Kayne West and Jay – Z: Watch The Throne
Doug Barclay, Tower Staff
September 3, 2011
Filed under A&E
Imagine if in 1965 Mick Jagger and Paul McCartney were hanging out and decided that the Beatles and The Rolling Stones should record a joint record together. Fast forward five decades and the star power involved in August’s Watch the Throne may come close to matching that presumed scenario. Jay Z and Kanye West arguably the two most culturally diverse hip/hop artists this generation offers have collaborated on a record…and its really…really…good.
Everything about this record, from the men involved to the subject matter to the sampling of an Otis Redding song in the lead single (not a cheap thing to do) screams excess. Bentleys, private jets and hanging out with Russell Crowe have replaced the idea of rapping to survive and rapping to get out of the projects. These two men are far from any type of social injustice they once felt strongly for, they no longer are rapping for you and I, they are rapping for themselves; which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Though lyrically there is quite a disconnect from actual real life problems it doesn’t get in the way of the music, which frankly is some of the most diverse on any album I have ever heard. “Who Gon Stop Me” is your classic dub-step beat and belongs in any self-respecting club on the planet. “Made in America” featuring soul crooner Frank Ocean is a smart, though repetitive musically, look at the modern struggles of African Americans.
This album may not be for everyone, some people will not be able to get around the often bombastic in your face style of the aforementioned excess. For those that do check it out jump straight to the lead single “Otis.” Only Kanye and Jay-Z could sample “Try a Little Tenderness”, one of the most identifiable songs of all time and make it their own. It would be like if Taylor Swift write a song about her boyfriend breaking up with her and sampled “Satisfaction” by the Rolling Stones…which actually could be pretty cool.