Bulletproof condom when I’m in these hoes, got staples on my dick, why? Fuckin’ centerfolds…” The beat is awesome too, very cinematic and the Throne snaps on it. 5 out of 5 stars.
14. H.A.M. We all know about this song, what we all thought was the single, but ended up on the deluxe edition. But I think the song is amazing. It hyped the album up for months until we couldn’t take it anymore. But, this Lex Luger and Kanye produced beat really went in. And Kanye and Jay showed us that they still had it with their verses. And let’s face it, I’m a sucker for choral interludes too and pianos…like the entire last part of this song lol 4 out of 5 stars.
15. Primetime An alright song. Interesting beat, but not mind-blowing. Somewhat of a double entendre in this song though. No I.D. produced this track and his name is Dion and Deion Sanders’ nickname was “Primetime”. Also I had no idea that No I.D. read backwards was Dion hence his nickname, never knew why he was called that haha. 3 out of 5 stars.
16. The Joy (feat. Curtis Mayfield) The last track from the deluxe edition and I really expected more. This exact song was given to us in the G.O.O.D Friday series during the 12th week. Don’t get me wrong, awesome Curtis Mayfield sample, awesome verses, bridges, production, but I wanted more for the last track of the deluxe edition. I wanted a banger. But nonetheless: 4 out of 5 stars.
So there we have it, the album is done and all-in all it receives a 8.19/10. It’s a great album, but it’s definitely not perfect. A couple songs I could live without, a few average songs, and then some amazing songs I will forever blast in the whip. I expected more from the deluxe edition especially when 2 out of 4 of the deluxe songs were songs we already owned. Album of the year? I mean to be honest an album doesn’t need to be a perfect ten to get that honor, and based on the year we’ve had so far WTT got it done. But hold up! There’s so much more to come this year, (Lil Wayne, J. Cole, Drake, Wale in that order) so the award is only temporary. But go get the album. Support good music. Enjoy.