I enjoy listening to Otis, if only because I am a fan of the Southern soulman that my mother introduced me to as a little girl. However, I do think my mother tainted my opinion of the song when she screwed up her face at it (in the car) and informed me that though she likes Jay-Z and Kanye, they need to leave Otis Wilson alone. Chuck D seems to agree. I still bob to the beat, but I hate the part with the sampled screams. Who would purposely put that on the track? Notable Quotables: Jay-Z eloquently mocks those with fewer passport privileges: "Luxury rap, the Hermes of verses; Sophisticated ignorance, write my curses in cursive. I get it custom, you a customer You ain’t ‘customed to going through Customs, you ain’t been nowhere, huh?"
This is my Lake Shore Drive anthem of the moment. It reminds me of Raekwon's "Glaciers of Ice" minus the urgency, and I hit pon di replay on this bad boy three times in a row. Not a big fan of the refrain "the night is young, what the [bleep] you gone do," but I'll accept it. Notable Quotable: West, for the win. "They don’t want nobody who's coloring outside the line. So I'm late as a mother[bleeper[, colored people time.
“That’s My Bitch”
Sigh. All rappers have to offer up some variation on the me-and=my bitch-theme. Here's the Throne's contribution, a testament to the ladies they love (or just love to sleep with) over a slithery beat that combines a vintage Jungle Brothers/Tribe Called Quest/Neptunes sound featuring La Roux. La Roux sounds like Nelly Furtado on the vocals, which works well, and I like the "Can't Truss It" sample thrown in there for extra urgency. But back to the "bitch" thing, two questions. Did the supernova-sized star known as Beyonce reallly give her husband clearance to refer to her in this way on the track? Second, what part of West's gentlemanly "Rosewood" movement is calling women out of their names in a song title? Notable Quotables: It's derogatory by design, but at least Hova reps for multiculuralism in our pop icons. Had me wondering if he's been to Pioneer Court when he raps: "I mean Marilyn Monroe, she’s quite nice, but why all the pretty icons always all-white? Put some colored girls in the MOMA. Half these broads ain’t got nothing on Wilona. Don’t make me bring Thelma in it. Bring Halle, Bring Penelope and Salma in it."
Welcome to the Jungle
Swizzy, shhhh....Seriously. Please call DJ Khaled and get some advice about toning it down. Even that renowned loud mouth knew to bring it down a notch on "I'm On One." And as for this beat, where is Alicia Keys? Can you send your man to the store for some milk and a new arsenal of beats? Notable Quotables: The lyrics have more impact in this song, but one of my faves is from Hova: "Black Axl Rose, Move halfs and wholes. Come down to the jungle. Just ask for Hov. Move blocks and squares.Move apples and pears. Work pots and pans, Just to cop me some Airs."
Who Gon’ Stop Me
This track, like "Murder to Excellence" tries to throw a little social awareness in the track with yammerings like "something like the holocaust, millions of our people lost," but the main point seems to get some revenge (again) on the faceless haters of the world while re-asserting their financial positions. Kanye strikes back at those who called him a bigot post Taylor Swift-gate by saying his only bias is preferring "green faces." Um...so, guess he showed them? Kinda? Notable Quotables: Jay is on an Oprah-naming dropping kick, ain't he? It's not enough that he checked the O in "new York," but now he taunts: "Y’all Steve Urkel, I’m Oprah’s circle." And what the heck did Urkel ever do to 'ye and Jay?
“Why I Love You”
Rocks hard. Somewhere, Axl Rose, Def Leppard and Motley Crue should be putting their lighters up. Yes, the HAM delivery makes another appearance, but Jay's sped-up approach is the perfect choice for this song that examines the traitors both men have encountered as their stars have risen. It is truly more Judas than Lady Gaga's "Judas," and provides a rare glimpse at the chink in these men's armor. They may be on the throne, but they are not immune to disappointment that they couldn't take their neighborhood friends to the castle. Notable Quotables: Hova has this one, most likely because he has seemingly faced the most infidels out of the two. "I tried to teach [n-words] how to be kings. And all they ever wanted to be was soldiers. So the love is gone 'til blood is drawn. So we no longer wear the same uniform." (Oooh, Beenie and Dame, I think somebody's ears are burning.)
So, that's my take on this long-awaited supergroup. Share your "Throne" thoughts. Will you be at their concert when it hits Chicago?