Watch the Throne - Kanye West
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 291 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 22 out of 291

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  1. 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.
  2. 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 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
  3. Aug 12, 2011
    9
    Watch The Throne is just as, if not more experimental than Kanye's "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy," but in the end doesn't sound as polished or fleshed out musically. This is a very good album, but it's not going to be something that everyone can enjoy. I did enjoy it, and I feel it has some very clear amazing stand-out tracks, such as Murder to Excellence. The epic, castle-music feel that they were going for is captured in their attempts more often than not while the balance of grandiose rhyming on their own status and lifestyle is also complimented by awareness of black culture and where they individually came from. If you complain about the subject matter of this album, you are not listening close enough.

    The low point of the album is Lift Off, which is too long to be an intro, but also too little on relevant vocals to be considered a real song. It just goes nowhere and feels underwhelming. If you are a fan of either Kanye West or Jay-Z then you will likely not be disappointed with this album. It feels like a very clear love/hate type of project. There isn't a cohesive feel or atmosphere that the album has other than attempting to deliver it's tracks to the listener on an epic scale, which works. It gives Watch The Throne a level of versatility that will be another double-edged sword in how it is perceived. No two people will have the same favorite songs on this album. Perhaps greater than a collaboration this monumental though, is that the album is constantly taking chances and never plays it safe. That alone is worth more than a majority of what mainstream music has to offer. I wish I could give it an 8.5 but I can't, so I rounded up to a 9. At the very least, Watch The Throne is an album all music fans should check out. It is Kanye and Jay-Z trying to push themselves, each other, and hip hop to another level. It doesn't work so smoothly all the time, but there will be something for everyone to enjoy.
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  4. Aug 30, 2011
    10
    this album is one of the best collabo albums. but not one of the greatest, i've been waiting for the album for a long time, but it didnt really live up to my expectations...however its a good album, but not on Ye's or Jigga's level. and i agree with some people who's saying that jay pulled the album down. Ye always sounds better, with better melody, rhymes n message in the songs...jay kinda pulled it down. and all-in-all a good album.

    Fav. Songs: No Church in the Wild, New Day, Why I Love You, Made in America, Illest **** Alive, Murder to Excellence
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  5. 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.
  6. Aug 21, 2011
    9
    Typical example of how metacritic scores may not perfectly reflect an album's quality relative to others. Because the two artists are polarizing figures - due mostly to their personalities - this tends to bring the average down. But to suggest that Watch the Throne is a worse album than Kanye's Graduation or 808's is to listen to music with your brain instead of your ears... Graduation is boring and uninspired by Kanye standards and 808's, while the kind of influential album that often gains standing as years go by, only has about 4 good songs in it. This on the other hand is what you'd call a killer album. It's fun, eclectic, creative, and just a fantastic listen from start to finish. The production, in particular - the one aspect that makes the album, and yet the one that's taken for granted by most critics - manages to combine innovation and a sense of immediacy in an almost Beatles-esque way. Granted, the lyrics aren't up to par with the greatest rappers out there, but then again, neither Kanye nor Jay have ever been close to being superior lyricists and storytellers. They're pop stars, you listen to what they do for the music, perhaps for the charisma as well, but certainly not for social commentary.
    I predict that with hindsight, this album and its baroque stadium hip-hop will pop up in a lot of "best of" lists in years to come. Sociopolitical context changes all the time, but in 20 years Watch the Throne will still sound great, and will be remembered more than many albums with a higher score because as always, everyone will end up copying it.
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  7. 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.
  8. Sep 8, 2011
    9
    I can remeber listening to this for the 1st time, and i was literally shaking. couldn't contain myself. Jay & Ye' came through on this one. Thoroughly enjoyed it, from beginning to end. They are the best rappers alive, always pushing the envelope, unlike some "little" rappers out there. Woulda given it a 10, but MBDTF was a 10 and i know this isn't as good, so i'm a give it a 9.
  9. 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.
  10. Sep 6, 2011
    7
    Its okay. Could have been better and they also left out some songs that where originally planned . Disappointing. But the some songs blew me away. Good album
  11. Aug 14, 2011
    9
    Great album, just had way too much hype around it. Anything with as much hype as this album cannot live up to the expectations. It's as simple as that. If you just randomly happened to stumble upon Watch The Throne without ever hearing about it before you would think it was an amazing album, but with all the hype around it it just slightly fails to live up to expectations.
  12. 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.
  13. Aug 31, 2011
    5
    Most of Jay's verses don't deliver, and I expected better beats, to be honest. I don't know why Jay and Kanye think anyone cares about how much 'swag' they have, but they must have a lot of it--they mention it on every track.
    Kanye's verses on Murder Excellence and New Day are small bits of redemption, it provides some real substance in his music even though more is needed.
    All in all,
    it is a pretty negative album. Watch the Throne continues the downward trend in the quality of Kanye's work and a similar trend in lack of interesting themes in Jay's work (like we heard on American Gangster, The Black Album, et al).
    It should hold longtime fans (like myself) over; especially those who are craving more Kanye or Jay-Z. Ultimately left me pretty disappointed.
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  14. 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 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
  15. Aug 27, 2011
    4
    I'm not a fan of the "I'm so rich and powerful" lyrics that spew from even the most self proclaimed greatest rappers alive. JAy Z is a great artist and Kanye West is a great producer. But together they managed to put out a boring, fart of the mouth with lyrics that mimic any rapper out there today. In short this album is not very good.
  16. Aug 13, 2011
    9
    i would give it a 10 but "lift off" is such a TERRIBLE song. not even kanye and jays verses could save it. other than that this album is an absolute masterpiece!!!!
  17. Aug 30, 2011
    8
    It's not perfect, but it's better than good. There's just a good trade-off between Kanye's bravado and Jay's flow that's all over the album, and everything is very well produced. Just a good album--hopefully, they'll make another one, too.
  18. Aug 12, 2011
    6
    So....The long anticipated, excessively hyped WTT from rap duos(Ye and Jay) is finally out....Here is a quick review.
    Is WTT a classic ? No. A near classic ? No
    A Game Changer? No
    A Good Album ? Just a recommendation.
    Jay And Ye, Are they good duos? No, they inspire nothing out of each other.
    Are they good solo rappers ? Yes, Yes and Yes.
  19. 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 !!!
  20. Aug 12, 2011
    9
    Couldve replaced the "Lex Luger" style beats on some songs with better, "Kanye-like" beats, but overall the lyrics were great, the sound was great, and it didn't let me down at all. I plan on bumpin this album for a while.
  21. Aug 15, 2011
    0
    Had to give it a bad rating because of all the overhype this album is getting, when in reality it comes off to me as overproduced and rushed commercialization. there are flashes of greatness, teases of what we could have had from this project, but in the end it just doesn't mesh. the overall message of this album was opulence when hip hops fans were begging for something a little deeper. New Day is by far the best song on the album and its a small taste of what the album could have been. Expand
  22. 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 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
  23. Aug 23, 2011
    9
    Definitely not the album that I was expecting, and it proves to be for the better. There is plenty of experimentation going on throughout the album, and both Jay-Z and Kanye throw down some pretty impressive rhymes. The production is sick, and the record is loaded with amazing samples and singing parts. "Niggas In Paris" and "Gotta Have It" are shining proof that this album is an instant classic. Now THAT, we knew it would be. Expand
  24. Jan 3, 2012
    10
    If you ask me Watch the Throne is 100.000.000 gallons of tons better than west coast rap...Jay & Kanye are taking over in this one. This is a must-listen album.Totally original but i dont think everyone can enjoy it because this is one next generation album.
  25. Aug 12, 2011
    9
    I can't take other rap and hip-hop seriously after listening to this. It's just amateur. Kanye and Jay know what they are doing. On a 12-track album, only 1 falls short, "Lift Off" featuring Beyonce just isn't good music, it's radio music, a single. But that doesn't hurt an album that soars so far with it's other songs. If you want to hear the best of this album, look at "Murder to Excellence", "New Day", "Gotta Have It", "Why I Love You", "Otis", "That's My B*tch", "Ni**as in Paris", "Who Gon Stop Me", "Made In America", "No Church In The Wild", and "Welcome To The Jungle." That's right, I just listed every other song, that's because this album is ridiculous. A must-buy. Expand
  26. 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 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
  27. Aug 12, 2011
    9
    This album was extremely hyped and I was sure that it was going to be a let down, but I was wrong.
    The album starts off on a very solid foot, thanks to a solid hook by Frank Ocean and a couple of nice verses from Ye and Jay on "No Church in the Wild". That track is followed up by the worst song on the album, "Lift Off" featuring Beyonce. There are a couple of bad and uninspired verses and
    a big booming beat with Beyonce doing her thing on the chorus, however the song is a real snoozer.
    Once you get past Lift Off the album really takes off. Track 3, "N!gg@s in Paris" goes hard in the paint. Track 5, "Gotta Have It", is a really inspired Neptunes beat. The best beat I've heard from them in a while. Track 6, "New Day", is produced by RZA and is a very deep moment for the album, because Jay and Ye are both rapping to their newborn sons. It's a good switch up.
    Tracks 8 and 9, "Who Gon Stop Me" and "Murder to Excellence", respectively, are two of the album highlights for me. "Who Gon Stop Me" is just a straight bragging track over a great beat, that switches up midway through the song.
    "Murder to Excellence" is another song that has its beat switch up midway through. However, this is because there are two different themes in this song. The first half is about black on black murder and the second half is about black excellence. It is a very deep song with a great beat.
    The track that follows this up is "Made in America". Another song that features Frank Ocean and not a particular favorite of mine, due to the soft beat and cheesy chorus, however Ye and Jay both have decent verses on this song.
    The album ends on a real high note with "Why I Love You", featuring both a sample and Mr. Hudson singing that sample on the chorus. This is a Jay-Z dominated track, and he is rapping about people that he has stuck up for in the past but didn't fulfill their end of the bargain. Namely Dame Dash and Beanie Sigel, rapping "I tried to teach ni**as how to be kings / And all they ever wanted to be was soldiers". it is a very good song to end the album on. Bonus Tracks:
    This album comes with 4 bonus tracks on the deluxe version and 3 of them are very good. The first, "Illest MoFo Alive", is another just straight braggadocios over a banging beat.
    The second, "Primetime", has a great beat from No I.D. and starts out with this great line from Jay-Z "Primetime, beat by Dion". Obviously when you think of Primetime, you think of Deion Sanders but he is also giving a shout-out to No I.D. right there. Dion turned around.
    The third, "The Joy" features a sample from Curtis Mayfield and has a great verse from Kanye on it. I didn't mention HAM or Otis, because I'm guessing you have all heard those and have your own opinions on them. I love Otis, and am kinda meh on HAM.

    Overall, this is a great album but it is kind of a grower. This is one of those albums that you can pick up something different and interesting on every listen. It takes 3 or 4 listens before you can truly appreciate it and I highly recommend it.
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  28. Aug 12, 2011
    10
    On of the most hyped hip-hop albums of the decade has finally arrived. Does it deliver? Yes, yes it does. Great tracks like "Murder to Excellence", "Who Gon Stop Me", "Welcome to the Jungle" and "Niggas in Paris" are surely to become fan favourite. However, there are hidden gems, like "Made in America" feat. Frank Ocean, "Why I Love You" feat. Mr. Hudson and, by far the deepest song on the album, "New Day", in which Kanye and Jay address their sons, asking them for forgiveness for putting the weight of the celebrity world on their shoulders. The production is another level, just like My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, simply amazing. Kanye is the greatest producer of this decade, and in my humble opinion, of all time. His ego is only out done by the amazing level of commitment he puts in his production. The small detail that you catch from time to time never cease to amaze. Jay puts one of his finest verses in this album, and shows his amazing lyrical talent. All in all, an amazing album, done by two of hip-hops biggest diamonds right now. Expand
  29. Aug 13, 2011
    9
    First and foremost, this album delivers. Oh boy, does it deliver. I have spent some time reading all the reviews from the critics and I have noticed something. Something only a great album could do. I have noticed that all the critics have their different picks for the best song on the album, generally praising all of the songs, well, maybe except "Lift Off", which is really weak. Every critic has a different favourite, while reading reviews for other albums you would find that the critics generally agree on one song being the standout. This is not the case with WTT.. I have seen critics praising "No Church in the Wild", praising "New Day", etc. What I will do, I will praise all of them. From "Otis" which is built on a great, albeit simple, sample of "Try a Little Tenderness", to "Made in America" in which Ye and Jay address their past lives before becoming the leading forces of, I would argue not only hip-hop, but also the music scene as a whole. Kanye's production is beautiful, you will always notice a new, small detail in every song that you haven't noticed before. Jay's lyrics are strong and he steps up as the leading force lyric-wise on this album. Believe when I say that I had high expectations from this album, and am I thrilled to say that it delivers. Great album! Expand
  30. Aug 13, 2011
    10
    This isnt a bad album, its good but instead of sounding like a collaboration it feels more like two prominent hip hop artists too worried about telling each other that what each of them was doing wasnt exactly clicking.
  31. Aug 14, 2011
    1
    The most disappointing album ever,this album was way over hyped and it didn't live up to its expectations,I'll even go further and say this is the worse Kanye album ever,this album had some much potential but in my opinion Jay-Z ruined it.
  32. Aug 15, 2011
    5
    I wanted to like this album, I really did. I am the type of person that hears an album more than once before I give it my judgement. To me this album sounds like a mixtape a shoddy one at best. It feels like they are saying what they want and how they want to say it because at this point in their career they very well can, and the sad part is that it will sell regardless. Jay Z and Kanye West at this point are brand names. Here is my problem with this project of there's. For one it feels like they really did not put too much effort into their lyrics even though on one song they have about 6 writers. Jay Z became famous in a time where a rapper was a rapper and a producer was a producer. To this day he has not had to evolve like many younger artist who now do both or some even sing. This makes me question his input and his overall care for the album. Essentially, he sat down on each track and wrote one verse (along with the 6 other people in the studio with him). Kanye on the other hand comes off as someone who is trying to hard. He had his hands in this project and nearly every aspect of it which makes him in a sense the front man. Where he falls flat through is in his lyrics. You can hear it in his tone and in his lyrics that he is essentially competing with Jay Z. The sad part is when you realize that even when Jay Z is not trying Kanye could still not top him. To address the idea of competition, Nearly every song on the album has them going one verse each and both being separated by long choruses and temporary gaps of instrumental. This is heard right of the back in the intro track "No Church In The Wild". The beauty of the album is in the instrumentals themselves and the hooks (sounds like i'm talking about pop music right?). The score would be so much lower if it were not for the wonderful work that is put into the beats by everyone including Kanye. The choruses with some more stellar than others are also something to hear especially over the beats that are essentially experimental, but work in a very fluent way. This was there moment to show everyone why you should really Watch The Throne, but either due to arrogance, ego, or just laziness, the album falls short of great and to be honest when an album like this comes out where two rappers meet one needs to make the comparison to past similar projects.

    Bad Meets Evil, Black star, Blackout, and so forth.

    When you really hear those albums and then compare it to this one, it really ranks quite low.
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  33. Aug 16, 2011
    10
    Best album of this year.. so it deserves a ten. No other album compares to the swag this album explores. Kanye really just stepped up and dropped an album that sounds like it has many hit on it.. expect to see them climb to the top of the charts.
  34. Aug 16, 2011
    10
    This is incredible album jay z & kanye west did a masterpiece. My favorite tracks are no church gotta have it, n in paris,otis, ham,lift up,who gon stop me,murder to excellence,joy,prime time and ham. Don't waste your time with the reguler version do yourself a favor get the deluxe trust me its worth it. Kanye is differently the producer of year with this and dark fantasy. I go further and say artist of the year. This best duo of songs put together since the great outkast bless us the speakerbox and love below masterpiece. Thanks for no leaks Expand
  35. Aug 17, 2011
    9
    Watch the Throne is a classic album it makes other rappers have to step there game up. Jay and Kanye show true lyrics great subject matter over great sample beats there the best duo since UGK
  36. 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 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
  37. Aug 23, 2011
    1
    Terrible album. I tried so hard to like it, but I just could not. The only good tracks were No Church In The Wild, Why I Love You So, and New Day. All the other tracks suck. Jay-Z has been sucking as of late, ever since Blueprint came out. Blueprint was his last good album. Kanye West dropped down after one of the greatest albums of all time with MBDTF. Sucks man.
  38. Aug 29, 2011
    10
    I love Watch The Throne. I know Lift Off, Otis, H.A.M, N**gas In Paris and Why I Love You. The album is so good. I think it made the album awaiting of 2011.
  39. 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.
  40. Aug 29, 2011
    10
    Awesome colabb album, makes me excited for kanyes next release, i think if he can deliver a graduation like album he will be back on that stadium status.
  41. Aug 29, 2011
    10
    awesome album, awesome artist. worth it buy i recomend this album to everyone.. kinda mainstream but its mainstream done well ! also was the best album this year.
  42. Aug 30, 2011
    6
    Although far from being the strongest contender of best hip hop albumm this year, Watch The Throne has its gems, its golden moment where we as the peasant are allowed to hear the sensitive side of modern rhyming king. Too bad that these moments are often ruined by the throne itself who tries too hard to be a bad king by showing off their power too much.
  43. Aug 30, 2011
    8
    This album is incredible and it's an experiment in traditional hip hop, Kanye and Jay-Z both delivered solid verses and the production is extraordinarily fresh, but I would not say it's an classic but it's definitely the type of album that you will love to bump in your car.
  44. Aug 30, 2011
    10
    A classic album!!!!! The beats are update with from producer who are legendary in the rap world! I can listen to this album and not get tired of it , with the exception of the Swizz produce track that I find to be tired! The album seem to have help Hiphop evolve from the world of gun, drugs, and pure ignorance!
  45. Aug 31, 2011
    6
    This album is not experimental or as grand as Kanye's "My Beuitful Dark Twisted Fantasy." It sounds like two bored, rich guys sitting in a studio congratulating themselves on a lot of money made and thinking about the promise of more to come. Its not clear if even Kanye takes himself seriously anymore and moments when that becomes clear like on "Niggas in Paris" are the best part of the album. Yes, Jay-z still used to be a dealer and now makes loads of cash and gets fined for talking to college basketball stars and owns the Nets. All of this is fine stuff, except it is put over lazy beats, short demo-like versions of songs with little inspiration. This is a patch work. Its not clear on most songs if Jay-Z and Kanye know what the other guy just got done rapping about. "That's My **** is an exercise in absurdity. Things really take a turn for the pathetic when both men go from bragging about "****es," and "straps" to singing about the "holocaust" of black on black violence and then have an entire song about Martin Luther King Jr. These two are board rich dudes drunk on power. When they deliver that vibe on "Niggas in Paris" and "HAM" you get fun and absurd with decent beats. When they try anything beyond that it gets embarrassing. Jay-z is a CEO and guess what? It isn't any fun to listen to a CEO rap. Kanye is still a musical force but his obsession with getting laid has turned him into a walking stereotype. Neither of these men should be taken seriously for what they have to say. Jay-z can be taken seriously in business and Kanye as a produce/musician. Expand
  46. Sep 1, 2011
    9
    incredible album. production wise the album is incredible, lyrically some of the best i've heard from both Jay-Z & Kanye. especially Jay-Z - i think this album solidifies his title as one of the best [if not THE best] rappers alive. good lyrical content & variety - anyone that says all they talk about is money didn't listen to New Day or Murder to Excellence.. at the end of the day these two rap giants came in and delivered a quality work. Expand
  47. 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.
  48. 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
  49. 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.
  50. Sep 27, 2011
    8
    while this was the best album of the summer it definitely wasnt kanye and jays best work. it was clear that jay z had the better lyrics on most of the album and kanye did produce this very well but it does fall a little short from what i was expecting. still its a good album and i would lean more toward a 7.5 out of 10 but we can all just hope that theyll get together again and make another album thats better than this. i knew after a couple of listens to the album that it just wouldnt really make much of a lasting impression, it was just going to be one of those pretty good albums that you know is their but youd just rather listen to something else Expand
  51. Jun 29, 2012
    5
    I was literally happy when the album ended. Very 'meh'. Absoulute highlights are ''No Church In The Wild'', ''Why I Love You'' and ''HAM''. Kanye is lyrically capable as a child on 70% of songs. Jay did this album much better. Nice beats, but they are way better as solo artists. Soulful hooks are done nicely on maybe a couple of songs, while the most is just stupid, and ear-raping. The album itself has a couple of good verses, couple of great verses, and the rest is nothing. I guess I'll have to wait for their solo releases for something that I'll like more. Expand
  52. Oct 5, 2011
    10
    Watch the Throne met my expectations and then some. A couple of years ago jay would have never made an album entirely with kanye. I have to say Kanye done come up. Its hard to compare this to anyother album either of the two have made. Ye and jay are good by themselves but better together. Watch the **** throne that **** cray.
  53. Oct 20, 2011
    10
    As a fairly new listener to Jay Z I really rate this album,the opening track 'No Church In The Wild' is amazing and the album continues to hold your attention with tracks like 'Ni**as in Paris' , the immense 'Otis' and superb 'Murder to Excellence'. I recomend this to anyone not just hip hop/r&b fans its got bags of appeal and i'm sure will be a classic in time to come.
  54. Oct 27, 2011
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Ok, not what I had expected! I was heavily awaiting Jigga and Ye's amazing duo like their features on each others songs like Diamonds in Sierra Leone. Watch the Throne is much different than that. It comes with newly produced beats (not a bad thing). Anyways, I really like the album, especially songs Murder to Excellence and Otis. Expand
  55. Jun 26, 2013
    0
    Guy is such a tool it's not even funny.
    He has no talent whatsoever.
    Seriously people if you think this is music or that this guy is anything more than a hip-hop hack, you're delusional.
  56. 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!
  57. 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 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
  58. 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 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
  59. Nov 16, 2011
    9
    This album has/will change rap. It is the quintessence of what is to come in the rap game. No more simple beats, with a narrative. No more tupac, no more biggie, no more simplicity. From now on the concentration will be equally on the beats/covers/samples as the words being said. Kanye and Jay-Z have "changed the game" through this delivery of luxury rap. Is it a good thing? We will have to wait and see. One thing is for certain, everyone who has released an album after WTT, from Lil' Wayne to Drake to Childish Gambino, has been changed by this album. Expand
  60. Dec 25, 2011
    10
    This album was one of the most anticipated albums of the year and Jay-Z & Kanye surely did not disappoint . Definitely better than Lil Wayne's The Carter 4. Enough said.
  61. Nov 20, 2011
    10
    This album is perfect. Why? Because it's the last gasp of the 1%. It could only have been created by these two artists, and now that social change is gathering speed, their insane lifestyle has an expiration date. However, before their throne gets toppled (yeah, chuckle) they've created possibly the most flamboyantly Rococo album I've ever heard. Everything from the album cover to the production and the lyrics, &c., reminds me of the pre-revolution French aristocracy. Seriously, we're basically being told verbatim by West and Jay to "Let them eat cake." Their attitude can't last; even now in November '11 it's starting to feel like a historical artifact. In 10 years we'll look back on this album and say "what the FUCK?!"
    But for all that, it's beautiful. It's intensely produced; each song seems to have physical weight to it. All of the samples are spot-on. There are some questionable lyrical choices, especially from West, but I'm forgiving because there is (despite the album's astounding ostentatiousness) a sense of humor running throughout, so when West spits a flop I don't feel bad for laughing.
    This is the kind of album cultural critics will be picking apart 20, 30, 50 years from now. Like I said, it captures the zeitgeist of a dying culture of ultra-decadence, and despite its inherent revulsion to we of the 99%, I at least can't help but love it.
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  62. 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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  63. Dec 1, 2011
    9
    A Highly impressive story is all you'll find here. Coming from someone who isn't a big fan of either Jay-Z or Kanye, it took me awhile to review it but after listening to it, I'm nothing short of amazed. From real, deep, thought provoking tracks like "New Day" to club bangers like "H.A.M" this thing is great. I should also say "Lift off" and "No church in the Wild" are great". But it ends on a strange note and the last few tracks aren't great and kept it from being perfect. But after listening...I think the throne is not going anywhere Expand
  64. Dec 8, 2011
    10
    Royalty, wealth, class; just a few words that come to mind when thinking about Jay Z and Kanye Westâ
  65. 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
  66. 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 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
  67. Dec 19, 2011
    10
    At first listen you'll think its just Kanye West featuring Jay-Z, with the album being Yeezy"s vision alone and Jay only offering a few well placed verses. But after a few listens you'll find that it's Jay's verses which have you singing along first and have the most intoxicating flow. For this reason I feel that without Jay, the awe inspiring, arguably over done, production may not have had it's full potential fulfilled.
    Although some say it is original, when listening to it you understand it is actually a culmination of several different sounds, taking influence from past hip hop artists like RZA, Pete Rock and Kanye's older work, and also seeking inspiration from other artists in other genre's like Flux Pavilion, Eleanor Kate and Frank Ocean.
    This means the album is able to push hip hop to it's furthest boundaries and hopefully raise the bar for all albums to come.
    It hasn't gained to most impressive reviews, but those critics will be kicking themselves in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years, when this album still sounds like it was recorded yesterday.
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  68. Dec 25, 2011
    8
    The singles chosen off the album feature Kanye West and Jay-Z at their best. "Otis" is the main event. The album has a few fillers to it's name. However, it is one of the best albums of 2011 and it nearly delivered on the hype.
  69. 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.
  70. 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
  71. 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.
  72. Feb 7, 2012
    7
    Other than a few radio hits I wasn't impressed. We know what Kanye and Jay are capable of but this didn't deliver in my opinion. If the rumors are true and these two icons are indeed working on a Watching the Throne 2, hopefully it'll be better.
  73. 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...
  74. Apr 3, 2012
    8
    It's more of a 7.5, but rounds up to an 8. As a huge Kanye fan, I was expecting a sort of masterpiece out of this release, especially considering what Kanye had done just 9 months prior with My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. As is, the album is not without its fair share of flaws and filler tracks, and often feels as if half of the album has a Jay-Z feel (on songs like **** in Paris, Welcome to the Jungle and Gotta Have It) and a Kanye feel on the other half (on songs like No Church, That's My **** and Why I Love You). I found myself enjoying the self-titled Kanye half better but both sides had their fair share of misses (i.e. the Jay-Z-esque club banger H.A.M and the Kanye-esque orgasmic mess Lift Off). However, songs like No Church, Murder to Excellence and especially New Day are up there with the best works of both men. Overall, a good release, but it could have been better. Expand
  75. 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
    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.
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  76. Jun 2, 2012
    9
    By no means one of the greatest rap albums of all time and probaly pusing nearer 8.5 than 9, but this is an extremely good album. West and Jay Z come off eachothers lyrics and verses superbly setting up a good harsh rythm to all the song. The production is great with many songs almost sounding like an epic fo music, e tone of the album and theme is spot on, with basically all songs having the same beat and tone, but this actually works well.On the other hand, some songs have a confusion in beat and slow pacing, partiularly lift off with a fantastic chrous from Beyonce, but the song is almost confused in how e rap compliments the tune, present in a few of the songs albums. To conclude, Defintely one of the greatest collaboration albums of all time, with brilliant lyrics and superb rapping, but not one of raps greatest and finest moments. Expand
  77. Apr 20, 2012
    9
    Kanye & Jay Z's 'Watch the Throne' is a fantastic album, incorporated with various different, unique styles and techniques.
    Some highlights for me are 'N***ers in Paris', 'Gotta Have It', 'Who Gon Stop Me', 'Welcome to the Jungle'.... plus Mr. Frank Ocean features on a couple tracks, so it's impossible not to like.
  78. 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 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
  79. Jun 20, 2012
    0
    i can't believe people like this guy. the beats are ok, not hard, acually just soft, and i just can't believe this is cool to listen 2, what about immortal technique, or anything but this, i really can't believe people would buy a kanye album or listen 2 a song or admit that they like it, id rather say i like hannah montanna then kanye, i mean seriously kanye's rap lyrics are so weeak you would thinkl a second grader wrote them, man whatever the critics are sayin, kanye west is not cool, and neither are drugs,this album is terribel, jayz's old stuff is ok get that instead but don't buy this garbage,and user reviews i can't believe people like this , I REALLY CAN'T -1 out of 10 awful sounding, and awful music, no message, but people still buy this, i can not figure out how anyone can like kanye , i really can't Expand
  80. Jun 4, 2013
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This album is one of the best I've heard, there are some some songs I like and don't like, but Kanye West and Jay-Z are a good rap duo. Also, the production of the album was awesome, it was some of the best beats I've heard. Expand
  81. 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", "That's My **** "Murder to Excellence" and "Niggas in Paris". Expand
  82. 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 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
  83. 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.
  84. Mar 20, 2013
    8
    Jay Z & Kanye West prove that they are Hip Hop royalty. A very good album. Not the greatest but a much needed collaboration. Nice piece of work with Jay & Ye being very ambitious.
  85. Jun 12, 2013
    3
    overrated and overhyped. kanye needs to stop focusing so much on himself and more on the music. Jay Z shines here. I was disappointed to see kanye take this direction.
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.