KANYE & JAY-Z!
Watch the Throne
Certainly, it’s nothing new for Jay-Z and Kanye West to be collaborating. In fact, one of West’s first big breaks was his production work on Jay’s 2001 classic The Blueprint. Since then, the two have appeared on each other’s albums, from Yeezy’s The College Dropout to Jigga’s The Blueprint 3. But can a full-length pairing of rap royalty measure up to their solo achievements? Yes and no. As the Throne, these two titans reign with the sheer power of their combined talents and magnetism. Throw in the fact that West also handles much of the production, and it’s like the hip-hop holy grail! Perhaps inevitably, though, it can’t sustain the dizzying heights of The Blueprint or My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Still, there are some major moments, including the Beyonce-propelled “Lift Off” and “Otis,” which revives Otis Redding much like “Gold Digger” did Ray Charles. But it peaks with back-to-back tracks “Murder to Excellence” and “Made in America.” When these two preach about “black excellence” and “tryna lead a nation,” it’s truly coming from the mountaintop.