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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 2
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.

Aug 26, 2017

Taylor, look what you made us do! We have an obligation to defend Kanye in any and all scenarios, that goes double when it involves Taylor Swift, who released "Look What You Made Me Do" yesterday—and we're not wasting ANY time (tearing it apart). Anna joins Travis and Chris to analyze the death of "Old Taylor" and how it fits into the never-ending Kanye-Taylor feud. Then we discuss the other person who has beef with Kanye: Jay Z, who recently called out Kanye in both an interview and his new album.

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

Aug 24, 2017

We've got some real bad news, guys—we're gonna keep doing this podcast.

I know, I know...you thought this would be the last episode. But our Kanye fandom is just too mountainous to overcome, so we're probably just gonna keep talking to each from thousands of miles away until we've covered every last song that Kanye has had a hand in. That includes today with the ninth track on 808s and Heartbreak, Bad News, which mixes Kanye's heartbreak with romance and fame. Ultimately, the song is a precursor to what he'd accomplish on Runaway...so if that doesn't capture your attention, we don't know what will.

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

Aug 15, 2017

This week, the song hits a little too close to home for Chris and Travis: Absolutely swarmed by the paparazzi as they strut down that red carpet, through the gold-plated doors, into the brick hallway, down the creaky stairs, and into the basement where their girlfriends force them to record the podcast because they're so goddamn loud, the WTT crew just understands where Kanye West is coming from on Flashing Lights. And they get into in this episode, where they discuss the structure of what is actually a very strange and convoluted song, which fits perfectly into Graduation's narrative about Kanye exiting his College Dropout phase and emerging as New Kanye.

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

Aug 8, 2017

Martin Connor analyzes production in hip hop music living on his website, Rap Analysis. In his StorYe, he discusses the evolution of Kanye's production from soul-sample-heavy to weird-as-shit.

Kanye’s soul samples have become the orientations through which all of his stories are experienced, even as they begin to occupy ever more fragmented parts of his structures, keys, or mixes. It seems, then, that soul samples for Kanye have always had a significance that is purely cultural, having come from a genre that was mostly nurtured and developed by Black artists themselves. It is just that, in his most recent albums, Kanye has brought this role of theirs fully to the forefront.

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

Jul 31, 2017

Today we're talking to Cole Cuchna, creator and host of the Dissect Podcast. He performs musical analysis (just like us!) by going track-by-track through albums, breaking the format into short, easily digestible episodes (not just like us!). 

The first season featured Cole going through Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp a Butterfly, and the second will continue with Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Chris and Travis sit down with Cole to get his StorYe: When he first heard Kanye West, how his relationship has evolved since then, and what it was like to intricately dissect one of the most important hip hop albums of all time.

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

Jul 25, 2017

Kanye is forever...
He's all we need to please us
He can't stimulate or tease us
He won't leave in the night
Have no fear that he might desert me...

KANYE IS FOREVER. FOREVER. FOREVER.

Good mornin'! It's another week, another #TuesYe, and (unfortunately) another JAY-Z verse to dissect. That's right: Chris and Travis are ripping into a verse that many consider to be GOAT...which is weird to us, especially when its pit against Kanye's brutally honest and capricious confession on the Diamonds From Sierra Leone remix. We discuss everything Kanye is exploring, like his struggle with balancing his humbled home life with celebrity life, the black community's obsession with self-worth, and how social issues from across the world can blend into one another—and then we discuss everything JAY-Z is exploring, like how awesome his money is, why he's basically Jesus, and how on God's green earth the Titanic sinking in WATER is comparable to a phoenix burning in a FIRE.

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

Jul 18, 2017

Scars. Tattoos. Diamonds. Hydro flasks. L.L. Bean hiking boots. J.K. Rowling's imagination. Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On." Ryan Gosling's charm. The universe. Love.

Oh—and waves. Waves also last forever.

Waves don't die.

Actually, you can add this episode to that list, because Chris and Travis can apparently spend forever talking about Waves, one of the most popular tracks off The Life of Pablo. It also happens to be one of the most strongly contested songs between the WTT hosts for months. In this analysis, they explore the metaphor of waves, debate the power of Chris Brown's chorus, and freak out about the long-awaited realization of the Old Kanye vs. New Kanye dynamic.

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

Jul 11, 2017

Welcome to Watching the Throne, a lyrical analysis of...Jay Z? No, wait: JAY-Z. Because Jay Z is dead on 4:44, which means it's time for Chris and Travis to—for the first time ever—analyze a song that isn't a Kanye West track!

However, the first track off JAY-Z's latest album is ABOUT Kanye, which means the WTT crew is uniquely qualified to analyze it, dissect it—and completely trash it (sort of). They explore the old-Jay Z vs. new-JAY-Z dynamic set up on 4:44, the manner in which JAY-Z explores his demons, and what it really means that he dissed his once-protégé.

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

Jul 4, 2017

Chris is gone, which means Travis has nobody telling him to not make terrible decisions...which means Travis decided to bring his friend Christina on the show! And they have an interesting relationship when it comes to Kanye, as in Christina thinks Kanye might be a huge misogynist and Travis likes to yell about how she's wrong about that.

But seriously, it's an important discussion that Travis thinks is good to have live on the show, considering how Chris and Travis just constantly talk about how great he is and one dissenting opinion won't kill them.

We also get into Christina's StorYe, talk about Jay Z's new bloody mary mix, and theorize about some of the more intimate moments of Kim and Kanye's lives.

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

Jun 27, 2017

Caitlin White is the managing editor of Uproxx's music section. She also happens to be wavy as hell because she's a firm believer of the one and only Yeezy. In her StorYe she discusses the impact Kanye West has had on her life and career, why 808s & Heartbreak is her favorite album of all time, and a ton more.

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

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

 
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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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