WATCH THE THRONE


Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past week, you should be very aware that Kanye West and Jay-Z have teamed up together to release the mega-album Watch the Throne. I just picked up the super pretty, very gold Deluxe Edition on Friday and upon first listening this album is pretty big. It’s got guest vocals from Beyonce and surprising new comer Frank Ocean among others. Jay-Z has done something like this twice before, teaming up with R. Kelly on two albums, but it’s still pretty shocking to see the two biggest dudes in the rap game at the moment join forces. In my opinion Jay might have needed this a little more than Kanye. Kanye’s last album was ground-breaking and Jay-Z has kind of hit a creative funk, with his most recent albums sounding so similar and unfortunately less inspired than his earlier work. But Kanye has always been like Jay’s little brother, and the two have worked together so much that I guess this collabo was imminent.

The most notably impressive feature about this album is the return to form on the production side. A lot of Hip-Hop recently has been uptempo drum machine sounds with a catchy hook. Kanye has always been known for his samples, and they do not disappoint on this album. Though Kanye didn’t produce every track his influence is definitely present. The first single “Otis” is a banger with a great sample from an earlier Otis Redding song, but “Who Gon’ Stop Me” and “Love You So” go a direction that was quite surprising. “Who Gon’ Stop Me” samples Flux Pavilion’s “I Can’t Stop” and “Love You So” samples a Cassius song with a similar title. Is it ripping them off? Maybe, but at least it’s a little more well done than Beyonce’s lame “Girls” song rip-off/sample of Major Lazer. Overall Watch the Throne was something Hip-Hop desperately needed, a return to form.

Jay-Z & Kanye West – Otis

Cassius – I Love You So

Flux Pavilion – I Cant Stop

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