For about a week now, the nation has been buzzing about the Kanye West/Jay-Z collaboration, Watch The Throne. By no means is this intense anticipation new – the streets have been waiting on this album for a while. This buzz was re-ignited by the release of their latest singe, Otis. With all eyes watching the Throne, what should we expect? Two musical giants, both royalty in their own rights, who have been teaming up for years, have fans on the edge of anxious…like faithful townspeople at the edge of a moat hoping to get a glimpse of the king(s) walking around in the castle.
After solidifying themselves as individual artists, and proving they can create great music collectively, what’s really at stake for the majestic MCs? With the amount of anticipation that has been built up for this release, how do we as fans define “great”? I will admit, I definitely look forward to dissecting the album. Not necessarily through the scope of some quasi-expert or self-proclaimed critic. But as a true fan of music. And as I listen to the 2 singles that the supergroup has released so far I can’t say that I’m completely convinced.
Listening to Kanye’s commentary on Last Call (from the College Dropout album) gave me a bit more comfort in my skepticism. In describing his reaction to Jay’s verse on his beat for This Can’t Be Life. What he said was essentially “This is Jay-Z. Rap royalty! I can’t just tell him I don’t like his verse. But, honestly, I was looking for something different”. That’s exactly my sentiment when I listen to H.A.M., the first single released for WTT. It’s hard to deny the magnitude of it. But as a fan that’s not what I was looking for. Not for two of the biggest names in music. Now, Otis, on the other hand, has the regal appeal that you’d expect from two titans. And call it hometown loyalty if you’d like, but Kanye carried the weight on the second single.
If these 2 singles are any indicator of what the entire album will be, I’m not sure I’m totally sold…yet.
So let’s hear it – will Watch The Throne be an instant classic?