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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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Watching the Throne: A Lyrical Analysis of Kanye West
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Now displaying: Page 1
Nov 18, 2017

Watching the Throne breaks down the most misunderstood moment in Kanye West's career: The moment he screams on the track I Am a God.

If you would like to support the show, visit our Patreon page.

Nov 17, 2017

Is it a buttery croissant? Almond croissant? Chocolate croissant? Jelly-filled? Ham and cheese? Lye-glazed? Is it one of those hip, new croissan'wiches? How many croissants are there? Are they Austrian croissants served in a French bakery? Is it made in the style of a Kipferl, the precursor to croissant?

Guys, Watching the Throne is here to answer all these questions and more on this episode, as Chris, Travis, and Jordan get into Kanye West's most misunderstood song, I Am a God. They're discussing the tragic, lonely irony of becoming a god, how the song sets up the dominant themes and dichotomies of Yeezus, and the transcendent sonic moments that separate the song from every other song in the history of music.

All of that is, obviously, followed by debates about Blood on the Leaves and FourFiveSeconds, educating Jordan about Hulkamania, and, uh, croissants.

If you would like to support the show, visit our Patreon page.

Nov 14, 2017

This is why we can't have nice things, Taylor! Because you go and and make an album like "Reputation," which we then have to completely tear apart, track by track. Chris is out this week, but Anna joined Travis to discuss Taylor Swift's latest album and how it relates to and addresses Kanye West.

In all honesty, they tried to be fair?

"Tried" is the key word, here.

If you would like to support the show, visit our Patreon page.

Nov 10, 2017

As Chris and Travis continue to tear through Kanye West's most misunderstood album, Yeezus, they move on to analyze Black Skinhead and everything that comes with it, from the narrative on Yeezus to racial injustice to alienation to inspiration to goon shit to anarchy to becoming a god to putting your leather black jeans on by any means...on.

So...yeah. They cover a lot.

If you would like to support the show, visit our Patreon page.

Nov 7, 2017

Today is a celebration. To celebrate Donda West, Chris and Travis are skipping ahead a bit and breaking down Hey Mama, Kanye West's ode to his loving mother. To prepare, the Watching the Throne crew read Donda's book, "Raising Kanye," and are applying that knowledge to their analysis. They talk about Kanye's use of micro-narratives, the methodical use of the song's sample, and how Kanye creates a communal setting to celebrate his mom.

If you would like to support the show, visit our Patreon page.

Oct 25, 2017

Ron Parida is the mind behind RPV Creative, a social media gency and production company. This is the group behind the wild and wonderful @kanye_isms Instagram page where they turn Kanye sound bytes into entertaining adventures.

In this StorYe, Ron shares the approach to kanye_isms and his views on Kanye as a musician and creative.

Check out Ron's work at https://www.instagram.com/kanye_isms/ 

Oct 20, 2017

We're feeling like we've never felt before today...

Because we've never felt this confused.

This is a weird one. For the first time in Watching the Throne, Chris and Travis are at a loss about a song. While they like We Major...they might not know what the song is about at all? Or they might know exactly what the song is about? Or they might have a thousand different theories for what the song could be about?

Who knows. Go down the rabbit hole with them as they try to piece together We Major, which is either Kanye West's sloppiest song or a misunderstood meta pop masterpiece.

Oct 17, 2017

Corbin Reiff is the Deputy Music Editor at Uproxx. He's first book, "Lighters in the Sky: The All-Time Greatest Concerts, 1960-2016" just came out and features not one but two Kanye performances. In this episode, you get to hear all about Corbin's StorYe, his views on Kanye's music and concerts. Check out his book here: http://amzn.to/2ytA0pk

Oct 14, 2017

Anna watched Keeping Up with the Kardashians...so you don't have to! And you're lucky this week, considering the new episode—even by Anna's standards—was a real dud. Khloe dances to Despacito, Kris goes "camping," Kim is vain, and Kylie continues to push the theory that walking and talking robots exist among us.

Oct 14, 2017

Anna watched Keeping Up with the Kardashians...so you don't have to! And you're lucky this week, considering the new episode—even by Anna's standards—was a real dud. Khloe dances to Despacito, Kris goes "camping," Kim is vain, and Kylie continues to push the theory that walking and talking robots exist among us.

Oct 13, 2017

Sasquatch, Godzilla, King Kong, Loch Ness

Goblin, ghoul, a zombie with no conscience

Question: What do these things all have in common?

EVERYBODY KNOWS IT'S TIME TO CELEBRATE JAY-Z

You guys! It's almost Halloween!! And Watching the Throne wants to start a new yearly tradition: A celebration of JAY-Z's legendary verse from Monster.

That's right, we're paying tribute to the 60 seconds that altered the course of humanity and made everything stop and wonder, "Do I get enough love?"

In this episode, we talk about our favorite Monster moments and read some fan Mad Libs that honor all the incredible wordplay resonating throughout Jay's verse—we hope to do it justice.

 

Oct 10, 2017

The very first song Watching the Throne ever covered by Kanye West was We Don't Care. Way back in early 2015, they were just finding their footing, laying the seeds for what would become...an insane show where they would eventually come to spend over an hour trying to figure out Jay's verse on Monster.

So after mastering their craft, Chris and Travis have decided to go back to The College Dropout years and re-analyze Kanye's earliest songs. With a much different perspective post-The Life of Pablo, they evaluate Kanye's grander storytelling aspirations from an album perspective, how the song sets up a motif of ambition on the album, and how the intro skit, song, and outro skit set up a beginning, middle, and end like any movie would do.

If you would like to support the show, visit our Patreon page.

Oct 6, 2017

What does one do when one has run out of ideas?

...one speaks of Ye! Like, anything about Ye. Literally any bit of news one can find. And that's exactly what Chris and Travis did this week as they made their first Kanye West news episode in months!

They get into everything going on with Kanye as of late, including his potential collaboration with Kid Cudi, Bruce Springsteen's playlist, Jamie Foxx's story about the inception of Slow Jamz, and Ye's childhood home becoming the South Side Arts Center.

The WTT crew also fantasizes about going on vacation with Kanye, and updates the world on Jay Z's continued obsession with Chi-Chi's.

If you would like to support the show, visit our Patreon page.

Oct 3, 2017

You may know DeMario Jackson from season 13 of The Bachelorette. What's apparent is how charismatic, charming, and fun DeMario is. What may not have been apparent is just how much he loves Kanye. In his StorYe, DeMario takes us through his Ye fandom from the day Through the Wire dropped into 2017, revealing what Ye's music has meant to him and how it's saved his life twice. This is, by far, our most epic StorYe yet. You can find more from DeMario at https://demariojackson.com/bio/. Following him on Instagram as @demariojackson and on Twitter as @demariojackson_

Sep 29, 2017

Chris, Travis and Jordan are taking on the masterpiece known as Yeezus, starting with On Sight. They break down how the song kicks off the epic narrative, how it sets up the tragic, ironic importance of immediacy for the character on the album, and how the insanely deep and stripped down production feeds into all of it.

The is a remastering of an old episode.

If you would like to support the show, visit our Patreon page.

Sep 29, 2017

The interlude in On Sight is beautiful, but can be befuddling. How we make sense of it depends on what kind of album we think Yeezus is. Is it a collection of single tracks? Or is it more? Is it a concept album like The Who's Tommy or Green Day's American Idiot? Chris will take you on a journey of discovery to see the depth and awesomeness of not just Yeezus, not just On Sight, but of the interlude itself.

If you would like to support the show, visit our Patreon page.

Sep 29, 2017

“Non-musical. Super aggro. Really noisy...

I loved it. It made me crazy.”

That’s how Rick Rubin, who came in at the last second to help polish up the production on Yeezus, describes the opening moments of On Sight. Without wasting a second, the opening track, to what is probably Kanye West’s most misunderstood album, immediately polarizes listeners—on purpose. It's completely in line with the character Kanye is creating; a character we'll come to explore on the album.

So let's talk about it.

If you would like to support the show, visit our Patreon page.

Much thanks to Chris Lambert, Jordan C. Johnson, and  for their helpful notes on this recording.

Sep 26, 2017

Noisy Images is one of the best YouTube channels for hip hop related content. Perhaps the best part of the channel is how Kanye-centric it is. In this episode, Chris talks with Noisy Images creator Don about Don's love of Kanye. Warning, a lot of talk about life as well, because, at the end of the day, Kanye is life. You can check out Noisy Images by clicking here.

If you would like to support the show, visit our Patreon page.

Sep 22, 2017

Chris and Travis are dedicating the next three months to what could be Kanye's most monumental achievement: Yeezus. Over the several weeks, they'll release an analysis for each song on the album, and to start, they want to provide a brief overview of the storyline on Yeezus.

This episode was recorded at the 2017 SXSW & TuneIn Podcast Stage.

If you would like to support the show, visit our Patreon page.

Sep 19, 2017

Chris and Travis are now getting into what might be the greatest stretch of Kanye West songs as they take on FML. And it's such a tall order that they'll need some help from Janie Contreras Johnson, who happens to think FML is the greatest song ever made. The three of them discuss insane level of vulnerability Kanye displays on the song, how Kanye's relationship with the public feeds into his domestic troubles, and how FML sets up the finale of The Life of Pablo.

If you would like to support the show, visit our Patreon page.

Sep 15, 2017

We 'bout to send this bitch up and, yes, it WILL go down.

Yup, you guessed it: Chris and Travis are dissecting Sent It Up today, which only leaves one song to go on what is possibly Kanye West's greatest album: Yeezus. With that in mind, they're really getting into Kanye's state of mind at this point in the album's narrative, which finds Kanye dipping back into his Yeezus persona after finding some catharsis on Guilt Trip. They talk about braggadocio and irony, how the song mirrors On Sight lyrically and sonically, and how the song sets up both Bound 2 and The Life of Pablo.

If you would like to support the show, visit our Patreon page.

Sep 12, 2017

This week, we're celebrating the 10-year anniversary of Graduation by dissecting Kanye's first single from the album, Can't Tell Me Nothing. Chris and Travis talk about the song's idyllic, yet ironic portrait of fame and fortune as the album digs Kanye deeper and deeper into a hole until he's completely alienated from his friends, family and hometown of Chicago.

If you would like to support the show, visit our Patreon page.

Sep 8, 2017

Chris and Travis have kidnapped Jordan and forced him to participate in the first ever Best Kanye West Song Tournament Death Match Extreme 2000, where they created Best Kanye Song Tournament bracket and voted on their favorites. They go through every (and I mean EVERY) Kanye West song and discuss why they voted the way they did. The result is sometimes insightful, most of the time contentious, and always...long.

Oh my god it's so long.

If you would like to support the show, visit our Patreon page.

This is a rerun of an old episode.

Sep 5, 2017

I tell you what—it's one hell of a life hosting a Kanye West podcast. It's almost as crazy as the song Hell of a Life, which Chris and Travis think is probably the most underrated and misunderstood song on Ye's discography. They get into the "fantasy" of the song, why Kanye feels such a connection to this porn star, and how all of it wraps up in the most tragic, awkward of ways.

If you would like to support the show, visit our Patreon page.

Aug 29, 2017

Chris and Travis are off this week, so, in the wake of Taylor's new video for Look What You Made Me Do, they're sharing one of their old episodes, where they sit down with Anna and spend close to two hours detailing the history of Kanye West and Taylor Swift, from when Kanye stormed the VMA stage in 2009 to Kim Kardashian’s Snapchat revelation that Taylor approved the Famous line. The WTT crew covers key points in Kanye and Taylor's shared history that many people have forgotten about, the collateral damage that's resulted from the feud, and where each party could go from here. This is the most absolutely comprehensive analysis you will find of Kanye and Taylor on the Internet.

If you would like to support the show, visit our Patreon page.

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