For weeks Twitter was abuzz leading up to the release of mega album Watch the Throne, the collaboration between hip-hop heavyweights Jay-Z and Kanye West. The reaction to the album, now 8 days old, has ranged from sycophantic praise to outright hatred. I wanted to let the album simmer a little bit before I wrote any type of review, and the truth is Watch the Throne is still getting heavy play on my iPhone (AKA iPod/car stereo).
There are very few tracks on this album that require a skip. Most of the time, if I’m bypassing a track it’s simply because there’s another that I just can’t wait to listen to again. My favorite track is Made in America featuring Frank Ocean of the hip-hop group Odd Future. Frank Ocean shines like a diamond in the rough on Watch the Throne, it won’t be long before he’s the must-have singer on your track. I mean fuck, the guy comes from out of nowhere to be working with Jay-Z and Kanye on their super album? This was Frank Ocean’s coming out party.
The production value on Watch the Throne is second to none. There’s really nothing else to say. Jay-Z brought it like he always does. One of the seemingly low points on the album was when Jay’s wifey appeared on Lift Off. The track seemed like it didn’t really belong, it seemed pretty clear that they were throwing in a track to include Jay’s wife, maybe so she didn’t feel left out? I don’t know.
Perhaps the biggest proponent of Watch the Throne is comedian Aziz Ansari who even appeared in the music video for the single Otis. His WTT-themed tweets throughout the day of Watch the Throne’s launch and since then, have probably gone a long way to line Jay and Kanye’s pockets quite nicely. “Might start working at a seafood restaurant just so I can constantly ask the waitstaff “What she order? Fish filet?” #WatchtheThrone” Aziz tweeted earlier in the week, which is just one of the dozens of WTT related tweets including a series of WTT inspired comics.
Bottom line: Unless you hate Jay-Z, Kanye, or hip-hop, you need to check out Watch the Throne. Now.