Watch the Throne

  • Record Label: Def Jam
  • Release Date: Aug 12, 2011
User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 489 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 33 out of 489
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  1. Jul 17, 2017
    7
    good album............................................................................................................................................................
  2. Jul 7, 2017
    7
    This is the best hip hop collab album out there, still its not perfect. The production is great, both kanye and jay delivers on most songs. But some tracks feels out of place (Mostly Made In America). Still a super great project with some of hip hops most timeless tracks.
  3. Mar 4, 2017
    6
    Probably Kanye's weakest album. Handful of great tracks, but disappointing as a whole product. Production value is pretty good but lyrically it's underwhelming.
  4. Dec 20, 2015
    9
    Watch the throne is the best album 2011. **** in Paris', 'Otis', 'Who gon stop me', 'Gotta have it', 'That's my **** and 'Primetime' are my favourite tracks.
  5. Oct 23, 2015
    8
    Kanye West is known for his notorious ego, and yet not a lot know about his motivation. His parents divorced when Kanye was three years old and could have led him to his later development of his music. His father was a Black Panther and had to express himself with non-violent tactics. However, his mother was an English teacher at Clark Atlanta University which made “Kanye West” Kanye WestKanye West is known for his notorious ego, and yet not a lot know about his motivation. His parents divorced when Kanye was three years old and could have led him to his later development of his music. His father was a Black Panther and had to express himself with non-violent tactics. However, his mother was an English teacher at Clark Atlanta University which made “Kanye West” Kanye West as we know him. The interlacing of a non-violent protest plus an English teacher made Kanye a threat to the rap game. Kanye West has created his first album after getting into a car accident which is crazy to think but most certainly possibly. His previous songs are mostly about his struggles in his life. Now he is able to talk about his success.
    In Watch the Throne, Kanye West has an interesting collection of songs. He contrasts from someone who is preparing for a performance like “Ni**as in Paris,” “H.A.M,” “Gotta Have It,” and then goes to something personal which was interesting. His songs “ Murder to Excellence” explains his hatred against racism which is very personal and has a lot of meaning. Kanye West's song “Lift Off” seemed to be misplaced in this album. It has nothing to do with the theme of his album.
    I give this album an 8/10 because of the song “Lift Off”. At the same time the song “H.A.M,” is easy to remember, the acronym hard as a motherf**ker. Also, “Made in America” is so easy to remember because he does not stop saying “Oh, sweet baby Jesus”. It has anger that keeps you motivated, but as you go further into the album you notice that Kanye's motivation had almost disappeared. It’s like he has ADHD and forgot what he was thinking about. At the same as if you listen to a radio station with one artist, his or her songs will be boring around fourteen minutes in. Kanye West has a lot of influence from classic R&B. He has influence by music concrete: he mixed R&B and blues together and his childhood experiences together. Can you judge an artist’s personal character based on his or her music? Most people see him as living extravagant, but in this album you understand: no his life was not originally extravagant which explains his ego.
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  6. May 20, 2015
    10
    Perfect Album! Highly recommended. All the songs are nice, even the one most of the people hate ( "Lift Off") sounds great. Jay is on another level, TOP of the Game, Kanye is great with his beats and his lyrics and his flow is good too. Even the bonus tracks are ridiculously good.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  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. 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
  14. 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.
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  15. 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
  16. 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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  17. 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. TheI 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
  18. 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 youi 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
  19. 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 havingBy 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
  20. 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.
  21. 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
  22. 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,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
  23. 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.
  24. 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
  25. 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...
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 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!
  29. 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
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. Magnet
    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. Q Magazine
    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.