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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Watch the throne....close but no cigar

The highly anticipated album "Watch the throne" has been released on iTunes and the masses have spoken. Did the Messiah of all rap albums deliver? ....well not really. Still, Jay-Z and Kanye West are two of hip-hop's most respected rappers and are lauded for their bravado, craftiness with words and swag runneth over persona. But this album was not the masterpiece the hip-hop world thought it would be. The verdict is out, and the album was labeled "good" not great. Don't get it twisted there are still highlights and 'whoa' moments, so be not deceived by any reviews, after all they're all just crafty opinions.
The collaborative effort of raps heavy weights Hov and Yeezy missed their mark, "almost doesn't count' or "close but no cigar" could perfectly sum up the response of the people in reference to the albums expectation for greatness.

Could it be that we expected the impossible from the powerhouse duo, or could it be that our standards for them were not realistic?  The answer still remains unknown, yet some argue if the album was created by any other two artist that we would deem it classic...that may be true, but there are other artist,...and then there's Jay- Z and Kanye West...clearly there's a marked difference.
I guess what the people of the hip-hop world and I were seeking was the rap version of Michael Jackson's "Thriller", although that's not what we the people got, we were given great songs like N****s in Paris, Otis, Murder excellence, Primetime, Made in America and New day. 

Great lines...
Lines like " i'll never let my son have an ego/ he'll be nice to everyone where ever we go/ I mean I might even make him be republican/ so everybody know he love white people/- West. 
In the song New Day  Kanye West raps about hopes that his unborn son is nothing like him. West hopes he stays away from strip clubs, Amber Rose's, telethons, and utter self absorption and worship. His lyrics are perfectly crafted over RZA's beat and then Jay-z tags along offering his wishes for his unborn son as well. Pure genius.

On "That's mt b***h' Jay-z addresses the controversial topic of the plight of women of color in media in he raps,
I mean Marilyn Monroe, she’s quite nice / But why all the pretty icons always all-white?/ Put some colored girls in the MOMA / Half these broads ain’t got nothing on Wyldna / Don’t make me bring Thelma in it / Bring Halle, Bring Penelope and Selma in it / Back to my Beyoncés, you deserve three stacks word to André."
Made in America produced by No i.d. is nothing less of a great song with great lyrics, and an even better hook. The hook sings "sweet baby Jesus, we made it in America" and can be mistaken for the  words of an old negro spiritual.

“I told my mama I was on the come up / She said you going to school I’ll give you a summer / Then she met No I.D. and gave me his number / Ten years later she driving a Hummer,” -West.

Then  Jay-Z raps: “No papa, bad Santa / The streets raised me, pardon my bad manners / I got my liberty choppin’ grams up / Street justice, I pray God understand us / I pledge allegiance to all the scramblers / This is the Star Spangled Banner.”
Both  Jay and West offer honesty, challenge what's real, denounce the status quo and redefine "balling" with savviness, soulfulness, braggadocio, and class! This may very well be the best rap album of 2011, but it's not the best hip hop album ever, and it isn't a master piece either.
Songs like HAM, Welcome to the jungle (even though Jay killed his verse), and Why I love you, are misses in my opinion. Others may disagree but this is my blog (na na na na *sticks tongue out*)
Other great lines include :
Illest M*********e Alive
“King Hov, I’m exactly what the f–k you think / 11 in a row, Bill Russell rings / Michael Jordan swag, y’all think Michael Jordan bad / N—a I got a 5 more rings than Michael Jordan had / Elvis has left the building now I’m on the Beatles ass / N—s hear ‘Watch The Throne,’ yeah it’s like the Beatles back / Bey Bey my Yoko Ono, Rih Rih complete the family / Imagine how that’s gonna look front row at the Grammys.” 
Prime time
“Damn Yeezy, they all gotta be dimes? / Well, Adam gave up a rib so mine better be prime,” explains West on why he only dates models. But Jay-Z one-ups him with this line: “Our 15 minutes of fame has stretched beyond / At 42 be better than 24 / I carried the 4-5, mastered 48 laws / Still wearing my 23s they can’t f–k with the boy.” 
Overall I grade this album an A-, and recommend you add this to your music collection. Watch the throne has set the bar for what the next hip hop album should aspire to be, or even challenge. Weather it's recorded in Paris, Australia or a basement in Brooklyn, no one cares. Till then we are still waiting for raps version of "thriller", I enjoy a good album..but I'm truly in pursuit of greatness!!!!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, you hit it in the head. Great commentary!