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I write reviews for this website. Some of you are gonna hate on the article but it's just my opinon. Enjoy.

http://www.audioleak.co.uk/?p=2220

"Watch The Throne is the first collaborative album from Jay-Z & Kanye West (aka 'The Throne'). Kanye and Jay have been in the rap game for enough time to understand how they are perceived. Generally, you either love to hate them or hate to love them. Unfortunately, this judgement of persona has once again overthrown the judgement of the music. The internet has been full of over-exaggerated hype without much to back it up. Amazingly, as Jay-Z's manager himself predicted (see here) the album did not leak online before its digital release, a feat which will certainly be remembered in music history. This, of course, only built the anticipation. The question is, could they live up to their own hype?

Unfortunately, no. The album is solid, don't get me wrong, but it lacks so many aspects of a great or even good hip-hop album to be considered a 'classic' or a 'masterpiece'. With the exception of a few songs, the vibe of the album is pretty average. Luckily, songs like 'No Church in the Wild' and 'Murder to Excellence' make up for the poor mastering and lack of conviction of other tracks. It is a group of songs rather than an album. An album tells a story and has a sort of atmosphere about it. A lot of Watch The Throne is simply a mess. Glimpses of brilliance overshadowed by disappointment.

"Tears on the mausoleum floor, blood stains the coliseum doors / lies on the lips of the priests, Thanksgiving disguised as a feast."

The album starts with the brilliant 'No Church in the Wild' which features Odd Future's Frank Ocean whose soothing vocals flow beautifully over the 88-Keys production. Jay raps first, bringing religion, philosophy and exploration to the track with a convincing first verse. Kanye also adds his touch to the track and we begin to get a feel for the angle of Watch The Throne as Ocean sings us out of an epic first track. If they had continued the feel of this track throughout then perhaps the album would have a little more conviction. We then hear the strange oboe-sounding exitlude that is repeated throughout the album. Seemingly randomly placed in between tracks and quite frankly becomes annoying as the record goes along. 'Murder to Excellence' is another great track, the kind we would expect to hear. A small dose of genius. If you did not know who S1 was before this track, you certainly know now, the production is fantastic. The beat is phenomenal and sounds epic as Kanye chants "The paper read murder / black on black murder" in a way he should explore more often. The two discuss death, darkness and war as if they were politicians with musical prowess. This song defines what Watch The Throne should have been but is not. Brilliant.

Instead of sticking to the darker mood (reminiscent of Kanye's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy) they veer off into a spiral of confusion. 'Lift Off' is a perfect example of this messiness. The introduction is misleading, it sounds better than it turns out to be. And it turns out to be below par. Kanye's verse contains a hint of autotune combined with other vocal distortions and his off-beat rapping is nearly unbearable to listen to and some lines are nearly completely impossible to understand. The track doesn't sound mastered and without Beyonce it would almost be an embarrassment. As the track thankfully dies out, we oddly hear a quote from the film 'Blades of Glory' before the 'N***as in Paris' beat starts. This is another song with potential that fails to take it to the next level.

"I get it custom, you a customer / you ain't accustomed to going through customs, you ain't been nowhere huh?"

Kanye and Jay then pick their game back up with the boastful yet chirpy 'Otis'. The Otis Redding sample of 'Give a Little Tenderness' works beautifully in the introduction and the sample makes for a fantastically spiritual beat. The two share verses throughout the track as they brag about pretty much everything. Jay tells us "I invented swag" in a way that only he could do so. This is the only song where you feel that him and West worked as equals on the album. Lyrically, it's Kanye's best song on Watch The Throne. 'New Day' is also incredibly different yet satisfying. A fictional based song about the two's unborn sons. A rare glimpse into the honesty and vulnerability that Kanye and Jay possess. But why is there not more of this on the album? This is a beautiful song, but is let down dramatically by the inconsistency of other songs. This is an eerie insight into the potential that the two had to make an amazing album, but have failed to do so because of the way the tracks fit together as well as the simple fact that some tracks are not good enough for a Jay-Z or Kanye West album. And then as if to add insult to injury, that incredibly annoying exitlude appears once again.

"I'd never let my son have an ego, we gon' be nice to everyone wherever we go / I mean I might even make him be Republican, so everybody know he love white people."

'Who Gon Stop Me' is an intriguing track which explores the combination of a few genres on a beat designed to be blasted out of big speakers. This will sound good in your car and a couple more of these kind of tracks wouldn't go a miss. To discuss 'That's My Bitch', 'Gotta Have It' and 'Made In America' I would only be repeating myself, so I'll save you the time by telling you that they aren't great. There are other tracks which almost irritate. They have no place on this album. We wanted epic beats and a set feel. The album lacks any sort of mood and each track fails to compliment the next. 'Welcome to the Jungle' is produced by Swizz Beatz, possibly the most annoying man in hip-hop. Why he feels the need to ruin his already average beats by shouting 'OH!' and 'GODDAMMIT!' I have no idea. This is not a Lil Wayne mixtape Swizz. The finale of 'Why I Love You' features a sample of Cassius' 'Love You So' with the vocals re-worked by Mr Hudson. Unfortunately Hudson's vocals combined with the higher pitched chorus do not quite do the sample justice. An apt way to finish the album, slightly disappointed.

Watch The Throne was the most hyped album of 2011. The only problem is that it was overhyped. Whatever Kanye and Jay produced was never going to live up the expectations people had. Unfortunately, it falls well below these expectations. With the exception of a couple of brilliant tracks, the album is solid at best. But we wanted more than a solid album from arguably the two greatest modern icons of hip-hop. We wanted brilliance and we did not get it.

'The Throne' is very much for the taking. 6/10"
 
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$iggy said:
“I get it custom, you a customer / you ain’t custom to going through customs, you ain’t been nowhere huh?”
The Otis line is "you accustomed to going through customs".
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Since writing this I've slightly changed my view in a more positive way. It takes a few listens to get a proper feel for the album and there's a few songs which I disliked that I prefe now.

Still perhaps 3/4 songs I would remove from the album entirely and that annoying oboe-sounding interlude/exitlude still grinds on my nerves bu I'd probably write a few more positive things about certain songs after several more listens.
 
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