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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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Jun 20, 2017
Kanye lives his life...we living ours!!!!!! And ours is pretty dope, because today we're analyzing an extremely underrated Kanye West song, Guilt Trip. Not underrated, like, say, Breathe In Breathe Out is underrated. But underrated like, "Why don't more people consider this to be one of Kanye's best songs?" Because not only would the narrative of Yeezus be complete without it, but the song is also absolutely brimming with creativity and nuance. Listen in as we detail the song that shifts Kanye from "hopeless romantic" back into "Yeezus" mode for Send It Up.
 
This episode is also brought to you by Audible. Go to www.audibletrial.com/wtt to get a free audiobook and test out a 30-day trial with Audible.
 
Jun 13, 2017

Watching the Throne is finally taking the time to celebrate the greatest national holiday that's ever been blessed upon this great nation of ours: Kanye West's birthday (aka Christmas in June). And Chris and Travis appropriately go overboard by naming their 40 favorite things about the one and only Yeezus. From music videos to tweets to legendary quotes, they attempt to do the tiniest bit of justice for the best 40-year-old 10-year-old the music business.

This episode is also brought to you by Audible. Go to www.audibletrial.com/wtt to get a free audiobook and test out a 30-day trial with Audible.

Jun 6, 2017

Do NOT run away as fast as you can. In fact, we suggest you slowly walk towards us instead, take our hands, and follow us into the melancholic, symphonic soundscape known as Runaway. In what may be Chris and Travis' greatest challenge yet, they impossibly attempt to capture the beauty of perhaps Kanye West's greatest song by detailing the manipulative/desperate intentions of Kanye's conversations with his lover, unpacking the relevance and genius of Pusha T's verse, and talking excessively about the outro in a meta attempt to make this episode as aggressively long as Runaway itself.

This episode is brought to you by Framed Tweets.

This episode is also brought to you by Audible. Go to www.audibletrial.com/wtt to get a free audiobook and test out a 30-day trial with Audible.

May 30, 2017

Bill and Melinda Gates. Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. Anne Boleyn and King Henry VIII. Jay Z and Beyonce. Julius Caesar and Cleopatra. 

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West.

Come on—we all know why we're here. While countless power couples have graced the earth with their presences over the years, only one couple has given us an AT&T Park engagement, a Florence wedding, those ziplining photos where Kanye is happier than anyone has ever been, the cat Mercy, the Bound 2 video, and the two cutest kids on the entire goddamn world. Anna and Travis are here to celebrate and cherish Kim and Kanye on their third wedding anniversary by detailing their shared story and highlighting our favorite moments of their relationship.

This episode is brought to you by Framed Tweets.

This episode is also brought to you by Audible. Go to www.audibletrial.com/wtt to get a free audiobook and test out a 30-day trial with Audible.

May 23, 2017

Let us know...does this podcast still have time to grow? Ratings aren't always set in stone...let us know.

Let us...

SEEMS LIKE. STREET LIGHTS. GLOWING. HAPPEN TO BE JUST LIKE MAKING. US CRY. IN FRONT OF EVERYONE.

That's right! Chris and Travis are covering Street Lights, a song many consider to be one of Kanye West's greatest achievements. They get into the the cyclical, repetitive nature of the song; Kanye as a lyricist vs. Kanye as a poet; and the aesthetic power the track holds and how that weaves into the narrative of the album—and the narrative of Kanye's discography.

This episode is brought to you by Framed Tweets.

This episode is also brought to you by Audible. Go to www.audibletrial.com/wtt to get a free audiobook and test out a 30-day trial with Audible.

 
May 16, 2017

For weeks—for years, even—Chris and Travis have been saying it. They have persisted there is more than meets the eye. They have endured the laughter and vitriol that comes with taking such a stance. And today...today is the day they will finally defend that sentiment, that idea, that truth.

And that truth is that, dammit, Drunk and Hot Girls is a good song!

Seriously. They've detailed the thematic journey that exists on Graduation solely to prove there's more to Drunk and Hot Girls than just a bunch of drunk and hot girls. And now's their time to shine. So get ready for 90-or-so minutes of analysis for a song many Kanye West fans consider to be his worst.

This episode is brought to you by Audible. Go to www.audibletrial.com/wtt to get a free audiobook and test out a 30-day trial with Audible.

Apr 28, 2017

What do Hold My Liquor and Barry Bonds have in common? "Nothing," you say, snorting in that patronizing tone you've developed since listening to our Hold My Liquor episode and discovering the power of Yeezus.

Well guess what...YOU'RE WRONG. Because those two songs DO have something in common: They were chosen in Watching the Throne's first ever Kanye West Song Draft. To celebrate the NFL's big day, Chris and Travis each decided to draft their own Kanye West playlists, pitting them against one another to figure out who the #1 Kanye fan is (hint: it's definitely Travis). They also discuss Kim's appearance on Ellen, which was full of information about the Paris robbery and adorable Saint and North anecdotes.

Apr 25, 2017

What's your addiction? Is it podcasts? It is Ye? Is it Jay? Well prepare to be afflicted by not one...not two...BUT ALL THREE.

Yeah, even in an episode where Chris and Travis dissect Kanye's Late Registration track Addiction, they can't pass up an opportunity to humble-brag about their latest dinner party with Jay Z. But eventually they get into the song, which continues the album's blending of humbled past and overwhelming present through an intriguing, somewhat cryptic narrative. Plus, we get at the root of what "addiction" meant to Old Kanye and how it foreshadowed the heroic journey of New Kanye.

This episode is brought to you by Audible. Go to www.audibletrial.com/wtt to get a free audiobook and test out a 30-day trial with Audible.

Apr 18, 2017

Oh...you thought we wouldn't discuss I Love Kanye? You thought we'd ignore a song that's shorter than any of the Broke Phi Broke skits? You thought we were above spending an hour and twenty minutes dissecting a one-minute acapella ditty?

Oh...wait. You thought there was no double meaning to I Love Kanye? You didn't realize The Life of Pablo is a grand narrative where Kanye is learning to love himself and his family? And that this meta song marks an important turning point in that journey? And that there are multiple narrators and meanings occurring in this paradox of a track?

Well, then strap in, my friend.

This episode is brought to you by Audible. Go to www.audibletrial.com/wtt to get a free audiobook and test out a 30-day trial with Audible.

Apr 14, 2017

Hotline Cream? That can only mean one thing...there's an obnoxious Kanye West news episode waiting for everyone! It's a very special week for WTT, as Drake and Taylor Swift have officially become best friends with Chris and Travis and realized what undeniable geniuses they are. In this episode, Bean and Lamb discuss several weird tiny bits of Kanye news, the songs they would love to see mashed up with Yeezy, and their new, blossoming friendships with two celebrities that can only dream about someday being as successful as two privileged white boys who host an absurd hip hop podcast.

This episode is brought to you by Audible. Go to www.audibletrial.com/wtt to get a free audiobook and test out a 30-day trial with Audible.

Apr 11, 2017

Prepare to get GLOWED UP. That's right, there's a new Kanye song, which means there's a new Watching the Throne episode. For the first time, Chris and Travis are including Drake in the Kanye discussion and dissecting the new track Glow, which explores the promise of celebrity, the repercussions of fame, and why sunblock is important when riding around town with the sunroof down. It's a tiny preview of what the Kanye-Drake collaboration could have been (or might be someday!), which means WTT is ready to psychoanalyze the song to death and figure out exactly what the theme of the album would have been (or might be someday!).

This episode is brought to you by Audible. Go to www.audibletrial.com/wtt to get a free audiobook and test out a 30-day trial with Audible.

Apr 7, 2017

Real fans.

How many of us.

How many of us.

How many of us—TIME ISSUES. 

How many of us. How many zealous? Real fans. There are so many of us. We hug each other. But how many waste their days away doing a Kanye podcast? TIME ISSUES. Kanye switched up his style. He can't be bothered, I cannot blame him, for havin' a jewelry line, I ain't got no issues, I'm just doin' my thing—hope he doin' his thing too. Kendall is an awesome sister, improves family reunions. Fuck the Pepsi ad up by drinking at the protest. Spillin' freedom, now the youth is ruined. Political for a day—what the fuck we doin'? Who the real fans? We all came from College Dropout. We always blamin' Ye, but what's sad, he not the problem. Damn we talked about The Wiz, shit I thought it was the MJ Cast. Why you wait a week write a bad review in the first place? When was the last time we remembered to keep the episode short? When was the last time we was even in a hurry?

Real fans.

This episode is brought to you by Audible. Go to www.audibletrial.com/wtt to get a free audiobook and test out a 30-day trial with Audible.

Apr 4, 2017

Chris and Travis woke up in great moods, ate healthy, protein-packed breakfasts, hit new PRs during their squat workouts, and then donated the rest of daylight to volunteering at the local Salvation Army. Then, naturally, they escaped into their basements, riding that high right into a discussion of Blood on the Leaves, hoping they'd make it through the night. Turns out, they had *just* enough goodwill to get through one of Kanye West's most depressing songs from his most misunderstood album. They get into the metaphor being drawn from Strange Fruit by Nina Simone, the gender politics ripping the central character apart, and the grand introduction/origin story of Yeezus himself.

This episode is brought to you by Audible. Go to www.audibletrial.com/wtt to get a free audiobook and test out a 30-day trial with Audible.

Mar 31, 2017

Having trouble keeping up with Keeping Up with the Kardashians? No fear! Travis, Chris and their special guest Anna have got you covered. Not only are they here to recap Kimye's stresses after the Paris robbery, but cover how publicity and celebrity seem to be catching up with the Kardashians in general. They also discuss Kanye's two new features with Mary J. Blige and Drake and Kanye's new Calabasas clothing collection. Also at one point Chris spends about 30 minutes on Twitter. Hurray and huzzah.

This episode is brought to you by Audible. Go to www.audibletrial.com/wtt to get a free audiobook and test out a 30-day trial with Audible.

Mar 18, 2017

This is the moment no one has been waiting for! A Chris-only episode of Watching the Throne. Be prepared for too many audible breaths, a monotone that will put you to sleep, and the shortest episode WTT has done in over a year!

 

 

Mar 14, 2017

Put your hands 🙌  to the constellations ✨ because it's finally time to dissect one of Kanye West's most beloved songs: Devil in a New Dress 💃🏿. Hot off their live SXSW show, Chris and Travis 👬  have a fire in their bellies 🔥 over this track, which features the one and only Kanye West 🐐  being completely emasculated by a woman before pouring his heart and soul out to the world on Runaway 😭 😭 😭. It's the kind of lyrical storytelling these stans 😎  just can't get enough of.

This episode is brought to you by Audible. Go to www.audibletrial.com/wtt to get a free audiobook and test out a 30-day trial with Audible.

Mar 12, 2017

Middle America packed in, came to see...Watching the Throne? At SXSW 2017?! Better believe it! Chris and Travis somehow sweet-talked their way onto the SXSW Podcast Stage (presented by TuneIn), and they're using the opportunity to educate the world on the masterpiece that is Yeezus. They break down the album's main motifs of ego, race, and romance, detailing the moments that make up the hyperbolized version of Kanye, aka "Yeezus" himself. Fun is, of course, had all around.

This episode is brought to you by The Daily Dot.

Mar 11, 2017

While Chris and Travis wait for the audio of their live SXSW episode, they decided to have some fun! Which may or may not involve libations. They finally got in the same room together to talk some Kanye West news, which also involves some drinking games, next-level J-Crew news, and a special appearance (or two or three or ten) by Alexa. Fair warning: Shit gets goofy. You're welcome.

This episode is brought to you by Audible. Go to www.audibletrial.com/wtt to get a free audiobook and test out a 30-day trial with Audible.

Mar 7, 2017

'Bout the dumbest dudes you ever seen
Straight up out da podcast scene
They call themselves Lambert & Bean
And they spend their lives Kanye-ing
Up late night with their boy Noah, whoa
Checkin' every line like Ye on parole
He told 'em it's some things they don't need to know
They never let it go, ohhhhh

OKAYYYY OKAY OKAYYYYY THEY WILL NEVER STOP IT NOW

'Cause it's time to analyze RoboCop
Wow, they really like the song RoboCop
The also happen to like the film RoboCop
Yeah, it's time for RoboCop

This episode is brought to you by Audible. Go to www.audibletrial.com/wtt to get a free audiobook and test out a 30-day trial with Audible.

Also, check out Noah's music at https://soundcloud.com/grasskingdoms.

 

Mar 3, 2017

It's StorYe time! We've got superfan Alex Dellbridge on the show, and he's to tell us if other countries like Kanye West as much as the U.S. of A. In addition, Alex joins Chris and Travis to cover Kanye West news, which includes the new Zebra Yeezys, a glimpse into the genesis of Kimye, a minor lawsuit Kanye escaped, and a very strange segment of the Kanye Bounce House (is there any other kind?).

This episode is brought to you by Audible. Go to www.audibletrial.com/wtt to get a free audiobook and test out a 30-day trial with Audible.

Feb 28, 2017

Travis is off doing the things a Travis does. So Chris brings in a special guest: r/Kanye moderator and graphic designer/photographer from Quebec, Justin Leduc! Justin shares his thoughts on the Kanye sub-Reddit, on the birth and growth of his Kanye fandom, and also delivers some of the best J Cole news in our podcast's history. We discuss a bunch of Kanye news, as well. Drake's thoughts on Kanye. The spoken-word poem that's been attributed to an ex of Kanye. The "false idol" Kanye statue that street artist Plastic Jesus made. Kanye releasing a line of DONDA make-up. And Judd Apatow telling an all-time classic Kanye story about Kanye's time on the Anchorman 2 set. 

 

Thanks for listening! If you want to help us out, you can leave a review on iTunes or Google Play, or sign up for a free Audible trial at www.audibletrial.com/wtt

Feb 21, 2017

Dude! In their neverending quest to be more like Kanye West, Chris and Travis take up the challenge of creating an episode that's as ridiculous and bloated as one of Ye's most reviled songs: Barry Bonds. But if you're here to see a lampooning of the Graduation track, think again! Chris and Travis actually like the song, and will not just defend its lyrics, but also show why it has a place on the album and actually foreshadows a narrative technique Kanye will go on to master on Yeezus and The Life of Pablo.

That's right—suck our bats, bitches.

This episode is brought to you by Audible. Go to www.audibletrial.com/wtt to get a free audiobook and test out a 30-day trial with Audible.

Feb 17, 2017

Yeezy season approachin'...and there it went! That's right, Yeezy Season 5 went down, and Travis and Anna are here to recap all its epicness, from the outfits to the music to that weird, giant black box that was sitting in the middle of the room. They also get into what Kimye did on Valentine's Day, if it matters at all that Kanye got shut out at the Grammys, and what Clay Z has been up to over the past three months. Also expect Travis to rap, and for Anna to pretend that she's not excited that Kanye is working on a new album.

Feb 14, 2017

If you miss the Old Kanye, you're in luck! Well, sort of. Chris and Travis are very excited to dissect the Late Registration track Bring Me Down—its epic beat, its killer hook...and, yeah, even all of its extremely unfortunate flaws, like its sporadic narrative, its hypocrisy, and the fact that the song, by its end, has no real clear point or direction? It's been awhile since we were hard on Kanye, and trust us, we don't feel good about it. So, just let us get this out of our system and we'll be back to kissing Kanye's feet in no time!

P.S. We're very sorry about Travis's audio. Undoubtedly, this is the gods punishing us for being so hard on Ye. Next week it will be fixed.

This episode is brought to you by Audible. Go to www.audibletrial.com/wtt to get a free audiobook and test out a 30-day trial with Audible.

Feb 10, 2017

Whatta week! Kanye West has deleted all his pro-Donald Trump tweets, Kim is testifying in her Paris robbery court case, and Dream has a pair of Yeezys—all of which means the world can officially continue spinning once again. Chris and Travis also update the world on the happenings of the J-Bros (Jay Z and J. Cole) and discuss what a day at the gym with Kanye would be like.

This episode is brought to you by Audible. Go to www.audibletrial.com/wtt to get a free audiobook and test out a 30-day trial with Audible.

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