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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 3
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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

Feb 7, 2017

What if we talk right now?
What if we talked right in the middle
Of this mothereffin’ episode?
About Freestyle 4 for a whole hour?
Would we be authorities on the whole album?
Break down The Life of Pablo
Would everybody love TLOP?
Would everybody love TLOP?
Would everybody love TLOP?

We can. We can see it, yeah.

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

Feb 3, 2017

Yeezy season approachin'! And you better believe Chris and Travis are LIVING for it. With a new set of Kanye West clothes comes a new Kanye West news episode, in which the WTT crew discusses Yeezy Season 5, 20 things you didn't know about Kim, North and Saint showing off some sweet new kicks and wear, J. Cole making his debut film, and a slew of Kanye rumors and insults that probably aren't worth reporting on but hey look they did anyway.

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

Jan 31, 2017

In a typically meta move by the WTT crew, Chris, Travis, and Jordan decide the only way to properly analyze I'm In It is to trap themselves in a two-hour podcast that just won't seem to f**king end. They eventually emerge from breaking down one of Kanye West's greatest songs, but not before trekking in-depth through the track's mix of identity politics, sexual aggression, and existential anxiety.

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

Jan 27, 2017

It might be a light week for Kanye news, but all of Kanye's buddies are up to plenty of shenanigans! And Chris and Travis are here to report on it all, from Kanye tweeting to J. Cole sledding to Jay Z trumping to Kim Costa Rica-ing to Ray J bitching yet again about something totally stupid as we all collectively nod our heads in unison and say, "Yeah Ray J...yeah. Sure. Totally. You're right, Ray J. You're so right."

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

Jan 23, 2017

Ramón Ramirez, entertainment editor for The Daily Dot, takes a deep dive into The Life of Pablo with Chris, exploring the album's depth track by track and using his expertise to show why Kanye West's album will come to represent 2016.

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

Jan 20, 2017

Have you heard about the Kanye class at Washington University? We talked with Dr. Jeffrey Q. McCune Jr. about why he wanted to teach the class, how the idea came about, the politics of black success and celebrity iconography, and, most importantly, why the work of Kanye deserves this kind of discussion.

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

Jan 17, 2017

There's only one podcast in the world where you can hear the phrases "Mr. Rogers in high heels," "Cheddar Bleep Blop Bloops," and "Kanye West hosted an orgy in Hawaii" all in one episode! That's right, Chris and Travis got appropriately loopy and punch-drunk for their analysis of So Appalled, which is sort of assigning Kanye West as an apathetic god figure for his narrative journey on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, but also sort of too insane to have any right to exist.

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

Jan 13, 2017

What are Chris and Travis to do when they have a slow Kanye news week...START A NEW TRADITION.

That's right, they kidnapped Jordan and forced him to participate in the first ever Best Kanye West Song Tournament Death Match Extreme 2000, where they took r/kanye's recent Best Kanye Song Tournament and formed their own bracket. They go through every (and I mean EVERY) round 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.

 

Jan 10, 2017

Wait, what's wrong? What are you looking at us like that?? Don't you still like the show??? WHAT'S WRONG PLEASE TELL US.

In other news, Chris and Travis are covering Paranoid on this episode, and they're quite confident in their analysis, and not at all scared that you'll abandon their show!

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

Jan 7, 2017

In an effort to make up three weeks of Kanye West news, Chris and Travis really go overboard with this one. They dispel the ridiculous Kimye divorce rumors, cry tears of joy over Kim's return to social media, ponder what character Kanye would play in The Office, and provide their signature updates on the life and times of J. Cole.

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

Jan 3, 2017

It's been a minute since we had some fresh blood on Watching the Throne, but this week that all changes. Kevin sits down with Chris for a marathon interview about the ups and downs of being a Kanye megafan.

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

Dec 27, 2016

Was you saying something? Was you telling Chris and Travis that spending hours upon hours talking about Kanye West was a waste of time? Was you scoffing at their analytical dive into Can't Tell Me Nothing? Was you denying the song's idyllic, yet ironic portrait of fame and fortune as the album Graduation digs the character of Kanye deeper and deeper until he's completely alienated from his friends, family and hometown of Chicago? Was you saying something???

Uh-uh you can't tell them NOTHING.

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

Dec 20, 2016

Go on and celebrate Christmas all you want—Chris and Travis have upgraded to ChristmaHanuKwanzaakah. 

That's right! It's time for an absurdly long lyrical analysis of Christmas in Harlem, Kanye West's one and only stab at a creating a classic Christmas jingle. They're breaking down all eight verses from Kanye and his friends that we can only assume were recorded in Hawaii while Kanye was making one of the greatest albums of all time. Kinda crazy when you think about it, huh?

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

Dec 16, 2016

This week, Chris and Travis are talking about the two biggest blondes dominating the news cycle at the moment: Donald Trump and Kanye West. They gauge the public's reaction to the meeting and discuss if there is a chance for diplomacy with Trump. They also talk about Kanye's new medical team, his side career in BMXing, Kim Kardashian's Love Magazine photoshoot, and the top 20 TV shows Kanye should appear in. Oh, and J. Cole updates, of course.

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

Dec 13, 2016

Miss the old Kanye? Well, you're in luck, because today Chris and Travis are discussing Roses from his second album, Late Registration. They observe the middle ground Kanye exists on between fame and family (which foreshadows The Life of Pablo), his amazing use of setting and imagery, and the narrative journey he takes to make that final line so iconic.

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

Dec 9, 2016

While most podcasts cover a wide array of subjects—such as crime, sports, or perhaps even an entire genre of music—there's only one topic near and dear to Chris and Travis's heart: Whatever the hell Kanye West is up to. And this week has no shortage of news to speculate about. They discuss Kanye's Grammy nominations, his new blonde hair, the insane Kimye divorce rumors, Saint West's first birthday, J. Cole riding the bus and getting prescription glasses—and, of course, possibly our first real piece of Turbo Grafx 16 news.

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

Dec 6, 2016

The lights dimmed as Chris and Travis joined hands and formed a prayer circle, begging for the strength to cover one of Kanye West's most insane tracks. As the lights raised, so did the WTT crew, ready to discuss Low Lights and Highlights, the shift they represent for Kanye's internal struggle on The Life of Pablo, and the vulnerability resting beneath the superficiality of it all.

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

Dec 2, 2016

Breaking from the format, Chris and Travis are doing something they've never done before: covering a song that does NOT feature Kanye West.

Well...sort of. As rumor has it, Kanye could very well be the subject of J. Cole's latest single, False Prophets, and WTT is ready to give it the same level of scrutiny and analysis they would give to any Kanye song. They talk about the narrative J. Cole is forming, how his perceptions of Kanye fit in with the Old vs. New Kanye argument, and ultimately what the song is saying about "false prophets."

Nov 30, 2016

Chris and Travis need a little help tackling one of Kanye West's most complex, beautiful, and tragic (and underrated!) songs, so they've enlisted Jordan to help break down Hold My Liquor. They cover the old/new Kanye dynamic playing out on the track, how "the woman" and "the aunt" come to metaphorically represent various aspects of Kanye's life, and how the song fits in with the narrative of Yeezus.

Nov 27, 2016

The question has truly reached its peak this week, yet Chris and Travis still don't have a clear answer for it: Why do people hate Kanye West so much? They attempt to address the question while discussing the details Kanye's recent hospitalization for sleep deprivation and picking apart his speech at the Sacramento concert.

Nov 22, 2016

Chris and Travis always wondered what song would break the two-hour barrier—seems fitting that mass confusion over Jay Z's verse in Monster did the trick. Janie and Jordan join the WTT crew to help make sense of one of the most insane guest verses on a Kanye West track, all the while gushing over Nicki Minaj's legendary spaz-out and fitting the song onto My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy's narrative.

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