The “supergroup” is a term for a musical collaboration in which two or more superstars join together to produce a new album or group. Throughout the years this has produced some amazing collaborations like Cream, Foo Fighters and Duck Sauce. The album “Watch the Throne” is the latest of these offering from superstar hip-hop artists Jay-Z and Kanye West.
Having released his first album in 1995, Jay-Z has had the time to build his empire and work his way up to earn the throne. Kanye has done similar by producing some of the most amazing beats in mainstream hip-hop and through his own releases starting in 2006. The album was done in a full collaboration with both Kanye and Jay-Z recording and choosing tracks together to allow a more united feel to the album.
The album has a varied sound which really adds to the overall experience. Going from a harder song with heavy beats that will shake your car apart to melodic songs with a smooth background to what can only be described as their own version of an epic ballad.
One track that really stands out is the song “New Day” which is produced in collaboration with Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA and Kanye. This adds to the superstar grouping and creates one of the best tracks on the album. The track features Kanye and Jay-Z singing to their unborn kids and giving them advice on not screwing up in ways that they did. It brings the two artists off the throne for a track and gives a more human view of these stars, while doing it with a lyrical flow that shows how they’ve earned that throne.
The track “Made in America” is probably the weakest track on the album. While Kanye and Jay-Z have a great flow, the backing vocals from Frank Ocean are simply distracting and annoying. Praise this, praise that one and is sung in the background which takes away from the hip-hop feel of the song. It would be great to have a bonus track without the singing distracting from the focus of the track. Thankfully, Frank Ocean also features on the track “No Church in the Wild” and his lyrics in this one are redeeming and fit well.
“No Church in the Wild” starts the album and with its heavy driving beat you can hear what’s in store. Jay-Z leads the charge on this track and Kanye follows it up much in the same way they’ve achieved their fame. Hearing these two collaborate, it’s definitely easy to see where Kanye got his inspiration for his own song “Big Brother” from his 2007 release Graduation.
With two huge artists joining forces it’s hard to imagine that this album could have been anything but successful. There are a few tracks which are mainly flossing tracks but when your album is called “Watch the Throne” it’s pretty obvious you have a bit of an ego and these two have deserved it. This album definitely stands up to its expectations and hopefully we’ll get more collaborations from these two in the future.