Two Kings. One Throne

By Lilian Magari

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When two of the biggest names in the rap industry collaborate they do not produce an album, they produce a legacy.

The much hyped album, Watch the Throne,  features the likes of Otis Redding, Beyonce, Mr. Hudson, La Roux and Frank Ocean all put together to produce viscously catchy songs. From the release of their first single, “H.A.M”, in January of this year to their current releases of “Otis” and “N**gas in Paris” the album covers themes of religion, philosophy, materialism and race.

At first critics argued that there would be a clash of egos in a tug-of-war conflict between the two rappers which would reflect in their music, instead, the message that comes through is that of two men struggling to understand what it means to be black and successful in the 21st century.

Mr. West is on an artistic high after the release of his platinum 2010 album, My beautiful dark twisted fantasy, which was preceded by the embarrassing outburst of West  interrupting Taylor Swift’s speech at the MTV awards. Fantasy consisted of music for the daring and weird
with restlessly creative production which can be seen in Watch the Throne.

The musical direction of The Throne is spearheaded by Mr. West, noting that Jay-Z has more input in the lyrics. With snippets which carry the same template of Jay’s last album,The Blueprint 3, we hear again the compelling rhymes of a hypnotic emcee and his adrenaline-fueled punch lines.

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Each artist shows flashes of emotional depth that they have never revealed in their music before. Jay uncovers the pain of his fatherless childhood, in “New Day”, while Kanye uses clever wordplay to reveal his raw honest feelings about being misunderstood and the emotional consequences of fame.

Of course though, a rap album is not complete without the artists paying tribute to themselves! The two are not short on arrogance as they spit lyrics about their excellence, their brilliance, their
wealth and their genius.

The album is bold and ambitious, it is an instant classic and is definitely worth the hype.  The two partners in rhyme cater for a variety of audiences who can appreciate their music. At this point in
each of their careers, neither have anything else to prove.

Standing on the throne, neither overpowers the other. Whilst the rest of us, sit back and watch.

Links:
——
[1] http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1668722/jay-z-kanye-west-watch-the-throne-re…
[2] http://www.rollingstone.com/music/albumreviews/watch-the-throne-20110811
[3] http://www.rollingstone.com/music/albumreviews/my-beautiful-dark-twisted-fant…
[4] http://www.culturebully.com/jay-z-the-blueprint-3-review

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