“WATCH THE THRONE”
Remains a strong installment and arguably the best album of this decade, and has aged gracefully into classic status. There’s also a special bond you feel when listening to the album that run’s deep. Two friends and longtime collaborators, both of whom can look back on truly legendary discographies, operating in free creative space to produce their best work.
On the album’s eighth birthday we’re gonna honor it by ranking some of the albums best song cuts with illustration from RapGenius.com
10. New Day
“Produced by Kanye West and RZA, this song samples Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good”. It is an uncharacteristically personal and emotional song from Jay Z, in which both rappers speak to their unborn sons in a manner reminiscent of 2Pac’s “Letter To My Unborn Child”. Both have since had daughters.”
9. Why I Love You
“Why I Love You” is the closing song of Watch the Throne. It deals with betrayal and the question of how you can keep admiring someone despite what they do to you.”
8. Gotta Have It
“A lecture on success, money, the desire to get them both; and how you deal with those who try to take them from you. The song is one of many on Watch The Throne that addresses black-on-black violence, and has strong overtones of black empowerment – as mirrored in the heavy use of James Brown samples.”
7. Made it in America
“Originally titled ‘Sweet Baby Jesus,’ here we have Kanye, Jay, and R&B crooner Frank Ocean collaborating on a number that sums up the superstars’ feelings about black history, America, Jesus, and revisiting their respective rises to fame.”
6. The Joy
“In this final bonus track off Watch the Throne (originally released nearly a year earlier as a G.O.O.D. Friday entry), Kanye and Jay reminisce about the good old days of contraception, obscure ‘60s movies and the Virgin Mary”
5. No Church in the Wild
“”No Church in the Wild” is an existential renunciation of traditional, organized religious worship.”
4. Welcome To The Jungle
“this track finds Hov lamenting on personal losses and overcoming struggles. Exploring issues of celebrity and the struggles of fame”
3. Who Gon Stop Me
“This song off 2011’s Watch The Throne is one of the more memorable from that album: a propulsive synth-driven beat meets some of the best lines on the album.”
2. N***as in Paris
“This song gains thematic weight from the long, rich history of African-Americans in Paris and the rest of France, dating back to the early nineteenth century. Paris has historically been a place where black artists could go to escape vicious racism and gain the appreciation denied them in their homeland.”
1. Murder to Excellence
“Murder To Excellence” is the thematic centerpiece of Watch The Throne. The song, like the album, contains lyrical expressions of the spectrum of black experience and blackness in contemporary American society.
The song consists of two parts that discuss two movements. “Murder” speaks about how the cycles of poverty and violence between black communities that many African-Americans find it difficult to escape and how they should learn to love each other and unite to fight greater purposes like racism and unfair police treatment.
“Excellence” treats a more positive subject. Despite all odds, some African-Americans have escaped the stereotypical “ghetto” and risen to become a new American elite. Jay and Kanye are examples of this. Gradually but surely, the experience of blackness in America is improving in a big way.”
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