Watch The Throne


There are a some interesting little nuggets of information with this album that make it slightly different than the usual album entry.

The first would be that isn’t the “official” album. I mean, the songs are but the cover is different and this was pressed on a different colored vinyl. It’s hard to tell, but it’s a very dark gray. It might not be official, but I think it’s pretty neat that every one of these presses is slightly different.

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The second would be the samples used to make the album. I mean, that’s natural in pretty much all hip hop and rap music, but Watch the Throne uses some really great, classic artists and songs. I’ve mentioned it a few times throughout the blog, but my dad was always knowledgeable when it came to samples. There’s a few more, but a sampling of the samples include the following:

“No Church in the Wild”, “Otis” and “Gotta Have It” all contain samples from “Don’t Tell a Lie About Me and I Won’t Tell the Truth About You” by James Brown.

“Gotta Have It” also contains samples from “People Get Up and Drive Your Funky Soul” and “My Thang” by James Brown.

“New Day” contains samples from “Feeling Good” as performed by Nina Simone.

“That’s My Bitch” contains samples from “Get Up, Get Into It, Get Involved” as performed by James Brown and “Apache” by Incredible Bongo Band.

“The Joy” contains samples from “The Makings of You (Live)” as performed by Curtis Mayfield and “Different Strokes” as performed by Syl Johnson.

We picked this up from Underground Hip Hop about a week or two ago now. I posted some pictures on Instagram of the store at the time so be sure you’re following along there. I don’t want you to miss anything! The store’s right off Mass Ave in Boston and although a bit small, it has a great selection. They do keep the singles out back so be sure to ask about them. You can use the computers to search through the selection too.

Watch the Throne is a collaborative studio album by American rappers Jay-Z and Kanye West, released on August 8, 2011, by Roc-A-Fella Records, Roc Nation, and Def Jam Recordings. Before the album, Jay-Z and West had collaborated on their respective singles and with West as a producer on Jay-Z’s work. As longtime friends, they originally sought out to record a five-song EP together, but the project eventually evolved into a full length album. Recording sessions took place at various locations and began in November 2010. The album was produced by West, RZA, Swizz Beatz and others.

Expanding on the dense production style of West’s 2010 album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Watch the Throne incorporates orchestral and progressive rock influences, unconventional samples, and dramatic melodies in its sound. Jay-Z and West’s braggadocio lyrics exhibit themes of opulence, fame, materialism, power, and the burdens of success, as well as political and socioeconomic context. Music writers interpreted the subject matter to concern the rappers’ plight as African Americans struggling with financial success in America.

Watch the Throne debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 436,000 copies its first week. It received generally positive reviews from music critics, who commended its production and the rappers’ performances, although some criticized its subject matter and cohesiveness. It was also one of the top-ranked albums in year-end lists by critics and publications and earned the duo seven Grammy Award nominations.

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Watch the Throne

Jay-Z & Kanye West

Side One

No Church in the Wild feat. Frank Ocean
Lift Off feat Beyonce
N*ggas in Paris
Otis feat Otis Redding
Gotta Have It
New Day

Side Two

That’s My Bitch
Welcome to the Jungle
Who’s Gon Stop Me
Murder to Excellence
Made in America feat. Frank Ocean
Why I Love You feat. Mr. Hudson

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