Pop Culture

Are You Watching The Throne? Probably Not For Long

We used to care...now we're just rich and bored so we made a rich and bored album.

This past Monday, Jay-Z and Kanye West’s joint venture, Watch The Throne, hit iTunes, much to the chagrin of independent outlets and retailers everywhere. I can’t really say that I was anticipating it since I hated the song, “H.A.M.” since it, well, sucked and “Otis” sounds like a song that’s supposed to be dope but the beat blows. I will say that nobody does “swag rap” better than Jay or Kayne. Well except Biggie. And Big Daddy kane.

But last I checked they were both dead.

Let’s just put this out front. Jay is my favorite rapper of all time. Kanye, right now, is probably right behind him as my favorite rapper of the right now. I feel like Kanye is way more important to pop-culture than Jay is and ultimately more relevant but that’s neither here nor there. I’m also a huge fan of Kanye’s artisticness. You can’t convince me that My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (MBDTF) isn’t one of the best albums to come out in the past ten years. Point is, I’m a big fan of both of these to. So I don’t say this lightly…but…

…Watch The Throne kind of isn’t dope.

It’s not to say that it’s not a solid album. It is. It’s just that there’s very little on this album that I’ll ever really want to listen to again. In fact, the ONLY songs I’ve listened to on repeat are “Nigg*s In Paris” and “Gotta Have It” which might bet the least Neptune’s sounding Neptune’s beat in a long long while. Everything else can go. I wish somebody would make those songs into birds so that they could fly, fly far far away. Like “Made In America” featuring everybody’s favorite singer du jour Frank Ocean. My god is this song gay. You know, I honestly didn’t think that Jay could make worse songs than that terrible song with Usher and Beyonce from Kingdom Come but apparently he wanted to assure us that he could. It just sounds so…so…gay. I’m fairly sure they’re going to have to release “Lift Off” featuring Beyonce as a single for that very reason and it is also on some ducksauce.

You know what…forget the track by track sh*t. Here’s the problem with this album. Actually there are two. 1) This isn’t a Jay and Kanye album…it’s a Kanye album featuring Jay. It’s too musical to be a Jay album. Period. It’s got the Kanye imprint all over it. Kanye is an artist at this point, hate him or love him. Jay on the other hand is and will always be a rapper. No matter how emo a beat he tries to rap over or how “different” sounding the beat, ultimately he’s a rapper. And that comes thru as Jay seems, in my opinion, to be more or less of an afterthought a lot of times. It’s not that he’s not delivering Jay verses (lazy as they may be), its just that he’s too cool to be on some music sh*t. Kanye sounds like he cares WAY more than Jay does to be rapping on this album. Which leads to the second problem… 2) I kind of feel like Kanye didn’t care that much or was bored but finished it anyway.

For all of his faults, one thing you’d never fault Kanye for is not having a dope ear for cohesion and putting together an outstanding product. He always seems to want to make a classic album even though 808s and Heartbreaks was far from that. But at least he swung for the fences by changing up his whole sound and innovating. This album really to me sounds like a lazy version of both Blueprint 3 and uber leftover beats from MBDTF that weren’t good enough to make that album in any way shape or form.

[Sidenote: There is something to be said though that the only comparison’s that hold water with these two are their own bodies of work. That can’t be stated enough.]

I mean, it doesn’t even sound as good sonically as MBDTF…an album that came out almost a year ago. That album sounded beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. You’d think that if anything, sonically it would be on the same level but it’s not. Which is the rub, its not that the album isn’t decent. It is. It’s just that nobody’s going to be talking about this album once they run out of songs to release.

You know what, here’s how I can sum up this album…Rick Ross wouldn’t rap on any of this sh*t except maybe ONLY “N*ggas In Paris”. I can hear Rick Ross murdering that beat. I honestly feel at this point Rick Ross knows how to pick music and sounds that compliment exactly what he’s trying to do. He knows how to make epic sh*t. If Rick Ross is getting on your sh*t, it’s because it’s a motherf*cking monster. Pun intended. He would have gotten on ANYTHING on MBDTF. I feel like he probably was cool on everything on this album.

In fact, my favorite parts of the album are the beat change-ups similar to MBDTF which feature, surprisingly very little rapping and I’m not upset about it.

Not to mention this being the least relatable album I’ve ever listened to or the fact that Jay and ‘Ye both sound a little…off….trying to rap about social issues, an area Jay has proven to struggle in the past, though I like “New Day”, but again, Kanye’s verse seems more…better. Real talk, I’d be lying if I recited any of these lyrics as my personal mantra. I can’t even fake 90 percent of this sh*t.

I know a lot of people love it, and that’s good. Hell, I paid for it already and want a physical copy. I’m a fan but I probably won’t be listening this too much longer and I think that goes for most people. For two individuals who seem to care about their legacy, I’m just surprised that they’d release an album that neither adds nor detracts from it. This joint just exists until we forget about it. It’s like a David Guetta song. Or Lady Gaga music. Or LMFAO. It’s pop music with hard drums. And soft songs. Because it’s Jay and ‘Ye I want to love this, but I’m over it already.

D’oh well. On to the next one.

Oh, and one more question…how the f*ck does Swizz Beatz go so much production work and so many random features? Who does he have naked pictures of? Inquiring minds would like to know.

What’s your take? Are you watching the throne?

Talk to me.


Panama Jackson

Panama Jackson is pretty fly (and gorgeous) for a light guy. He used to ship his frito to Tito in the District, but shipping prices increased so he moved there to save money. He refuses to eat cocaine chicken. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. Most importantly, he believes the children are our future. You can hit him on his hitter at panamadjackson@gmail.com.

  • Girl Kanyeshrug

    Love the OTIS video and song!!!!

  • i couldnt possibly disagree more. with pretty much every word. and i might have to just stop f’n with yall behind this fu*ckery. “pop/mainstream” & “artistically significant/genius” arent mutually exclusive. sometimes high quality creations can end up falling into both categories. its well documented in music history, across all genres.

  • I just watched the “Otis” video. So instead of rappers showing off money by dumping $1500 bottles of champagne on the floor, now they cut up $300000 cars? Nice to see them enjoying the recession

  • Liz

    only listened to it twice. nothing stood out. it felt like a bad joke. i like them separately but together it’s just too much ego and swag. not on every track, son.

  • Yonnie 3000

    You ain’t shut for what you said about Big Daddy Kane.

  • Mo-VSS

    I cannot intelligently comment on this issue because I’ve never heard Kanye’s last album or this newest venture with Jay. Actually, I have heard Otis and for all the hype, I wasn’t impressed in the least. I wanted to like it because I should (why, I don’t know, but I should) and I just don’t. Kinda like Kelly Rowland’s Motivation. We all want her to win so bad, but to me, she just doesn’t have it. Like at all.

    I guess that’s what my post can be about. Artists/songs you wanna like, you try hard to like, but ultimately you don’t like them. I can name a few.

    Keri Hilson–beautiful girl, no talent at all
    Kelly Rowland–great voice but no “wow” factor
    Alicia Keys–Everything after Songs in A Minor was just recycled Songs in A Minor
    Miguel/Jeremiah or any of the other Trey Songz lite-type R&B singers, as a matter of fact…
    Trey Songz–I just don’t buy is brand of sexy. He needs to eat a biscuit and do some squats in order for me to take him seriously

    I’m sure there are more but I’m tired and nothing else is coming to mind.

  • si_seaniorita

    wait…Big Daddy Kane is not dead…unless you were speaking metaphorically there.

    I don’t care one way or another about this album honestly. What kind of rap will you get from rappers who have everything? This uninspired collection of tunes here. I will give them kudos for making me feel utterly rich and poor at the same time.

  • To quote the homette Shamira “WTT is The Gatsby of albums. Opulence at the detriment of content. (referring to Gatsby the character, not the book itself)”. And the fact that the album is Kanye ft. Jay-Z basically doesn’t help in the slightest because they don’t have the chemistry of that other duo EP that was pretty decent.

    The best hip hop releases of the year are Fear of God, Oneirology, J E S U S (even if Blu refuses to master his sh!t), and Hot Sauce Committee Part Two.

  • Swin

    Very underwhelming album. “Featuring” Otis Redding on a song? How do you feature someone who’s dead. Speaking of dead people, did you mean to sat that Big Daddy Kane was dead? Lol

  • Jai

    Big Daddy Kane is not dead…unless ur talking about his career o_O


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