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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Watching the Throne: A Lyrical Analysis of Kanye West




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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.

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

May 15, 2018

Poopy-di scoop
Whoopity-scoop, whoop-poop
Poop-diddy, whoop-scoop
Poop, poop
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: 

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! 



Purchase 3 Kings:


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.

Mar 27, 2018

Miranda Feneberger dishes on her history with Kanye's music, developing a love and understanding of hip hop, and more things Kanye West. 


Miranda's work has been published or is forthcoming on sites such as HelloGiggles, NYLON, HuffPo, Rookie, BuzzFeed, Bustle, Thought Catalog, andPaste Magazine. She has also been published in print in Shiny People Zine, and on indie sites like The Inkport and Vinyl Mag.

Mar 20, 2018

If it's 4 a.m. and you can't sleep. If it's a lonely night and you're starting to fade. If the love you need is a thousand miles away.

Don't worry, we're covering the right song for you today.

As Chris and Travis reach the tail end of 808s & Heartbreak, they try to keep their composure as Kanye reaches the apex of all the fear and regret that's plagued him throughout the album. It's a dark, yet strangefully hopeful time on Coldest Winter, which finds Kanye saying goodbye to his mother (and, effectively, his fantasies about fame) as he looks towards building his own future.

Mar 16, 2018

Timothy Anne Burnside brings her expert opinion on African American history and culture to bear on Kanye as a musician, his influences, and his legacy. 


Timothy Anne Burnside works closely with object donors and museum colleagues to build collections and develop exhibitions and programs that offer complex representations of history and cultural expression. Her background includes curatorial research and collecting, archival work, collections management, and program production. Timothy began her career with the Smithsonian at the National Museum of American History in 2003, where she worked in the Archives Center and Division of Cultural History, then launched that museum’s hip-hop collecting initiative in 2006. She has since worked on many Smithsonian exhibitions and projects, including the NMAAHC’s preview exhibition about the Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York that toured the country in 2010-2012. Timothy most recently contributed to multiple NMAAHC inaugural exhibitions, including Musical Crossroads, Sports: Leveling the Playing Field, Taking the Stage, and The Power of Place. She regularly presents at conferences across the country, speaks with college and graduate students about opportunities in the museum field, and serves on the Executive Committee of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music. Timothy received her B.A. in History, English, and Music Performance from Lawrence University, and M.A. in Museum Studies from Johns Hopkins University.




"The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. It was established by Act of Congress in 2003, following decades of efforts to promote and highlight the contributions of African Americans. To date, the Museum has collected more than 36,000 artifacts and nearly 100,000 individuals have become members. The Museum opened to the public on September 24, 2016, as the 19th and newest museum of the Smithsonian Institution."



Mar 14, 2018

We were live on the SXSW and TuneIn Podcast Stage. Chris and Travis, a room full of Kanye fans, delicious breakfast tacos from Tacodeli—could we get much higher?

You'll hear some Kanye-themed games (Family Feud/Kanye or Jay-Z/and Wait, Kanye, What?) and some truly wavy conversation about Mr. West. 



Mar 9, 2018

Joe Perez is a freelance creative director & graphic artist based in Providence, Rhode Island.
He attended Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA.
2008-2010 he curated Kanye West’s two blogs: &
He went on to work as the lead art director at Kanye West’s design studio DONDA from 2011-2016.
His most notable work was on the Cruel Summer, & Yeezus album covers.
Joe also contributed to the award nominated “The Life of Pablo” merchandise where
he developed product ideas and designed the interior of the NYC pop-up shop.
Joe went on to form his own studio which crafted Nicki Minaj’s “The Pink Print” album cover.
The cover was later selected by Billboard magazine as one of the 50 greatest album covers of all time.
In 2017 he released his first clothing collection entitled, “MASON”.

Mar 6, 2018

Can we talk our shit again? We can?! Because it's our podcast?!?!?! Yippee!!!

Today Chris and Travis are breaking down what might be Kanye West's most underrated song: The Glory. The track that might truly be the pinnacle of Old Kanye's powers. They discussing ironic use of ego,  the beauty of sampling Laura Nyro, and how the song sets up Kanye's "break up" with Chicago.

Feb 27, 2018

Kish is currently based in Melbourne, Australia. Her recent bylines have been in Sydney Morning Herald, Noisey, Acclaim Magazine and VICE Magazine.

She's a writer, DJ and podcaster.

Follow her on Twitter: @kish_lal

Feb 23, 2018

We haven't done a news episode in a while—which means there's a TON to cover. Chris and Travis do their best to cover everything Kanye from the past month or so, including Kanye joining Kid Cudi on stage, Kanye's return to Instagram, the birth of Kimye's third babe—and, of course, the latest and greatest JAY-Z/Clay Z news.

Feb 21, 2018

You know what this is? It's a...


we're actually not sure? Chris and Travis usually have a complete grasp on Kanye West, but when it comes to Celebration, they're at a bit of a loss. They try to piece together how Celebration might fit into the theme of Late Registration, how the skits might point towards the song's intentions, and how this might be a lite foreshadowing of the Yeezus version of Kanye.

The key word here? Might.

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