Watch the Throne is obviously not a movie, but it was hugely anticipated and I wanted to see if it lived up to the hype. After two consecutive listens, this is what I think,
No Church in the Wild (ft. Frank Ocean)- Nice track and it’s great to see Frank Ocean getting a lot of attention now. He’s the real deal. 88 keys drops a sweet beat.
Lift Off (ft. Beyonce)- The mandatory Beyonce track, and it’s not a memorable one. Low point of the album. Nothing ever really happens.
Niggas in Paris- Pop beat, could be a single, interesting Blades of Glory sound bite certainly never thought I would hear Will Ferrell’s voice on this album. Pretty good song.
Otis (ft. Otis Redding)- Second single, probably my favorite track, but what they did to the Maybach in the music video is inexcusable. I nearly cried. Hearing Otis Redding on the sample made me feel better though.
Gotta Have It- Seemed to end as quickly as it had begun, nothing special. Another song about flaunting wealth. One of the more popular songs off of the album, but I’m not sure why. Disappointing Neptunes production.
New Day- A nice change from the lyrics that solely commented on their wealth, this track has both Jay and Kanye hoping their sons will have good lives. Noble sure, but with all the dough they previously rapped about their sons should be fine. The beat on this one isn’t very good.
That’s My Bitch- From flaunting wealth to clear male chauvinism, I mean the track is called That’s My Bitch… If you can get over that it is one of the more enjoyable tracks on the album. Upbeat and somewhat old school feel.
Welcome to the Jungle- Fresh beat by Swizz, Jay and Kanye both do well but Swizz coming in only to say welcome to the jungle occasionally was somewhat annoying.
Who Gon Stop Me- I love the Flux Pavillion sample, dubstep needs to get more mainstream attention in the United States. (I Can’t Stop is the song sampled) Dubstep and hip hop combine quite nicely. Kanye West’s auto-tuned parts are obnoxious, but the rest of the song is great.
Murder to Excellence- Finally a track that is socially aware, something I was looking for from Jay and Kanye. Great sample, also apparently Kid Cudi helped write the track. I thought that was interesting. Second half contrasts the first half quite nicely.
Made in America (ft. Frank Ocean)- Very low key track, great vocals by Frank Ocean again, but other than that nothing that special here.
Why I Love You (ft. Mr. Hudson)- Another fantastic sample, this time of I Love You So by Cassius. Jay just kills this one, glad to see he finally gets an opportunity to show off on this album.
Illest Motherfucker Alive- Didn’t really do anything for me, quite clear why it didn’t make the cut to be on the album.
H.A.M- The first single that started all of this hype. Both Jay and Kanye rap well on the track, but it’s producer Lex Luger that steals the show. The beat is straight fire.
Primetime- Nifty beat on a pretty good track, probably should have made the album, but it’s not as poppy as the album tracks. Probably wouldn’t have appealed to as broad of an audience.
The Joy (ft. Curtis Mayfield)- The live Curtis Mayfield sample doesn’t really do it for me (probably the awkward grunting that continues throughout the song), and some of the Kanye lines were really unexpected (you’ll see) but Kanye kills it and Jay puts on a strong performance.
What would be a solid album from anyone else comes off as a disappointment from Jay and Kanye. These titans dropped The College Dropout, The Blueprint, and Reasonable Doubt. I would have liked to hear a bit more from them, still a pretty decent album. Some of these songs will get a lot of plays, others I’ll probably just delete.