I have many good things to say about Jay-Z & Kanye West’s recent collaboration, Watch The Throne, but cmon- yawl won’t care to read further unless I ink n’ hint at trashing it, right? Sorry, this is as good as records get, over the top and entertaining. With that out of the way, I have nothing more to say about the Throne’s substance. The Throne’s timing- considering the rest of the world, this country, being in turmoil- is perfect and worth discussing.
It’s a return to gloating about success, wealth and p*ssy while everything falls apart around us. Jay & Ye do what Motley CrÃ¼e and Poison never did in the 80s at the height of hair metal and pop success- they got together to make a record. To tell the world about their successes, to protect what’s been conquered and to seek more, more, more. America.
This is the Roman Empire as celebrated through the eyes of today’s storytellers, and it’s come a long way from protest and peace. A long ways away, Bob, right? These guys, with voices powerful enough to reach everyone’s ears from all walks of life, chose otherwise. Just like Dylan after the motorcycle accident. It seems as if J & Ye just want to party; and they should! This is America! This is what they do best, they host parties and Watch the Throne. No more no less, they are entertainers and hosts to this young decade’s first great artistic & commericial heist.
How anyone (Greg Kot of the Tribune, someone’s opinions worth respect 99.9% of the time) could trash their collaboration didn’t sit through it enough times with an empty mind & low aspirations like I did. ‘Throne‘ is a great patriotic escape from the reality of now, America 2000-2011, and whatever impending economic doom is awaiting our country. I feel better knowing artists can still party and talk about anything void of substance. It’s a materialistic record with spotty moments; but even the spotty moments are deceiving because they’re unnecessarily tucked between hedonistic passages. Example; J & Ye pretend to be papas by imagining what they’d tell their unborn seeds in the future about their character, and living a good life— blah blah blah. Cmon, guys! We don’t care about your imaginary sons, we want to listen to Ye brag about p*ssy and how much it depresses him that he can’t find a good girl at the club!
The Throne is America and that’s the underlying joke with this thing. They know it, which makes listening to them brag quite inspirational— Tony Robbins-esque but less creepy and a whole lot more ironic on business motivation lessons. They are laughing all the way to the bank and why not? I bet they’re laughing all the way to China with this record—to the banks they own there. We’re morons, we buy this sh*t and they know it. Who wouldn’t like to make millions selling fresh fried garbage to the peasants? I’d love to, and I’m ecstatic that J & Ye are doing it with the ‘Throne.’ How so?
Here we have 2 respectable, established, pop artists from poor to middle class working backgrounds who have conquered the system-a very white, greedy system that was devised to create monsters, aka corporations, out of individualist ideas that held potential to serve everyone (don’t forget that, ever)– with their words and craft, and are now bragging about it as they should together, as a monster, a corporation unto themselves. Imagine your shot to conquer the man and tell him about it? I do everyday but all I can come up with is a few f*ck yous and one or two whatevers.
The Throne is about friendship, business, monopolizing on each end, combining forces and eating off each other’s plate- sharing the wealth—something that used to work well in America till the man got greedy. Most of us will never be able to be this proud about anything we’ve created, alone or together, that the mainstream public would blindly reward us in monetary means unknown. We will all continue to work hard at earning nothing for tons of time lost in return, no orgies, no champagne, no gucci belts, but we will share the same amounts of depression and then die. (Lots of depression and then die!) This is a fun record to escape any type of poverty from; to imagine what life is like for the lucky 3%. That is the core of this, ‘the Throne.’ The 3%, the wealthiest of the wealthy.
It’s musical backdrop is void of struggle and the lyrics contain many great airy punchlines (the one about fish filets YeYe sprays the mic with is my favorite, so random, and so pointless. I’d like to reference the song, but that’d be against everything this record stands for, it’s not supposed to educate you). Some critics and hip-hop listeners may feel that ‘Throne’ contains a lack of beats or artistic substance- they are wrong. Art has the right to be void of craft and deeper meaning if the big picture’s as empty as it really is. We’re born, and then we die- try and make sense of that.
This record is overflowing with life, celebration, fun and equal parts of righteousness, camaraderie, bubbles, foam, p*ssy, french cologne, delusional meanderings— and more stuff about murders and p*ssy. It’s hilarious! Thoughts of champagne bubbles and sweet nothings roll through my mind with or without this record but now my dreams and aspirations have a soundtrack to skip to. Jay-Z and Kanye’s creation may be their world but it is the one many fantasize about obtaining access to- the Throne, a metaphor for success in America.
There’s paranoia here too. J hints at it, and Ye is always on the defense even when he’s gettin head in the bathroom stall- and they know it well, this impending feeling of doom creeping up on them is the past they came from to get here. The struggles are always there, they take on different forms with success. Paranoia won’t let them rest and success won’t last, this is America, everyone fails, and even these two monsters may have realized they would with this record and embraced such worries beforehand to just let go, and have fun. Should you listen to it often? Ask yourself this, does porn keep you horny after 20 minutes? Do you lick the orange off your fingers during a session with a bag of cheetohs and a glass of milk? Should you eat pizza everyday? Only you’ll know for yourself.
Watch the Throne is a magnificent, bloated, gassy affair that will appeal to anyone who enjoys the dribbling sounds of farts bubbling out of your friends rear ends at a pizza party. I mean this in the most polite, respectful way because farting, whether they’re my own or those of people around me, always makes me laugh and laughter is good, not bad. Name me one person who hasn’t enjoyed a decent fart, and I’ll call ’em a commie!
Brutal truth, no one likes to smell the farts hours later, trapped in a room under the sheets. With that I’ll warn you, Throne’s true core lingers like awful scents leftover from a post-amBushed America; the 3% empty and righteous, fulfilled from creating more of nothing and sitting on their riches, and protecting it. Even worse yawl, bragging about it. Jay-Z and YeYe have earned the right to brag about producing something as disgusting and filthy as the Big Mac. I just wished they could have written a chorus like this admitting it; Poison all the peasants in the poor, poor cities- now take their pennies! They didn’t though.
They knew exactly what they were doing when they broiled up this burger; cha-ching, America, thud, the throne.
NOTE: Below, Cameron McGill & What Army’s Is A Beast was released earlier this year. Though different genres of music, I am under the impression J & Ye’s feline faces have been derived from their cover. And if you’re wondering, yes, it’s a much better crafted record than ‘Throne’ but they couldn’t afford to rip off Otis Redding or hire Spike Jonze to direct their video.