Bravo! Jay-Z and Kanye’s Collaboration Yields High Praise

By:  Jennifer Wakefield

Jay-Z and Kanye West, two of the most accomplished lyricists of our time, have teamed up for their August 2011 release, Watch the Throne, and the result is a thoughtful, original masterpiece.

Watch the Throne is, at its heart, an intellectual journey that seeks to answer age-old questions that have stumped the likes of philosophers from Plato to Nietzsche.  The most perplexing lyrical mystery appears in the album’s first single, “N***** in Paris.”  The track admonishes the listener not to let Jay-Z get in his “zone,” repeating his plea nine times throughout the song.  These cryptic urgings will have both scholars and laymen wondering for generations: where is Jay-Z’s zone, how can we prevent him from getting there, and what will happen if he does, in fact, get in his zone?

“Lift Off” is another one of the album’s more thought-provoking tracks, delving deep into the human psyche and asking the listener: can you ever really know someone?  Rapper-philosopher Kanye West answers this question in the affirmative when he sings (clearly unaided by auto-tune): “Lift off, like you know na na na / You know me by now, know me, know me by now / You know me know me by now, know me, know me by now.”  We do know you, Kanye.  We know that you have a vast vocabulary and a voice that naturally sounds like a computer (or, some may say, an angel).

Modesty and humility are also prominent themes.  These men are keenly aware of the recent

economic crisis that has caused record unemployment and foreclosures, so the rappers are careful not to boast about their own fortunes or general greatness.  In one poignant moment, Jay-Z queries: “What’s 50 grand to a motherf****** like me?” and it becomes clear to the listener that these men are not bragging about their own fortunes.  Nay, the endless references to Maybachs, thousand dollar t-shirts, Gucci, and living in castles are intended to inspire the masses to ball and hustle until they, too, can achieve great wealth in these hard times.  The road to riches is s simple, it is a wonder no one thought of it sooner.

The song “Illest Mutcherf***** Alive” gives a further illustration of how these men managed to stay humble despite their great fame and success: “Elvis has left the building now I’m on the Beatles’ ass / N***** hear Watch the Throne, yeah it’s like the Beatles back / Bey Bey [referring to Jay-Z’s wife, Beyonce] my Yoko Ono, Rih Rih complete the family.”  Jay-Z is showing his great admiration for Beyonce by comparing her to Yoko Ono, a woman who is has been hailed for having nothing but a positive effect on the Beatles’ music, and is in fact single-handedly responsible for keeping the band together during troubled times.  Indeed, when asked about music’s true grea


Watch the Throne
is also ripe with feminist themes.  In “N***** in Paris,” West celebrates a woman’s right to choose whether or not to dance when he exclaims: “F*** that B*****, she don’t wanna dance.”  Furthermore, when he sings “You know how many hot b***** I own,” he is clearly referring to the many adorable puppies he owns, and we all know how much the women-folk love dogs.ts, most will answer: Elvis, The Beatles, Chumbawumba, and Hove and Yowza (what the heck are their nicknames?).

To promote the album, the duo launched a highly anticipated tour a month after Watch the Throne was released.  The tour went off without a hitch (likely due to Kanye and Jay-Z’s easygoing personalities), and was well-received by fans.  During a three-night run at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, the duo performed “N***** in Paris” a total of 26 times (seven times on December 11, nine times on December 12, and ten times on December 13).  At 3 minutes and 40 seconds long, that means that Hova and Weezy (Jeezy?  No, that doesn’t sound right either…) performed the same song for almost an hour and a half, ensuring that their fans would get exactly what they paid for: redundancy and showboating.

Watch the Throne was recorded for the contemplative music connoisseur.  It asks the listener to take an honest, insightful look at the important issues facing our society today: the plight of the ultra-rich, what happens when b*****s get out of line, and why artists always feel the need to play a bunch of different songs when they perform live.  This album proves that Hoo-ha and Yo-Yo are more than just self-proclaimed kings, but rather they are true American royalty.

Disclaimer: This article is for comedic purposes only and is not to be taken seriously… at all.  It’s April Fool’s.  All names, places, happenstances, happenings, unhappenings, and all references to M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Happening” are for the use of parody and did not actually happen.  No matter how much we wish they had.

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