One year after the idea was conceived, Kanye West and Jay-Z deliver one of the year's most anticipated albums, "Watch the Throne," today (August 8). At 12 a.m. EST, hip-hop fans turned to iTunes, instead of a Hulkshare page, to download The Throne's collaborative album.
Within an hour, lyrics of "Watch the Throne" flooded timelines and song titles ("Murder of Excellence," "New Day," "Lift Off," and "Made in America") began to trend worldwide. Not only did Kanye and Jay-Z fight and win against the big leak, but they brought a nostalgic vibe by keeping fans waiting to press download.
'Watch The Throne': Jay-Z and Kanye West's 10 Best Collaborations
From the Mercer Hotel in NYC to Australia, Kanye West and Jay-Z lace filthy rhymes over sumptuous soundscapes, this time as one, calling forth producers such as Swizz Beatz, RZA, Hit-Boy, No I.D. and the vocal prowess of Frank Ocean, Beyoncé, La Roux and more.
Which "Watch the Throne" track finds Kanye West and Jay-Z at the top of their game? Here's our Twitter-length track-by-track review of each song.
You be the judge: What do you think of Jay-Z and Kanye West's "Watch the Throne" album? Tweet us your own review at @billboarddotcom (using hashtag #bbwtt). The best tweets will be posted on Billboard.com in the coming days.
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1. "No Church in the Wild:" The Throne give a taste of sex, drugs & hip-hop. "Last night was mad real," Kanye raps. The-Dream sneaks in mid-way with auto-tuned vocals.
2. "Lift Off:" Although it feels misplaced in between tracks 1 and 3, the "stadium status" track is one to look forward to in seeing performed on the WTT tour.
Kanye West & Jay-Z Hold 'Watch the Throne' Listening Party at Planetarium
3. "Ni**gas in Paris:" Kanye steals the show on the Hit-Boy produced club anthem. A snippet of Will Ferrell's line from "Blades of Glory" is tucked in between.
4. "Otis:" Jay-Z & Kanye West spit dirty rhymes on champagne living, a theme through out the album ("Ni**as in Paris"), over an Otis Redding classic.
5. "Gotta Have It:" The Neptunes revamp James Brown's "People Get Up and Drive Your Funky Soul" for Throne to brag on and shout out hometowns. "Racks" reference.
6. "New Day:" The Throne rhyme what they will and will not do to better raise their unborn sons. Ye recalls his doings and Jay won't let history repeat itself.
7. "That's My B**ch:" Similar to the leaked version, only Jay adds brown skinned actresses into the mix. Ye: "About to go dumb, how come? yeah, that's my b**ch."
8. "Welcome to the Jungle:" Kanye and Jay-Z shed light to the darkness of their lifestyle. Swizz Beatz production reminds me of Diddy's "All About the Benjamins."
9. "Who Gon Stop Me:" The Throne throw the middle finger to haters and hardships of the past. "Til I die/ I'mma f***in ball," West raps. Perfect song for wildin'.
10. "Murder to Excellence:" The Throne speak on black on black murder. Ye' compares Chi-town's murder rate to Iraq's. "Cause ain't nothin on the news but the blues."
11. "Made in America:" Frank Ocean's soulful vocals that soothe start and close the cut. Jay and Kanye rhyme on their "come up" over Shame "Sak Pase" Joseph beat.
12. "Why I Love You:" Jay-Z goes off on those who, though once close, turned away or against him. "But I'm bullet proof, b**ch you can't get nothin' past me." #shots
This effort finds both of the hiphop titans at the top of their game as if they had something to prove as when jordan came back after the first retirement and won three more championships. The album is ridiculous, its hiphop not just a bunch of songs thrown on a disk and packaged for sell. Jay and Kanye went all the way in on this project its clearly one of the best hiphop albums of 2011, excuse me the best hiphop album of 2011 so far by far
So Haters......Sit Back and "WATCH THE THRONE"