When it comes to all of this hoopla surrounding Jay Z and Kanye West’s new album “Watch the Throne” I’m probably the least excited person in the world. And everybody I tell that too looks at me like I’m buggin. But I have this philosophy that if as an artist you’re not hungry, it’s hard for you to make good music. And I just don’t feel like Jay is hungry anymore and hasn’t been for a while. Kanye on the other hand seems just as hungry now as he was when he first dropped. (which may explain why Ye has been rhyming circles around Jay whenever they’re on the same track) But after watching the behind the scenes footage of Jay and Ye recording the album…in a castle…in Australia…while chillin’ with Russell Crow (yeah, Russell Crow…I felt like Eddie Murphy’s pop in Raw like “what are you doing with Danny Tirreo?”) I REALLY don’t know what to expect from this album. I mean, can you REALLY make a dope hip hop album while in a castle, in Australia while chillin’ with Russell Crow?!?! I don’t think so, but we’re about to find out.
“No Church in the Wild” featuring Frank Ocean FLAT OUT knocks and sets the album off lovely. “Lift Off” featuring Beyonce is dope and I love the break down at the end of the track. I ain’t feeling “N-ggaz In Paris” and “That’s My B-tch” and “Otis” is, well…Otis. The Neptunes produced “Gotta Have It” has Jay and Ye going back and forth on some EPMD ish but just shows me how much their styles don’t match. The Swizz Beat’s produced “Welcome to the Jungle” is a banger and has Jay sounding real focused for once, “My tears is tatted/my rag in my pocket/I’m just looking for love/I know somebody got it/champagne for the pain/weed for the low/ damn I’m so high/where the f-ck did I go?” “Who Gon Stop Me” is legit and “Murder To Excellence” has Ye & Jay speaking on the senseless murders going on in our hoods. But my fave song on the album is easily the RZA produced “New Day” which has Ye going in with an open letter to his unborn son, “And I’ll never let my son have an ego/he’ll be nice to everyone, wherever we go/I mean I might even make him be republican/so everybody know he love white people/and I’ll never let him leave his college girlfriend/amd get caught up with the groupies in the whirlwind/and I’ll never let him hit the telethon/I mean even if people dyin’ and the world ends.”
While listening to “Watch the Throne” it’s like Jay is playing catch up to Kanye the entire album which sounds crazy but it’s the truth. This album sounds like a game of HORSE going on in the backyard and Jay can’t keep up with Ye…at all. It’s to the point I get pissed when Jay comes in to spit cause I’d rather hear more Ye…crazy right? Truth be told, it’s almost like this is Ye’s album featuring Jay Z. I always felt Jay’s downfall is that he plays to the level of the comp that’s around him. When Jay 1st dropped he KNEW he had to come with it cause BIG and Pac were still here, Nas was on fire so it’s no shock to me that “Reasonable Doubt” was the masterpiece it was. But then Big and Pac died, Nas slowed down and Jay became, well…human. And then when Jay and Nas had words, we see the “real” Jay again but once that blew over, I guess we’re back to the “dumbed down” Jay. At the end of the day, I don’t know if you can make dope “hip hop” in a castle in Australia but Ye and Jay do managae to make some good music while chillin’ in the outback with Mr. Crowe. By the way, did we ever find out why Eddie Murphy was hanging out with Danny Terrio?
7 out of 10