Here at The Campus Socialite, we’re suckers for good music. We certainly couldn’t pass up the chance to play Jay-Z and Kanye’s “Watch the Throne” album in the office all day. We’ve made a track-by-track review review for you late listeners or the ones who need convincing.
“No Church in the Wild” feat. Frank Ocean | Rating: 5 Stars
You’ll love this song if you’re a Frank Ocean fan. The beat is mellow with a sick build and the ad-libs throughout the song are great. From what I’ve been seeing, it’s one of the most popular songs on the album. It’s exactly what you’d expect from Jay and ‘Ye. Kanye’s lines with Frank Ocean’s voice make this song worth its five stars.
“Lift Off” feat. Beyonce | Rating: 2 Stars
You would expect this song to be five stars because it has three great artists on it, but uh…this sounds so Beyonce circa 2008. What I mean is that this song sounds like it belongs on Beyonce’s “B-Day” album. On the hand, this song reminds me of Kanye’s “Graduation” album. Again, he makes this track what it is, but Beyonce ruins what it could have been.
“Ni**as in Paris” | Rating: 5 Stars
Jay-Z kills this track. Absolutely slaughters it, resurrects it and kills it again. His flow is crazy different from anything else I’ve heard him on, which makes this song great. The beat reminds me of the music you hear in the South right now, and the Northern flow over it makes it addictive to listen to. “That shit crack” indeed.
“Otis” feat. Otis Redding sample | Rating: 1 Star
Disclaimer: I’m a huge Otis Redding fan so I thought I’d be partial to this song, but I’m not. I’m not the least bit impressed by the sample. The creation could have been so much better than it is. It sounds — dare I say it — amateur. There’s a screaming toward the end of the track that sounds ill-placed, like it shouldn’t have been there at all. I can’t even mention any Jay-Z or Kanye lyrics because I barely heard them over the sample. This song is that horrible. It’s just a no. A huge no.
“Gotta Have It” | Rating: 4 Stars
The placement on this song is perfect. Kanye starts out rapping a few lines. Jay interrupts with a few. Kanye starts again. Then Jay continues. The verses are short and end up making a great combination. You have to listen to it to get it. Great song.
“New Day” | Rating: 4 Stars
One of my favorite songs on the album when it comes to content. Kanye and Jay are speaking to the songs they don’t have. They’re also speaking to the mistakes they’ve both made in the industry. Kanye says, “And I’ll never let my son have an ego / He’ll be nice to everyone, wherever we go / I mean, I might even make ‘em be Republican / So everybody know he love white people.” In Jay’s verse, he says, “Promise to never leave him even if his mama tweakin’ / Cause my dad left me and I promise never repeat him.” Everyone knows Kanye is an emotional mess, but you never hear Jay-Z like this. I love this song, content-wise. The beats? Not so much. It gets a solid four stars.
“That’s My Bitch” | Rating: 1 Star
The first song solely speaking about bitches, booties, and hos. With a sick beat by The Neptunes, this song is a negative. The verses are whack, the rhyming is whack, and the chorus is extra whack.
“Welcome to the Jungle” | Rating: 3 Stars
Swizz Beats is all over this song in a good way. I almost skipped this song because it seemed so slow in the beginning, but put your focus on the verses and you’ll be hooked. A solid three stars.
“Who Gon’ Stop Me” | Rating: 5 Stars
This song is siiiiiicccccckkkk! It’s the dubstep that makes it so great. While rappers are all over auto-tune, not too many have used dubstep, which is blowing up in the music industry right now. The beat and the verses make this song a 5 all over. “Ix-nay off my dicks-nay / That’s pig latin, itch-bay / Who gon’ stop me huh?” You got it, ‘Ye.
“Murder to Excellence” | Rating: 1 Star
I’d hoped Kanye would stop singing after “Love Lockdown,” but I was sorely disappointed when I heard this song. It’s mediocre, and that’s saying a lot. This song is the epitome of bragadocious. I read a few tweets about saying Jay and Kanye have a way of bragging about their wealth. I get it now. You’re rich. We get it. Next.
“Made in America” feat. Frank Ocean | Rating: 4 Stars
Frank Ocean is back, and this time he’s crooning more than usual. Despite that, this low tempo song is still good. ‘Ye and Jay are rapping about their come-up in the rap game. You feel the nostalgia, the struggle, the moment of “making it.” There’s heavy symbolism, and you feel the patriotism for all the people who have paved the way for people like Kanye and Jay-Z to be where they are today. A solid 4 stars.
“Why I Love You” feat. Mr Hudson | Rating: 5 Stars
I’m not surprised Jay-Z featured Mr. Hudson on yet another song. His voice is great, and “Forever Young” was a good song. “Why I Love You” doesn’t disappoint from the beat to the lyrics. There’s a bit of dubstep in the beginning that brings the energy throughout. Great song.
“Watch the Throne” is a good album, even if you’re not into hip hop. Both Jay and ‘Ye shine on this album. They made great feature choices with Frank Ocean, Beyonce and Mr. Hudson, and used great producers like The Neptunes and Swizz Beats. People are arguing it’s the album of the year, but overall, the album warrants a solid 4. Give it a listen here and tell me what you, Socialites.