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Watching the Throne: A Lyrical Analysis of Kanye West

This is an in-depth-yet-entertaining dive into the lyrics and narrative artistry of Kanye West's music. We go track by track through Ye's discography, revealing the narrative and poetic techniques he uses, tracking his growth as a storyteller, and illuminating the narratives behind Yeezus and The Life of Pablo. For Kanye fans, this might be the Ye-centric lyrical discussion you've been waiting for. For musicians and writers, this is practical insight into how one of the best storytellers in music history does what he does. We also have a news show about Kanye, Kim, North, Saint, and Jay-Z. We look at the top 5 posts from Reddit's Kanye community, r/Kanye. And discuss other relevant Ye topics. And there's our interview series, My StorYe, where we interview people about their relationship with Kanye West. We hope you enjoy!
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If you're coming from the Pitchfork article, hey! And I'm so sorry this looks so...much like this. 

This is the basic media player for WATCHING THE THRONE: A LYRICAL ANALYSIS OF KANYE WEST.

You can find the podcast on itunes, Spotify, TuneIn, Stitcher, and more!

Or you can visit our regular website by clicking here.

Really appreciate you taking the time to check out the show. We've covered 85+ songs, have 200+ episodes, and have an interview series called My StorYe. 

We're currently going track by track through ye and Kids See Ghosts. Every Wednesday is a new ye episode. Every Saturday is a new Kids See Ghosts episode. 

Jun 18, 2018

Leon Laing is a Jamaican-American and founder of Vigor Online, an award-winning website that posts online stories about urban music, culture, and the arts in mainly the Harrisburg and Philadelphia areas. 

Chris and Leon discuss Leon’s journey with Kanye’s music and Leon’s collection of Kanye magazine interviews.

Jun 16, 2018

As Chris and Travis continue their lyrical analysis from ye to Kids See Ghosts, they find themselves in much darker, scarier territory...which is why they'll be holding hands this entire season. For the Feel the Love dissection, the WTT gang gets into all kinds of murky territory where Kanye West and Kid Cudi are forced to confront their ghosts and resist the unhealthy urges that would form new ghosts in the future. Hopefully Cudi and Ye are holding hands too...

If you'd like to support the show, please rate us on iTunes, or help us out on Patreon.

You can buy The Yeezus Book—a scholarly, visual-heavy coffee table book that breaks down Yeezus in its entirety, from the album's narrative to the production to the tour—on June 18.

Check out our two Kanye West shirts currently on the market (we have a Runaway and a Hold My Liquor shirt).

Follow us on Twitter if you also like to constantly talk about how awesome Kanye is (we'll undoubtedly respond to you).

And please, as always, stay loopy.

Jun 16, 2018

For each song's bonus episode, we list our rankings for the songs we've covered so far, discuss our favorite lines from the song, and recall the moment Ye stopped us in our tracks and made us think, "Wait Kanye...what???" Also, stay tuned for a childhood ghost story from Chris!!!

If you'd like to support the show, please rate us on iTunes, or help us out on Patreon.

You can buy The Yeezus Book—a scholarly, visual-heavy coffee table book that breaks down Yeezus in its entirety, from the album's narrative to the production to the tour—on June 18.

Check out our two Kanye West shirts currently on the market (we have a Runaway and a Hold My Liquor shirt).

Follow us on Twitter if you also like to constantly talk about how awesome Kanye is (we'll undoubtedly respond to you).

And please, as always, stay loopy.

Jun 13, 2018

Today, our trek through ye—which could be Kanye West's most challenging episode yet—begins. To help, Jordan is teaming up with Chris and Travis as they all try to decipher who the "you" in I Thought About Killing You is. They get into all kinds of topics, including how the song is largely a response to Kill Jay Z, how Kanye sonically explores his bipolarism, and how the song foreshadows a grand narrative and thematic journey that builds from Daytona to ye to Kids See Ghosts.

If you'd like to support the show, please rate us on iTunes, or help us out on Patreon.

You can buy The Yeezus Book—a scholarly, visual-heavy coffee table book that breaks down Yeezus in its entirety, from the album's narrative to the production to the tour—on June 18.

Check out our two Kanye West shirts currently on the market (we have a Runaway and a Hold My Liquor shirt).

Follow us on Twitter if you also like to constantly talk about how awesome Kanye is (we'll undoubtedly respond to you).

And please, as always, stay loopy.

Jun 13, 2018

For each song's bonus episode, we list our rankings for the songs we've covered so far, discuss our favorite lines from the song, and recall the moment Ye stopped us in our tracks and made us think, "Wait Kanye...what???"

If you'd like to support the show, please rate us on iTunes, or help us out on Patreon.

You can buy The Yeezus Book—a scholarly, visual-heavy coffee table book that breaks down Yeezus in its entirety, from the album's narrative to the production to the tour—on June 18.

Check out our two Kanye West shirts currently on the market (we have a Runaway and a Hold My Liquor shirt).

Follow us on Twitter if you also like to constantly talk about how awesome Kanye is (we'll undoubtedly respond to you).

And please, as always, stay loopy.

Jun 8, 2018

You know how Kanye set release dates for Pusha's album, for his solo album, for Kids See Ghosts, for Nas' album, and for Teyana's debut? Well, we said we'd put out a Kids See Ghosts episode on the day it released, and dammit, we're following through. After a marathon texting session this morning as we listened through the album on repeat, and after a lengthy discussion as we went track by track, Chris and Travis are ready to give an overview of the storyline occurring on Kids See Ghosts—an album that takes mental illness and suicide head on, and acknowledges that if you want to get better, you have to confront (and overcome) your past demons, your ghosts.

If you'd like to support the show, please rate us on iTunes, or help us out on Patreon.

You can buy The Yeezus Book—a scholarly, visual-heavy coffee table book that breaks down Yeezus in its entirety, from the album's narrative to the production to the tour—on June 18.

Check out our two Kanye West shirts currently on the market (we have a Runaway and a Hold My Liquor shirt).

Follow us on Twitter if you also like to constantly talk about how awesome Kanye is (we'll undoubtedly respond to you).

And please, as always, stay loopy.

Jun 5, 2018

It's only been three days, but Chris, Travis, and Jordan have been talking NON-STOP about Kanye West's new album, ye, since its release and feel ready to provide a general overview of the album's narrative and thematic journey before heading into the individual song analyses over the next seven weeks. In this episode, we discuss how the album provides insight into Kanye's recent behavior, how it plays into the narrative building on his discography, and what new directions it points for his forthcoming projects (including Kids See Ghosts).

If you'd like to support the show, please rate us on iTunes, or help us out on Patreon.

You can buy The Yeezus Book—a scholarly, visual-heavy coffee table book that breaks down Yeezus in its entirety, from the album's narrative to the production to the tour—on June 18.

Check out our two Kanye West shirts currently on the market (we have a Runaway and a Hold My Liquor shirt).

Follow us on Twitter if you also like to constantly talk about how awesome Kanye is (we'll undoubtedly respond to you).

And please, as always, stay loopy.

Jun 1, 2018

Before Chris and Travis dive headfirst into dissecting every nook and cranny of Kanye West's new album, ye, they're here to give some knee-jerk reactions to the days leading up to the album, their expectations, the live stream, and how they generally feel about the album about 12 hours in.

On Tuesday, they'll start their full-on track-by-track analysis.

May 29, 2018

Yeezy Super-stan Robin Petering dishes on her experience with Kanye West concerts and more in this week's StorYe!

Robin is a community inclusive researcher who specializes in homelessness advocacy. She runs a research consulting firm called Lens (the name for which was inspired by Frank Ocean).

May 22, 2018

New to The Life of Pablo? Or perhaps you're looking for a reason to love it more? Or just wondering what makes it special at all? Well, Chris and Travis, the hosts of Watching the Throne, are going to lay their entire thesis out in one episode. Each episode of Season 7 covers the individual songs of Kanye West's latest album, but on this overview, they'll cover The Life of Pablo's storyline on a broader level, giving some macro context before you head into the individual deep dives.

May 18, 2018

Artist LaTosha Maddox shares how Kanye helped fuel her creative journey. 

She is a 23 year old African American Visual Artist who takes strong influence in Pro Black themes and Pop Culture. After beginning her Art Education at The Delaplaine Visual Arts Center and Academy of Arts in Frederick Maryland she pursued a Fine Arts Degree at Louisiana State University. Currently residing in the DMV area, taking time off to focus on an array of creative pursuits. Visit contact for any personal inquiries or requests. 

https://www.tinytosha.com

You can commission works or buy her Kanye-inspired prints through her website!

May 15, 2018

Poopy-di scoop
Scoop-diddy-whoop
Whoop-di-scoop-di-poop
Poop-di-scoopty
Scoopty-whoop
Whoopity-scoop, whoop-poop
Poop-diddy, whoop-scoop
Poop, poop
Scoop-diddy-whoop
Whoop-diddy-scoop
Whoop-diddy-scoop, poop

May 11, 2018

Spencer Wolff, aka @Snowcone965 on Twitter, is the man who helped popularize the theory that Ye’s recent controversies—Candace Owens, Trump, TMZ—are part of a larger performance art. Dive further into the concept with this discussion!

If you want to read more about the theory to have some context heading into the episode, check out these two posts:

https://twitter.com/Snowcone965/status/991695769714479104

https://pigeonsandplanes.com/in-depth/2018/05/kanye-west-prestige-theory 

May 9, 2018

Pretty much every relationship, idea, theme, and issue Kanye has explored throughout his discography has revolved around finding "the one." How perfect is it then that Wolves, the last song on The Life of Pablo's main storyline concludes with Kim and Kanye finding each other, balancing one another, ready to start their lives as husband and wife, father and mother. Chris and Travis try their best to do Kanye's magnum opus justice as they discuss marriage, love, lambs, the Bible—and the fuckin' wolves.

May 8, 2018

A true lover of hip-hop, Daniel Pultz shares with us the reasons why he’s been a fan of Kanye since day 1.

May 4, 2018

Deezie Brown’s album “Judith” is the closest thing Chris has felt to listening to Kanye. It makes sense that Deezie drew incredible inspiration from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Enjoy the perspective an artist brings to talking about Kanye as Deezie shares his StorYe.

May 4, 2018

Watching the Throne is happy to host a conversation between DeMario Jackson and friends Amaron and Nate about the most dramatic week in Kanye history. Real people, real fans, real reactions. These are the real conversations Kanye is creating.

May 1, 2018

For the first time, Chris and Travis have a Kanye West song that exists outside any album narrative. However, Ye vs. the People fits PERFECTLY into the Kanye West narrative on a broader scale, as he's now once again controlling the conversation, challenging conventional thought and shifting the zeitgeist. But is that good or bad? Is there a danger and naïveté to Kanye's rhetoric? Or should we think more constructively about Kanye's core message and reconsider how we talk about politics?

Only time will tell. But for now, we've got Ye vs. the People.

Apr 24, 2018

Carrington Harrison is known for being a radio host on 610Sports in Kansas City. More relevant to Kanye fans, Carrington and his friends are the ones behind the Kanye Madness bracket challenge that swept the nation this March. On this episode you can find out more about how Kanye Madness got started and Carrington's own Kanye fandom. 

 

 

 

Apr 20, 2018

On June 1, we get the eighth Kanye West album.

On June 8, we get the first album from Kanye and Kid Cudi's band, Kids See Ghost.

And on April 20, Chris and Travis lost their goddamn minds.

Still, they try to keep their composure (EVEN THOUGH KANYE IS OFFICIALLY BACK) and give a fair, scholarly assessment of Kanye's behavior since reappearing online (PREVIEW: IT'S LIKE MANNA FROM HEAVEN) and how that could signal the sound/direction of the forthcoming album (THIS IS A GOD DREAM THIS IS EVERYTHING).

Don't worry, we don't freak out...too much (JK WE GIDDY).

Apr 17, 2018

Zack specializes in the intersection of hip-hop and business (evidenced by his new book, 3 Kings: Diddy, Dr. Dre, Jay-Z and Hip-Hop’s Multibillion-Dollar Rise). This gives him quite the unique perspective on Kanye. Be prepared for what is one of our most fascinating StorYe’s to date! 

 

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Purchase 3 Kings: https://www.amazon.com/Kings-Diddy-Jay-Z-Hip-Hops-Multibillion-Dollar/dp/0316316539

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Zack O'Malley Greenburg is the senior editor of media & entertainment at Forbes and author of three books: 3 Kings: Diddy, Dr. Dre, Jay-Z and Hip-Hop's Multibillion-Dollar Rise (Little, Brown, 2018); Michael Jackson, Inc. (Simon & Schuster / Atria, 2014) and the Jay-Z biography Empire State of Mind (Penguin / Portfolio, 2011). In a decade at Forbes, Zack has investigated topics from pension fund scandals to Katy Perry's touring business to the Wu-Tang Clan's secret album. His work has also appeared in the Washington Post, Sports Illustrated, Billboard, Complex, Vibe and McSweeney's; he's served as an expert source for BBC, NPR, MTV, NY Times and 60 Minutes, and as a speaker at SXSW, TEDx, CES, Georgetown and Harvard. Zack graduated from Yale in 2007 with a degree in American Studies. A recovering child actor, he played the title role in film Lorenzo's Oil (1992). He lives in New York with his wife and cats

Apr 10, 2018

Watching the Throne's in the house, watch your mouth...

Watching the Throne's in the house, watch your mouth...

Bound...2! Bound 2!! We did it!!! Chris, Travis, and Jordan have been down a long, strange, dark, grimy, emotionally draining road covering Yeezus—Kanye West's misunderstood masterpiece—and they've reached the end of that road...or is it the end? Does Bound 2 signal a new chapter for Kanye that leads directly into themes and narrative of The Life of Pablo? Is Kanye's character bound to love...or to the pressures of celebrity? Will we EVER stay in step with Kanye and decipher his genius???

Probably not. But here's our best shot.

Apr 6, 2018

Robert Ruggerio is you. He's me. He's all of us who have followed Kanye since Through the Wire and had Ye not only be a soundtrack for life (from those teenage years, to the early twenties, now into the thirties), but this ethereal friend who has been there through the best and worst times. This is his/our StorYe. 

Apr 3, 2018

This is it guys...this is the big one—Lost in the World. About two year ago, Chris and Travis started dissecting My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, and now these efficient mofos are finally ready to cover the final track of what many consider to be one of the greatest albums ever made. They fit the final chapter into the narrative of the album as they discuss fame, loneliness and romance in what just might be Kanye's most complex song.

Mar 30, 2018

A new Kanye West news episode...sign me up, Mr. President! That's right, Chris and Travis were bored, and March is ending, so it's time to cover everything Kanye that happened over the past month. They discuss a possible new album coming out of Wyoming, the leak of Southside Serenade, lawsuits, memes, Harriet the Spy (so sorry), and all the Jay/Clay Z news you can possibly cram into one episode.

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