11. Will Ferrell quotes on all rap albums. Can you imagine if Three 6 Mafia did a Christmas album with Buddy the Elf quotes? “We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and [CHOPPED X SCREWED] SYYYYRRRUPPPPP.” Instant hit.
So I wrote this, and then had a few more Watch The Throne thoughts last night.
- Hip-hop is chasing Waka and Lex’s tail. There’s something very vital about Luger’s chaos, and beyond merely having “H.A.M.” on WTT, which yayodancing says aimed to be an “art-house Flockaveli,” there’s a lot of Waka/Luger in the WTT DNA; Jay quotes “Bustin’ At ‘Em” and Southside’s on “Illest Motherfucker Alive,” y’know? In moments, it is both as impervious to pop and ultimately poppy as Waka/Luger can be, and that’s an interesting reversal of the thought that Jay and ‘Ye were the titans and the trendsetters. Maybe it’s just the former.
- No I.D. may be the best producer working in rap today. “Primetime” is as classical as something like “I Do It” is spacey, but both of them work perfectly. It’s still a bit bewildering that Dion spent so much time in the wilderness before “D.O.A.,” but I’m glad he’s around now.
- Jay-Z’s adoption of all black everything is seemingly at odds with “Off That.” “In my Tribeca loft, wit’ my highbrow art and my high yellow broad / Aw, and my dark-skinned sis / And my best white mates, say what’s up to Chris / How’s that for a mix? Got a black President, got green presidents.” He later says “It’s a Benetton ad.” Jay can do whatever he wants, obviously, but him moving in both the richest, whitest echelon of society and sweeping the very black streets will always make for conflict that he can’t quite articulate. (Kanye is much better at that.)
- The synth ding on “Made in America” may be my least favorite bit of a song in 2011. Completely superfluous to the song, and runs entirely counter to the mood.
- There’s about a 10-track classic buried within WTT. Just don’t ask me to excavate it.