There’s always controversy when Kanye West touches a project and Watch The Throne is one of the most controversial. Starting with the title, Kanye and Jay-Z have dubbed themselves “The Throne”, placing them at the head of mainstream hip hop. Lackluster though Hip Hop is, there are people that argue that this album is not that good. Its overproduced, lyrically weak, and it lacks substance. I give this album the highly coveted “Purchase” rating.
Some hip hop heads think albums like this are quite overrated simply because there are less popular albums with more substance or lyricism. Being a hip hop head myself, I’ve come to a level of enlightenment concerning this topic. Lets take the movie market for instance. You don’t go to a chick flick and proclaim “That was a terrible action movie” and proceed to bash it, do you? Much like different movie genres, you expect different things from different artists. When I listen to Lupe, I seek something intellectually stimulating, not club bangers/anthems and such (hence the disappointment that is LASERS). Its the exact opposite for artist like Jeezy or 8ball and MJG. You will have times when artist can touch both successfully (Outkast comes to mind), but thats the exception, not the rule.
Some may say Kanye and Jay-Z are more than capable of delivering the substance provided early in their careers. Clearly, they both realize they don’t have to anymore. Honestly, I think Kanye could easily put out a joint possibly as potent as Kendrick Lamar’s “Hiipower”, but I think Jay’s days of that are over and done. In his own words, “Niggas want my old sh*t, go buy my old album”. I really think Kanye will deliver the much sought after follow up to Graduation in the next few years. Patience people.
Now, with Watch The Throne, I went in expecting cocky, hype, braggadocio to some sick production and that’s EXACTLY what I got. It was done and done well. The production actually exceeded my expectations for the most part, living up to the sonic standards I’d set for Kanye since listening to Twisted Fantasy. There were moments here when Ye and Jay offered up something beyond materialism and punchline flexing (New Day for instance) and those moments were refreshing.
Buy this album for what it is. If you want something with punchline after punchline while nodding your head to some meticulously crafted music, this album has it in spades. If you want The Roots, Lupe Fiasco, Kendrick Lamar, Outkast, or something along those lines, buy their albums. That’s not what you get here.
Oh and, for those misguided in this hip hop game, no. No. No. Drake and Wayne can’t replicate an album of this caliber. Why? No matter how lyrically talented(?) they are, unless they get Kanye, Preemo, 9th Wonder, Pete Rock, RZA, or someone of this caliber to produce a full project for them, it will never happen. So, it will never happen.