Jan 4, 2016

AOTY 2011 Revisited - Watch The Throne

In a world were everyone is making collaborative projects, Watch the Throne most definitely is the blueprint. 2011's Album of the Year by Jay-Z & Kanye West is still probably one of the best pieces of both of their careers. That's saying a lot.

I remember hearing No Church in the Wild with Frank Ocean & co-written by The-Dream kicking off as the opening credits. Lift Off featuring First Lady Beyoncè followed up. Jay didn't have much of an appearance in this song but Bey did an amazing job on the hook. Kanye really murdered the production with help from Q-Tip. I really enjoy the bridge that's looped on the end which Cole used on his song The Cure. It's time to get into the meat of the album, Niggas in Paris and Otis. Both songs were gigantic. I swear five years later they both are on the radio in regular rotation. I can't think of too many other artists that have done that in recent years. Otis was one of my favorites at the time. "Sophisticated Ignorance, Write My Curses in Cursive," was probably my Facebook status once a week for the entire summer. A lot of people complained about the duo's braggadocios rap style. Sure, they talked their shit but it wasn't all vanity. In the original review I mentioned that Made in America paid homage to those who paved the way. What I didn't mention is Murder to Excellence. This is probably the deepest track on the album. Swizz Beats and S1 did an amazing job producing this one. While they laced the record Jigga and Kanye combat important topics like Black on Black murder and systematic racism. Lyrically they went in: "Niggas watchin the throne very happy to be you. power to the people when you see me see you." "If you put crabs in a barrel to ensure your survival you're gonna end up pulling down niggas who look just like you." This song might have been years before it's time and stays prevalent in today's times too.

Through and through it's clear that this was a Kanye influenced album. What I mean is Kanye really put his heART in it and Jay let him. It's almost and Kanye featuring Jay-Z album. Production, lyrics, and feel really leaned in a Yeezy direction. This was the beginning of Kanye's prime in my opinion. Some people say the beginning of his career and the Late Registration through Graduation series was his best. I say the artsy Yeezy was better. Even down to the album covers from here MBDTF & Cruel Summer made me feel like I were in a gallery in Europe. This is no diss to Jay he delivered and took the spotlight when necessary. I'm impressed he didn't let an ego take over. The partnership sold well and could not have been done any better. The world really needs a Watch the Throne 2. Read the original review here.
Jonathan C. Ramsey
Jonathan C. Ramsey

Multimedia Journalist, Founder and Chief Editor of WTM Host of A-Side B-Side Podcast and more. I like to talk about stuff and write it down. Sometimes to a microphone. Either way, I need you to feel this.

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