• Record Label: Def Jam
  • Release Date: Aug 12, 2011
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 294 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 22 out of 294

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  1. Feb 3, 2012
    8
    This was basically's Kanye's Album because Kanye West had the greatest lyrics and he **** on Jay-Z. Jay-Z got killed on his own song on Renegade, But Jay got killed on his own Album I Give this album a 8 only because of kanye's lyrics
  2. Feb 26, 2012
    8
    We waited and they came. A complete album in every way, kudos to Kanye and his production work with a few smudges, but congratulations to Jay-Z remains one of the best MC ever. I would not be wrong, but this work is the perfect mix between the last two works by these artists: "The Blueprint 3" and "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy". The sound of this album is phenomenal, you can hear thatWe waited and they came. A complete album in every way, kudos to Kanye and his production work with a few smudges, but congratulations to Jay-Z remains one of the best MC ever. I would not be wrong, but this work is the perfect mix between the last two works by these artists: "The Blueprint 3" and "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy". The sound of this album is phenomenal, you can hear that in tracks like "Otis" or "Ni *** s in Paris" that remain above all of international hits. But Mr. West isn't the only producer of this album, but there're also RZA, Q-Tip, Swizz Beatz and many others. Among the collaborations to remember there is certainly an emerging artist like Frank Ocean that "No Church in the Wild" and "Made in America" give vent to his talent. The best tracks of the album is definitely worth remembering "Welcome To The Jungle" produced by Swizz Beatz and HAM (only included in the bonus track). Maybe Watch The Throne pays dearly for the unique imperfections of this album: "Who Gon Stop Me" (track is too repetitive and boring to be like the other) and "Why I Love You" (kudos to Mr. Hudson for sure, but the song seems made just for commercial purposes). At the end of listening can be said that Watch The Throne is a classic, but at the same time an innovative work for 2011. Expand
  3. Feb 20, 2012
    6
    It nearly strikes where it should but this collaboration album does not take off far enough from ground covered by both artists to be considered anything more than an experiment. Sure there are standout tracks a plenty, but there is also a large amount of filler that renders this as more of a great B-Side compilation than anything else...
  4. Aug 25, 2011
    8
    One of the years best album. Jay Z and Kanye made an outstanding album. All songs on the album hS A GOOD beat and the lyrics to the songs are very good. Kanye made a another hit album in less than twelve months.
  5. Oct 27, 2011
    8
    Nice collaboration between Jay-Z and Kanye West. They need to do it again. Music production. All the tracks in this album, including the bonus tracks, go well with the album title. And of course, it when number 1. I'm a big fan of both men.
  6. Feb 8, 2012
    7
    While this is not my favorite album of 2011, this has got to be the most important album of 2011. Any album with Jay-z and Kanye will just be historic. And we got Otis and Ni**as In Paris out of it! The rest is pretty damn good too.
  7. Dec 19, 2011
    8
    When I was recommended to listen to this album I expected to not even finish listening to it to say the true, as I thought I didnâ
  8. Aug 12, 2011
    9
    Don't expect this to be a runaway classic like The Blueprint or My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. But you can however expect a damn good album. Clearly the Roc's best have really worked hard on the album from the production to the lyrics. "No Church in the Wild" was brilliant with an ominous Frank Ocean beat. "New Day" is an excellent RZA-constructed beat that sees the two emcees talk toDon't expect this to be a runaway classic like The Blueprint or My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. But you can however expect a damn good album. Clearly the Roc's best have really worked hard on the album from the production to the lyrics. "No Church in the Wild" was brilliant with an ominous Frank Ocean beat. "New Day" is an excellent RZA-constructed beat that sees the two emcees talk to their unborn children. And "Murder to Excellence" is a fine example of ambition to tie in two completely different beats together. Yet if there is a singular flaw that really holds the album from being a classic, it is that there is a clearly one-sided affair on who is the better lyricist. Kanye does come hard in places and then again goes more lax but Jay seems to always be twenty steps ahead of him. But at least if Jay owns the lyrical atmosphere than Ye obviously shines on the producer's chair. Overall, Watch the Throne lives well to its hype and then some. It's a mess yet an irresistibly beautiful one. 8.5/10 Expand
  9. Aug 22, 2011
    9
    Watch the Throne is probably not going to be liked by everybody. Jay Z and Kanye West took their talents to another level on this album. The productivity is amazing and the lyrics will come off as confusing if your used to the basic lyrics many other rappers been using lately. I found myself using Google and rapgenious a lot to figure out some of the lyrics to the album. To me the albumWatch the Throne is probably not going to be liked by everybody. Jay Z and Kanye West took their talents to another level on this album. The productivity is amazing and the lyrics will come off as confusing if your used to the basic lyrics many other rappers been using lately. I found myself using Google and rapgenious a lot to figure out some of the lyrics to the album. To me the album gets stronger and stronger after every track. "Lift off" ft Beyonce is the worst track on the album and one of the worst songs I've heard from either artist which is ashamed because Beyonce did her thing on the course and hook. A couple of the songs have Kanye and Jay Z exchanging verses back to back which really shows both of their strong sides. My favorite track has to be "Made in America" many people will not understand the verses, Jay Z's in particular. He's talking about making cocaine and using it as his survival in America. but Frank Ocean's sound makes the song. Overall the album is good, they experimented a lot, they both went to their classic ways on some tracks and really complimented each other. If you understand Jay Z and Kanye West's attitude, where they came from and what they are trying to create then you'll understand and like this album. Expand
  10. Aug 1, 2012
    8
    A really good rap album, brought down by a large amount of 'little things' that bothered me, like annoying interludes, songs that just randomly end, poor mixing. Jay-Z surprisingly outshines Kanye.

    Lift Off could have been amazing but Jay-Z's verse was meh, and Kanye's was... bad. The auto-tune didn't work out so well for the song. The songs I enjoyed more on the album are: No Church In
    A really good rap album, brought down by a large amount of 'little things' that bothered me, like annoying interludes, songs that just randomly end, poor mixing. Jay-Z surprisingly outshines Kanye.

    Lift Off could have been amazing but Jay-Z's verse was meh, and Kanye's was... bad. The auto-tune didn't work out so well for the song. The songs I enjoyed more on the album are: No Church In The Wild, Lift Off, Otis, Who Gon Stop Me, Murder To Excellence, & Why I Love You.

    Get The Deluxe: Illest M Alive, HAM and The Joy are all great.
    Expand
  11. Aug 23, 2011
    7
    Not fantastic like Ye's last album, but still a solid piece of work. Maybe the hype was so big, and the actual product just didn't live up to it this time. It's still going to be one of the best of the year in hip hop this year, but it's been a down year I think.
  12. Feb 16, 2013
    6
    When Kanye West Jay-Z dropped Watch The Throne, everybody went over it. Everybody wanted to either jump for joy, or shake their head in dissapointment. As for me, I liked it, for the most part. The good far outweigh the bad but it's nothing I'd say is amazing. As far as lyrical battle, who needs a lyrical battle? We're too rich for that Instead, it's pretty much a celebration of theWhen Kanye West Jay-Z dropped Watch The Throne, everybody went over it. Everybody wanted to either jump for joy, or shake their head in dissapointment. As for me, I liked it, for the most part. The good far outweigh the bad but it's nothing I'd say is amazing. As far as lyrical battle, who needs a lyrical battle? We're too rich for that Instead, it's pretty much a celebration of the neverending success of Kanye Jay. If you like that, then this is for you. If you don't, well...you know. There is nothing wrong with Kanye West Jay-Z rapping about their success as long as it's done well. In Paris Gotta Have It are perfect examples of that. No Church In The Wild is a banger. And occasionailly you'll get something substantial from them like on the song New Day where they talk about their future childs and how they don't want them to be part of the lifestyle they live(d) in. On the song Murder To Excellence, they go from talking about black on black violence to black excellence. The production on that song is so epic, it could fit in a movie trailer. Why I Love You is an even more epic tale of paranoia and betrayal. The song The Joy (while it's old) is a song where Kanye gives his best verses on the album Jay gives an ode to his mom over a classic Pete Rock beat. Songs like these keep me interested, but then songs like Lift Off and Who Gon Stop Me make me uninvested. Made In America is so boring and lifeless, not even a Frank Ocean chorus could save it. But still, overall this was a good but not great project. Expand
  13. Oct 7, 2011
    6
    It's definitely a grower. Sounds decent, but only after a dozen of listens. It's better than Jay's 'Blueprint 3', buy it doesn't sound as good as Kanye's 'My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy'. But that doesn't mean it's a bad album and that doesn't mean it's a good album either. Jay-z's flow is slow and that's the thing that's bothering me. I think that critics overreacted a little bit.
  14. Jan 6, 2012
    7
    As overhyped as it is, Watch the Throne turns out to be a good effort by two amazing MCs. THe production is beyond superb -- but the rapping isn't as up to par as we've come to expect.
  15. Aug 14, 2011
    10
    Whether it's a collabo or appearances, Jay-Z and Kanye West did exactly what they said about "Watch the Throne" and they did it. It's a phenomenal album you gotta hear this. My favorite track that I got on my Ipod right now is "OTIS" which is referring to the late Otis Redding, one of the greatest blues and R&B singers since B.B. King and Ray Charles. With its hard-hitting lyrics andWhether it's a collabo or appearances, Jay-Z and Kanye West did exactly what they said about "Watch the Throne" and they did it. It's a phenomenal album you gotta hear this. My favorite track that I got on my Ipod right now is "OTIS" which is referring to the late Otis Redding, one of the greatest blues and R&B singers since B.B. King and Ray Charles. With its hard-hitting lyrics and rhythm-based tunes, this is the best Jay-Z album since The Blueprint and Reasonable Doubt. Go pick this up, I'm serious. Expand
  16. Mar 28, 2012
    9
    Well made album. Jay-Z and Kanye really have outdone themselves with this one. Every song comes with snappy lyrics and catchy choruses. I wouldn't cal it a masterpiece but by far the best album of the year.
  17. Apr 19, 2012
    8
    A ridiculous amount of hype, but nevertheless this album delivers! It's a privilege of our time to capture both these rappers at their absolute prime. The only thing missing is a political message. Hip hop is at its most powerful when delivered from the bottom up... to summarise, there's a few to many Benz references to fit as a true counterculture classic. It can't remove from the sheerA ridiculous amount of hype, but nevertheless this album delivers! It's a privilege of our time to capture both these rappers at their absolute prime. The only thing missing is a political message. Hip hop is at its most powerful when delivered from the bottom up... to summarise, there's a few to many Benz references to fit as a true counterculture classic. It can't remove from the sheer delight of listening to the reigning kings of the genre, though... Oh and it also skips the awful habit hip hop albums have of sticking 20 odd tracks of filler on the disc. Who needs that when you can have this distilled masterclass? Expand
  18. Feb 6, 2012
    9
    I enjoyed this album. For the people who listen to the overly auto-tuned lil Wayne. This is what real hip-hop sounds like. Key tracks include Otis,No Church in the Wild and the all epic if censor upsetting "Niggas in Paris". if your a fan of with Jay-Z, Kanye West or both. this album is defiantly for you!
  19. Jul 15, 2012
    0
    Is this what rap has come too?!?!? REALLY GUYS!?!?! lolololo rap is so so so dead! This album is a dissapointment to anyone who's grown up with real rap! Im talking old skool rap when rap was real, relavent, and meaningfull. Take the $11.99 you were going to buy this album with and buy some lotion, some socks, or a remote lololololol just ANYTHING but this album!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  20. Jul 19, 2012
    7
    Sure, it's neither Jay-Z's nor Kanye's strongest album, but perhaps the best thing about Watch the Throne is even after having the unfortunate job of following an album as incredible and critically adored as My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, it doesn't have to be. It's a quick album, and by that I mean one where the boundary-shattering ambition and perfectionism seen in a few of theirSure, it's neither Jay-Z's nor Kanye's strongest album, but perhaps the best thing about Watch the Throne is even after having the unfortunate job of following an album as incredible and critically adored as My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, it doesn't have to be. It's a quick album, and by that I mean one where the boundary-shattering ambition and perfectionism seen in a few of their past albums is put second to catchy songwriting and above all, you know, just having fun. This is evident from lead singe "Otis": here, Jay and 'Ye exchange verses over a ludicrously expensive sample of Otis Redding's "Try a Little Tenderness" to make an egoistic little snippet of colourful pop (and one of the few rap songs a friend of mine will tolerate!) Elsewhere, layers of Logic synthesised brass underlay one of the most strikingly energetic vocal performances Beyoncé has ever recorded in "Lift Off," the oddly catchy hook "sweet Jesus, sweet baby Jesus" accompanies euphoric synths, piano and rap verses in "Made in America," and dramatic strings empower closer "Why I Love You," which sits among the best tracks on the record. Sure, the album has its missteps: the beat that kicks off "New Day" sounds awkward and meandering, for example, but for the most part Watch the Throne is as luxurious and gold-studded a listen as its ridiculous album art. Recommended for all fans of either rapper, or anyone looking for a place to start exploring hip-hop. Expand
  21. Aug 15, 2011
    9
    Fantastic album. Musically, it feels like an extension of the new, less soul-music reliant, production style that Kanye West perfected on MBDTF. I'm normally not a fan of Jay-Z, but his talents are well utilized throughout the album, and I found myself enjoying some of his verses more than West's. Most of the tracks maintain a consistently high level of quality. My only gripes lie withFantastic album. Musically, it feels like an extension of the new, less soul-music reliant, production style that Kanye West perfected on MBDTF. I'm normally not a fan of Jay-Z, but his talents are well utilized throughout the album, and I found myself enjoying some of his verses more than West's. Most of the tracks maintain a consistently high level of quality. My only gripes lie with two songs, "Lift Off," and "Made in America," both of which feel forced and ruin the stylistic cohesion found throughout the rest of the album. My top song picks so far include, "N*ggas in Paris," "That's My B*tch," "Gotta Have It," and "Who Gon Stop Me." Highly Recommended. Expand
  22. Sep 11, 2011
    8
    It was one of the greatest albums of 2011, but quite overrated to say the least. Needless to say, not one bad track, but the hype was a little too much. Jay Z and Kanye rule the throne together with an amazing album.
  23. Dec 10, 2011
    8
    Okay, I was skeptical of this album at first. Boy was I wrong! Best Tracks: Ni**as in Paris 9.5/10, Otis 8/10, Made it in America 9.5/10, Welcome to the Jungle 9/10, Lift off 8/10, H.a.m. 7.9/10, No Church in the Wild, 8.3/10
  24. Aug 29, 2011
    8
    Jay-Z and Ye are incredible rappers, and it only makes sense for them to make an album together. Kanye is a genius in the rap game, and Jay-Z is so versatile, anything can happen. It's edgy and new, something that many people should enjoy.
  25. Sep 29, 2011
    7
    This album is okay actually, not a big fan of Jay-z at all but, the only interest in the album and what actually kept it alive was Kanye's collaborations to the album and other featured artist such as Frank Ocean and the production part(beats) in the release. Jay-z is one of the weakest in the game when it comes to lyrics, or as he would say "LUXURY RAP" but that is'nt what makes hip-hop.
  26. Nov 8, 2011
    9
    Watch the throne is one of the biggest Hip-Hop albums of the year having some really good guest spots great production and rhyming. With songs Like N****s in Paris, Otis, No Church In The Wild, Gotta Have It, Who Gon Stop Me, Made In America & Why I Love You. Making it a classic by two of the best rappers of all time Kanye West And Jay-Z many people has said Tha Carter IV is a way moreWatch the throne is one of the biggest Hip-Hop albums of the year having some really good guest spots great production and rhyming. With songs Like N****s in Paris, Otis, No Church In The Wild, Gotta Have It, Who Gon Stop Me, Made In America & Why I Love You. Making it a classic by two of the best rappers of all time Kanye West And Jay-Z many people has said Tha Carter IV is a way more better album just because it sold more than Watch The Throne, the sales number don't matter, Lil Wayne Sold cause of a fan base that really waited for the album (Even i waited) but it's not worth the wait, people expected something better and sometimes the best albums are the ones that don't sale the most, in this case Watch the throne even doe it's not the best album of all time it's one of the best of the year, leaving us all with more to wait from Jay-z, Kanye West or the both together. Expand
  27. Dec 12, 2011
    6
    Perhaps I was expecting too much, but the majority of Watch the Throne comes across as a lot less than the sum of its parts. Jay-Z has some of his least impressive rap moments, and is surprisingly upstaged by Kanye a little too much. Of course, there are moments on this album that are highlights in recent music for me, including the beginning and the end of the album ("No Church in thePerhaps I was expecting too much, but the majority of Watch the Throne comes across as a lot less than the sum of its parts. Jay-Z has some of his least impressive rap moments, and is surprisingly upstaged by Kanye a little too much. Of course, there are moments on this album that are highlights in recent music for me, including the beginning and the end of the album ("No Church in the Wild" and "Made it in America"), and probably one of the best songs of the year, "Otis". I just wish more of the album could be like "Otis". If this were released as an EP with the 5 best songs on it, I'd have given it a 10. Expand
  28. Aug 20, 2012
    9
    I'm neither a Kanye fan nor a Jay-Z fan, but I appreciate that these guys "act their age" instead of pandering to 14-year olds like so many of their peers. "Throne" is reminiscent of early-'90s R&B/Rap, which was truly the golden age of hip hop. No over-produced assembly line crap, just clever (mostly) lyrics over energetic, funky beats. Highlights include "No Church in the Wild",I'm neither a Kanye fan nor a Jay-Z fan, but I appreciate that these guys "act their age" instead of pandering to 14-year olds like so many of their peers. "Throne" is reminiscent of early-'90s R&B/Rap, which was truly the golden age of hip hop. No over-produced assembly line crap, just clever (mostly) lyrics over energetic, funky beats. Highlights include "No Church in the Wild", "That's My **** "Murder to Excellence" and "Niggas in Paris". Expand
  29. Mar 2, 2013
    8
    Not normally into rap, but this is great. Highlights are: No Church In The Wild, Lift Off, Nigg*s In Paris, Otis, and Who Gon' Stop Me.
  30. Sep 15, 2011
    0
    one of the worst albums of the year. you have to be mentally unstable to listen to this album. the chemistry between kanye and jayz is pathetic and poor. A total disgrace to hip hop. come on, Is 'OTIS' a song ? worst song ever. and in whole worst album ever !!!
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 42 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 42
  2. Negative: 0 out of 42
  1. Nov 11, 2011
    80
    They turn out to be pretty good influences on one another. Jay sounds generally reinvigorated: good-humored, full of nimble, intricate wit and atypically emotionally revealing, and if Kanye's rhymes occasionally remain as clumsy and crass as his personal life choices, he drops far fewer boners than usual. [#81, p. 56]
  2. Sep 21, 2011
    80
    Hip hop heavy weights stop squabbling for long enough to justify their star billing. [Oct 2011, p.116]
  3. Sep 12, 2011
    67
    That Jay and 'Ye have the courtesy to stop rapping about their money and start attacking real issues--black-on-black crime in "Murder to Excellence," raising children on "New Day"--is icing on a very expensive cake.