The Score: Jay-Z & Kanye West, "Watch The Throne"

Monday, Aug 8, 2011 12:40PM

Written by J. Bachelor

Buy Now
  • Watch The Throne
  • Jay-Z & Kanye West
  • August 5, 2011
All Hip Hop 9/10
The Silver Tongue 4.5/5
The East Side Perspective 4.5/5
Siafu Sounds 90/100
Catch Me BC 10/10

Two of hip-hop's most iconic figures have united, bringing forth the download version of their highly-anticipated collaboration effort, Watch The Throne.

While the physical copy will not be available until Friday, this version of The Throne is just the beginning, as the movement is set to include a tour and the formation of a group.

As soon as Jay-Z and Kanye West announced they were naming their joint album project Watch the Throne, it was clear that the superstar rappers were aiming to raise the creative bar for themselves and hip-hop in general. They've realized those ambitions on Throne (**** out of four), a potent set of tracks that finds them stepping up their games and stepping out of their comfort zones.(USA Today)

Artists such as Beyonce, newcomer Frank Ocean and others were cordially invited to share the throne.

No Church in The Wild (Feat. Frank Ocean); Lift Off (Feat. Beyoncé); Otis (Feat. Otis Redding); Sweet Baby Jesus (Feat. Frank Ocean); Love You So (Feat. Mr Hudson); The Joy (Feat. Curtis Mayfield). (Swagger Junky)

The album's production roster boasts some of the most influential names in hip-hop, including Q-Tip, RZA and The Neptunes.

Kanye West, The Neptunes, Swizz Beatz, No I.D., RZA, Q-Tip, Lex Luger all make production appearances on Watch The Throne with newcomers Hit-Boy, Southside, Symbolic One, and more also lending their production hand.(Complex)

Upon the release of "H.A.M.", the albums lead single, Swizz Beatz shared his thoughts on  the impact Throne would have on the music industry.

"I think that those being both of my friends, and knowing that people can team up on such a high caliber level -- as musicians, as rappers, as friends, as peers -- I think it's super-positive, and I think that if more of the industry did moves like this it would be a better place for everybody," Swizz said in an interview. "I'm involved a little bit on the album, and just hearing the different songs it's like 'Wow, they're really taking it to another level.' I'm happy to be a part of it, those are my brothers and [they're] going to continue pushing the envelope." (MTV)

Critics agree that although Watch The Throne set a high standard and delivers in nearly every aspect, only time will tell if the project is indeed a classic.

Overall, the album is a solid listen and worth spending money on. Not every track was stellar (like My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was), but it was still a good album. After the first couple listens, this is a 9.5/10. The Throne managed to create an album that was able to come pretty close to meeting the insanely high expectations people had for it. Be sure to BUY WTT if you haven't yet, and be on the lookout for news on their potential Watch The Throne II album which could be in the works! (The Good Life)
That isn't to say it's an obvious classic - one listen isn't enough to determine that - but it is impressive. Both rappers sound hungry, if restrained, like they're giving each other room. Kanye keeps looking for new angles, both lyrically and in rhyming cadence, while Jay-Z seems more like he's comfortable taking aim, firing and hitting. When it was over, Jay-Z got explained that the album took nine months and three attempts to make. One was finished and, apparently, impressively bombastic but not particularly listenable. Good for them for being shrewd enough to know the difference.(The Guardian)

To purchase Watch The Throne, just click here.

Preview the album below:

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