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

Generally favorable reviews- based on 299 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 22 out of 299

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  1. 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...jaythis 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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  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. 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 theOn 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
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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 furtherThis 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
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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!
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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 toThis 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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  16. Dec 8, 2011
    10
    Royalty, wealth, class; just a few words that come to mind when thinking about Jay Z and Kanye Westâ
  17. 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 haveAt 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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  18. 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
  19. 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.
  20. 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
  21. 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 feelWatch 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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  22. 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 isTypical 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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  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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!!!!
  27. 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.
  28. 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
  29. 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 instantDefinitely 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
  30. 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 toI 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
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.