Skip to main content

Are We Gazing At The Throne?

When I was younger, like all younger-to-older generations, there was always a feeling that my elders never quite understood the music of my generation. This was especially the case for Hip-Hop. I always enjoyed the the attitude, the passion, the beats, the hooks, and of course, being the constant blogger and lover of words, expression and opinion, the lyrics. Especially, the lyrics. Because of those characteristics, I grew to enjoy Jay-Z's music over the years. It's the same reason I liked College Dropout, Kanye West's first album, which was full of passion and hunger to prove he was just as much of a rapper as he was a producer.

However, as the hip-hop industry evolves, it seems the style of hip-hop that I grew up with is fading away. I feel as if I am now turning into the elder generation that I never quite understood. Because honestly, I don't quite understand the music of today.
However, with the release of Watch The Throne this past week featuring a collaborative effort from Jay-Z and Kanye West, I thought maybe this album was a platform I can hang my "fading preferences" hot on.

Unfortunately, unlike the majority opinion, Watch The Throne was...okay.

What?

Yes, let me confirm, Watch The Throne was okay. 

I personally believe that Watch The Throne should be renamed "Gazing At The Throne", as the sheer name value of Jay-Z and Kanye has skewed it's true review by many. It seems the general consensus is looking at WTT with same hazy glasses that caused Rolling Stones magazine to call Kanye's last Album, My beautiful Dark Twisted Fatasy, one of the best of all time. Really?

Now, I'm not going to get up on a soap box and preach and rant on "what music should be". After all, music is subjective, and that is the way it should, and always will be.

Nonetheless, in my opinion, after hearing it for the first time, it felt uninspired. Maybe it will grow on me as I listen to it more and more. However, upon initial experience, it lacked the factor that other great albums have.

"Made In America" is a track which had that storytelling, content and substance that I love in hip hop. The same characteristics that Jay-Z albums usually have. Made In America is the kind of track I wish was more prevelant on the album. And "Murder Excellence", which although has a controversial tribute to Danroy Henry, does have a focused direction that can be respected.

And of course, there are moments throughout the album where both Kanye and Jay let us in on personal matters, such as Jay speaking to his unborn child:

"Sorry junior, I already ruined ya / 'Cause you ain't even alive, paparazzi pursuin' ya"

And yes, even Kanye opened up with his constant battle with fame and fortune.

However, that is where the "amazing" on this album ends. The majority of WTT is filled with constant references to the wealth and lifestyles that both men lead, as well as more meaningless fodder, swearing, and obscene comments meant for the shock value that today's culture seems to love.

And while the production end was phenomenal, as we expected, many of the songs evoke no emotion and no thrill. It felt like nothing other than a great beat, and a few lines from Jay-Z and Kanye.

It's JayZ. It's Kanye West. The beats sound good. A couple of metaphors. And of course, you need to have the explicit lyrics to make it sound "hard".

And oh yes, it's Jay-Z and Kanye West!

Unfortunately, this is where I believe most people end up "Gazing at the Throne".

I personally was left unimpressed and unmoved. Maybe I will go as far as saying I was disappointed.

I just hope that with the brand and credibility both have amounted, that this isn't what we have to look forward to.

A C+ effort stamped and endorsed by an A+ name.

Recently Read Posts

Impact Wrestling Emergence 2022 Review: "...Just Solid - So Freakin' Solid."

It probably won't come as a shock to anyone who follows this blog that I will say the following statement: Impact Wrestling may just be the most consistently entertaining and fresh - very important adjective here! - wrestling product that I've engaged with over the past two years. It's just always there, as solid as it can be. No real highs, or lows that push me away as a fan - just good, consistent, thorough, solid pro wrestling enjoyment.  Now, make no mistake about it, over the past summer, I found myself a whopping thirteen weeks behind this solid product in favor of the still new (and intriguing) AEW product and my on-again-off-again hope in the WWE due to nostalgia. However, trusty-work-from-home days have allowed me to binge watch (and work, of course) and it certainly opened my eyes to a new experience when it came to wrestling. Removal from the episodic style habit, and the feel of episodes bridging together seamlessly.  Also, remove from the internet culture of we

5 Thoughts on Pujols Hitting 700

It almost feels like the negative vitriol that surrounded Major League Baseball and its labor issues have dissipated into an air of forgetfulness and forgiveness. A season that has brought us old-school lore with the chasing of historical numbers by way of Aaron Judge and Albert Pujols, and the likes of a modern-day Babe Ruth, in another dominant season by Shohei Ohtani, would ultimately do that. Sprinkle in some amazing rookies on the rise, and all of sudden it's, what did I say about baseball's treatment of fans? It's been some season... In this post, I want to focus on Albert Pujols...the "King", the "Machine", one of the greatest ever. After hitting a historic 700th Home Run ( by the way, I definitely predicted that back in March  - just humble-bragging a bit), I wanted to drop five (fitting, yeah?) thoughts on Albert Pujols:  GREATEST EVER?! - Pujols' career often feels like the Angels' years were some sort of nightmare or a bad edition in a

Would You Rather: Questions 81-90

81. Would you rather be 4'5" or 7'7"? I would prefer to be 7'7". On this weird spectrum, I'm already used to being taller than the average person. I can deal with the extreme height. It'll be nice to play some pick up basketball.  82. Would you rather be tall and fat, or short and well built? Tall and fat. I can always lose the weight. Plus, short and jacked dudes often have to fight the stigma of being jerks on first appearance.  83. Would you rather be poor and work at a job you love, or rich and a job you hate? Poor and work at a job you love. Take it from someone who has their dream job, the sense of purpose and peace of mind is indeed worth much. 

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 9/25/22

3  Up 1. Albert Pujols - 700 homeruns is insane. Even through a generation of steroids, the number is incredibly exclusive (sans, you know, Bonds). So much props to Pujols who literally puts himself in some rarified discussions among the game's greatest.  Here are some quick thoughts from yours truly on Pujols hitting 700 .  2. PATHFINDER - The fight against cancer just got a smidge better. GRAIL announced results from their PATHFINDER study that may have found ways to provide early detection screening to significantly enhance the discovery of cancer well before symptoms begin.  I accidentally ran into this story - why isn't this more headline news? SMH.  3. Pandemic Over? - The World Health Organization (remember them, before everyone suddenly became public health experts) described COVID as an "acute global emergency". Going even further, announced that 20M global deaths were avoided last year due to vaccines. Just outright amazing.  3 Down 1. Brett Favre - No resp