With the physical release of the Kanye West/Jay-Z collaboration LP Watch The Throne this week, a week after the digital release, I’ve had a whole seven days to let this album sit on me and I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s exactly what it says it is. Nothing more, nothing less.
If you’ve ever wanted a full album of Jay-Z and Kanye West collabs than this is it. If you were expecting a game-changing album brought to you by two of the biggest personalities in hip-hop or a mono-a-mono face-off of technical skill ala Bad Meets Evil, than this is not the album you’ve been waiting for; but then, you should have never expected this album to be that.
What this album is though is a giant, celebratory victory lap from two men who have more money than you will probably ever see, let alone be in possession of, flaunting their wealth and success in a particularly down economy.
If you want to hear tracks about Jay-Z going to Mars and how Beyonce is his “bitch,” then this album will give that to you.
But few moment get real, like “Murder To Excellence”, which goes into the topic of murder and genocide, but comes off completely out of place with a track like “Who Gon Stop Me?” preceding it, where Kanye casually raps about having sex with a waitress and then name-checking the Holocaust.
It’s a messy affair to be sure, but the production on tracks like “That’s My Bitch,” “No Church In The Wild” and accompanying guest stars like Elle Jackson, Beyonce, and Frank Ocean help to prop up the album with strong hooks (they would need someone as good as Beyonce to make “Lift Off” work).
As Kanye raps on the expensive-sampling “Otis,” “I pulled up in my other, other Benz.” That’s cool; hey, I’m gonna go cash this $200 paycheck, but you have fun with your car(s).