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Watch the Throne

Five Stars:
Two legends of hip hop take over.
    
    Kanye and Jay-Z are tight. Like best friend/brother tight. So it makes sense that a fair amount of the album Watch the Throne consists of the two having fun with each other swapping rhymes with playful banter about their fortunes. But honestly, when the two are swapping rhymes together this clever they could be rapping about Transformers for an hour and it'd be worth multiple listens. 

Luckily (maybe), the album isn't about Transformers. And it holds up much better than just a couple of listens. The tracks range from fun and clever to deep and introspective. But the album as a whole is entirely enjoyable due to outrageously good production. In fact, the production definetly seems to be the defining trait of the album, guiding each song individual and then on to the album as a whole. This makes the album seem much more like a Kanye West album featuring Jay-Z than a straight up collaboration between the two.

That said, Jay-Z and Kanye both come in full force. Jay-Z in his best lyrical shape for quite some time, and Kanye continuing some sonic shaping from his last album and bringing back some soul production from earlier in his career (including the lost chipmunk soul).

Track by track, there are some that stand above others. N**gas in Paris is a catchy thumper. Otis, the first single, shows the two trading verses about their awesomeness. Gotta Have It shows off great production with a sweet James Brown sample. Who Gon Stop Me brings West to Dubstep. The best track on the album, Murder to Excellence, is a classic. Showcasing catchy samples and genius lyrics, the track is layered and introspective.

Watch the Throne isn't the best of either artist's careers. But it holds a solid place worthy enough to be in both artist's discography.


Murder to Excellence (clean) - Jay Z & Kanye West by Imagem Creative

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