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I’ve never done a Track by Track review before, but since I’m completely riding Jay and Ye’s dick this week I might as well give them my first one. As “Watch The Throne” Week is nearing it’s end, and the album was released in stores Friday, I need to expand on my “First Impressions” review. My feelings haven’t changed drastically, but I think the excitement factor may have clouded my critical mind. So here we go.

1. No Church In The Wild Featuring Frank Ocean
The perfect opening cut, it’s like the music playing on the opening credits of a crime drama (think “The Sopranos”). Really enjoy the concept, that corruption in supposedly pure and holy religions makes it hard to believe in anything.

4 of 5
production: 4 of 5
lyrics: 4 of 5
delivery: 4 of 5
who killed it: Kanye, Jay wins it lyrically but Kanye’s has a little more life to it.
best line: “When we die the money can’t keep, but we probably spend it all cause the pain ain’t cheap” – Kanye

2. Lift Off Featuring Beyonce
I love the production, Love the break down part at the end, and I always love Beyonce. Kanye and Jay seem like an after thought though. Jay is barely there, and Kanye mumbles … i mean, “sings” through most of his parts.

3.5 of 5
production: 5 of 5
lyrics: 3 of 5
delivery: 3 of 5
who killed it: Kanye, simply because Jay’s part is like half a verse.
best line: “When you Earnhart as me eventually you hit a big wall” – Jay

3. Niggas in Paris
It feels like Jay and Kanye finally woke up for this one, it has a lot more energy from them, and it sounds like they are having a good time with the simple and kind of nostalgic Hip Hop track. They both really brought a lot to the table, the first real mark that the collaboration would work.

4.5 of 5
production: 4.5 of 5
lyrics: 4.5 of 5
delivery: 5 of 5
who killed it: Tie
best line: “What’s drugs my deala” – Kanye

4. Otis Featuring Otis Redding
Even though there’s some really technical use of the Otis Redding sample, it’s done in a way that feels so simple. A perfect simple beat for Jay and Kanye to ride, and they are both really in form with their humor, delivery and their back and forth flows perfectly.

5 of 5
production: 5 of 5
lyrics: 5 of 5
delivery: 5 of 5
who killed it: Kanye, they both did great but I love his flow and wordplay better.
best line: “Sophisticated Ignorance, Write my curses in cursive” – Kanye

5. Gotta Have It
Filler-ish, I often forget about this song. The saving grace is that it’s the best track thus far where they work so great together as a duo. The way they trade off, and hype each others lines is going to be a great part of their tour.

3.5 of 5
production: 3 of 5
lyrics: 4 of 5
delivery: 5 of 5
who killed it: Tie
best line: “hello, white America, assassinate my character, Money matrimony, yeah they tryna break the marriage up” – Kanye

6. New Day
A favorite track of mine, I love how the sample feels so weird and dare I say “electro-Indie”. It’s a really beautiful track, and a beautiful and introspective concept. The track is kind of sad but hopeful and goes perfectly with them sharing regrets and hoping for their offspring to do better.

5 of 5
production: 5 of 5
lyrics: 5 of 5
delivery: 5 of 5
who killed it: Jay
best line: “So at 13 we’ll have our first drink together, Black bar mitzvahs, mazel tov, mogul talk” – Jay

7. That’s My Bitch
An undeniable dance track, Elly Jackson’s hook is a little grating at first but it ends up being a pretty decent track. Especially when Justin Vernon’s part intros Jay’s verse. Definitely one I can see growing on me.

4 of 5
production: 4.5 of 5
lyrics: 4 of 5
delivery: 5 of 5
who killed it: Jay, Kanye killed his delivery but so did Jay and I love what he’s talking about with the “put some colored Girls in the MOMA” part.
best line: “why all the pretty icons almost all white?” – Jay

8. Welcome to the Jungle
Another favorite of mine, I was a big fan of Swizz Beatz when he first started and this reminds me of his Ruff Ryder days. Great concept as well, and they both manage to stick to it… well this is basically Jay’s song Kanye only makes a brief appearance.

5 of 5
production: 5 of 5
lyrics: 4.5 of 5
delivery: 4.5 of 5
who killed it: Jay, yeah it’s his song.
best line: “Move blocks and squares, move apples and pears, move pots and pans, just to cop some Airs” – Jay

9. Who Gon Stop Me
It’s just okay… until the middle of it when it gets all electronica, and Jay rides the beat like a 1999 era Timbaland beat (“Is That Yo Bitch”).

4 of 5
production: 4.5 of 5
lyrics: 3.5 of 5
delivery: 4.5 of 5
who killed it: Jay
best line: “I’m winning again, I’m at the Wynn, I’m at the table, I’m gamblin, Lucky lefty, I expect a seven, I went through hell, I’m expectin heaven” – Jay

10. Murder to Excellence
It’s really two songs, and two topics I’m glad they brought up. It reminds me of the older Kanye sound, like his Talib Kweli and Dilated Peoples productions. This is also one of the few tracks where Kanye’s singing isn’t completely annoying. Pretty flawless.

5 of 5
production: 5 of 5
lyrics: 5 of 5
delivery: 4.5 of 5
who killed it: Jay
best line: “Only spot a few blacks the higher I go, What’s up Will? Shout Out to O? That ain’t enough we gon need a million more” – Jay

11. Made In America Featuring Frank Ocean
I remember being freaked out by the “Sweet Baby Jesus” hook at first, but I’ve come to love this beautiful and inspiring song. Also reminiscent of early Kanye.

4.5 of 5
production: 5 of 5
lyrics: 4.5 of 5
delivery: 4 of 5
who killed it: Jay
best line: “Niggas hustle every day for a beat from Ye, what I do? Turn around and give them beats to Jay, And I’m rapping on the beats they supposed to buy, I guess I’m gettin high off my own supply” – Kanye

12. Why I Love You Featuring Mr Hudson
Total filler, I might end up liking this song, but as of right now it’s one of the ones I skip past. It’s basically Jay putting some of the disloyal associates of the past on blast.

3 of 5
production: 3 of 5
lyrics: 3.5 of 5
delivery: 4 of 5
who killed it: Jay, Kanye is just a hype man here.
best line: “So we no longer wear the same uniform, Fuck you squares the circle got smaller, the castle got bigger, the walls got taller” – Jay

**Deluxe Edition Tracks**

13. Illest Motherfucker Alive
A little blah, I think the track is nice and maybe the two should have went a different direction with their concepts and delivery. It could possibly grow on me though, but they kinda sound bored.

2.5 of 5
production: 3.5 of 5
lyrics: 2.5 of 5
delivery: 2.5 of 5
who killed it: Jay
best line: “Usually, you have this much taste you European, That’s the end of that way of thinking” – Jay

14. HAM
I wasn’t bowled over by this song when it first came out earlier this year, it’s a little over-done in a lot of ways. But it is catchy and stays in your brain after it’s done.

3.5 of 5
production: 4.5 of 5
lyrics: 3.5 of 5
delivery: 4 of 5
who killed it: Jay
best line: “I swam waters with Great Whites, y’all muthafuckas woulda been chewed, I hustled with vultures late nights, y’all muthafuckas woulda been food” – Jay

15. Primetime
Definitely reminiscent of early Jay-Z, and he dominates the song accordingly. Though it’s a little short, it gives what it’s meant to give… a bit of a flashback. I can see it being a grower.

4 of 5
production: 3.5 of 5
lyrics: 4 of 5
delivery: 4 of 5
who killed it: Jay, another Jay song with Kanye just hyping him in random parts.
best line: “At 42, I’ll be better than 24’s, I carry the 4-5, master 48 laws, Still wearing my 23’s” – Jay

16. The Joy Featuring Curtis Mayfield
A really nice and breezy closer, the sample is well played and the two of them do a great job of just flowing with the beat and not taking too much away from the relaxed vibe.

5 of 5
production: 5 of 5
lyrics: 3.5 of 5
delivery: 4.5 of 5
who killed it: Jay
best line: “This beat deserves Hennessey, a bad bitch, and a bag of weed; the Holy Trinity” – Kanye

Deluxe Edition Overall Rating: 4 of 5
Standard Edition Overall Rating: 4.5 of 5

Yes, even though I’m all for buying the Deluxe Edition and putting even more money in these multi-millionaires pockets, the Standard Edition definitely plays better while the Deluxe Edition can be a little over-long and repetitive.
The album, either Edition, is still a great one. There’s a good balance of fun tracks, with the more socially conscious and introspective ones. And they both, for the most part, give us their best and more than maintain their place on their thrones.

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