No surprise only after three hours of being released on Itunes six songs from the album are already trending on twitter. Watch The Throne, the first full collaborative effort from Jay-Z and Kanye West, is an instant classic. The dynamic duo does not disappoint!
“No Church in the Wild” which features Frank Ocean whose unique voice immediately draws you into the track. Ocean sings: “What’s a king to a God? / what’s a God to a non-believer?” and suddenly Jay-Z goes into a first verse that delves into philosophers, thinkers, and religion. Jigga raps,“Tears on the mausoleum floor, blood stains the coliseum doors / lies on the lips of the priests, Thanksgiving disguised as a feast.” Then, Kanye graces the first track off Watch the Throne with his presence.
Beyonce is incredible in “Lift Off”! Jeff Bhasker, who co-produced tracks on West’s 808s and Heartbreak and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, and longtime West collaborator Mike Dean helped produce this self-empowerment showcase for Beyoncé. Horn blasts and martial drums anchor the track that ditches the rapping for Beyoncé’s voice. “We gonna take it to the moon/ Take it to the stars,” sings B, with the planetarium’s cosmic visuals providing the perfect accompaniment.
Ni**as in Paris The first club song on the album, “Paris” stands out for its punishing drums, ominous snyths, and Jay-Z’s double-time raps. This is the Jay-Z that “Big Pimpin’” fans missed when the rapper started hanging out with Chris Martin and dropping references to his stockbrokers and St. Tropez. West reverts back to his old style of enunciating the last word of each line for emphasis, proving that he can still come hard on a track.
“Otis,” has Jay and Ye in more traditional territory than the aforementioned songs. The Kanye-produced song samples Otis Redding’s “Try A Little Tenderness.” After a soulful intro, Jay and Kanye trade verses over a very classic Roc-A-Fella days type of record. Both sound like they’re having fun with lines like: “Photo shoot fresh, looking like wealth / I’m bout to call the paparazzi on myself,” and “can you see the private jets flying over you / Maybach bumper sticker read ‘what would Hova do?’”
The Neptunes-produced “Gotta Have It” is pleasant, but the real gem is “New Day,” a song Jay and Kanye pen to their fictional unborn sons. It shows both as vulnerable and honest, backed by RZA and Kanye’s production. Kanye starts, “And I’d never let my son have an ego, we gon, be nice to everyone wherever we go / I mean I might even make him be Republican, so everybody know he love white people.” Jay vows to his son, ”Promise to never leave him even if his momma tweaking / Cause my Dad left me and I promised never repeat him.”
“Who Gon’ Stop Me” is a song tailor made for the big cars with the big systems. With its heavy synths, deeply monophonic bassline, and dubstep roots, this song thumps. Over a sample of Flux Pavilion’s “I Can’t Stop,” Kanye, Sak Pase, and Mike Dean produced a true “banger.” Jay brags: “So many watches, I need eight 8 arms / One neck, I got eight charms.” The verses are cut in and out with the chorus of “who gon stop me now?” Kanye goes back to the speakerphone rap as the beat begins to morph and change in the background. In the best way possible, this one will do some damage to your speakers.
“Welcome To The Jungle,” which almost didn’t make the album, explodes onto WTT as one of the best songs on the album. Jay-Z is more emotive on this song than we’ve seen from him in a long time. “My uncle died, my daddy did too, I’m numb from the pain, I can barely move. My nephew gone, my heart is torn. Sometimes I look to the sky, ask why I was born,” he sulks. But in the same song the self-proclaimed Black Axel Rose spews, “I look in the mirror, my only opponent.” That’s My B*tch is a pretty cool frenetic record that borrows a lil’ Public Enemy and a dash of Justin Vernon.
“Sweet Baby Jesus,” speaks of the transformation from the corner to a mogul. It is a very “if we made it so can you, but you have to work for it” kind of song. Ocean sings: “Sweet King Martin [Luther King, Jr.], sweet Queen Coretta [Scott King] / Sweet brother Malcolm [X], sweet Queen Betty [Shabazz] / Sweet Mother Mary, sweet father Joseph / Sweet Jesus, we made it in America / Sweet Baby Jesus.” The song is special and introspective. Still, Ye takes a bit of time to stunt after reminiscing over the early days with his mother and mentor NO I.D. He raps, “N***as hustle everyday for a beat from Ye / What I do? Turn around, give them beats to Jay / Now I’m rapping on the beats people supposed to buy / I guess I’m getting high on my own supply.” The song oozes soul and, with his second appearance on the album, Frank Ocean’s inclusion alone proves he is a force to be reckoned with.
“Why I Love You,” which features G.O.O.D. Music’s Mr. Hudson, offers a pleasing return the worldly musings offered throughout Watch The Throne. The song chorus repeats, “Ooh, I love you so, but why I love you, I never know.” Jay handles the first verse and most of the second with lines like: “Charge it to the game, whatever’s left on it / I spent about a minute maybe less on it / Fly pelican fly, turn the jets on it / But first I shall digress on it.” Before the verse is over Kanye joins and weaves lines in and out of Jay’s. All too soon it ends and Watch the Throne comes to a screeching close.
At the end you’re hoping for more because you just don’t want this amazing listening experience to end! This album is a masterpiece.