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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Oct 1, 2016

Better call Becky with the good hair, because SHE'S A HE (BUM BUM BUMMMMMM).

That is just one of the many revelations that occur on today's Kanye West news episode, as Travis, Jordan, and Janie dive deep into the week that was Kanye, Jay Z, and Kim. They cover Kanye's flight to Paris and his new Instagram account, Kim's crazy-but-awesome see-through dress, and the best of the Kanye subreddit. They also do some live investigative reporting and uncover a BOMBSHELL relating to Jay Z's body double and his relation with Chris.

Sep 28, 2016

To cover all of the lights, we need all of the resources—Chris, Travis, (introducing) Janie Contreras Johnson. Who knows, if they get desperate, they'll enlist Genius for its annotations?

No...they would never!

jk, they totally do. In fact, they pull out all the stops to cover one of Kanye West's most infamous tracks, All of the Lights. They discuss fame, fortune, family, MJ, Tupac, the pros and cons of Borders vs. Barnes & Noble, and all of the different kinds of lights that exist. You can expect Janie to say smart things, and for Chris and Travis to talk about iPhones, high schoolers working at movie theaters, and Joe Dirt.

This episode is brought to you by EasterxSunday.

Sep 20, 2016

Does Kanye West say the word "amazing" over 60 times? Yes. Is he using the word ironically? It's up for interpretation...but probably. Do Chris and Travis talk about Hot Pockets and Gatorade? Of course. Is Young Jeezy a crazy person? Without a doubt. Is Kanye comparing his reign as the world's most controversial hip hop star to the decline and hollowness of the Ozymandias empire? Let's answer that question with another question: DO WE NEED AIR TO BREATHE?

Will WTT cover all that and more in their analysis of Amazing? Bet ur butt they do.

This episode is sponsored by EasterxSunday.

Sep 16, 2016

As 24-hour news outlets try to incessantly fill the day with the most mundane banalities of life, Chris and Travis find themselves strapped for time in trying to cover a week worth of Kanye West. Yeezus himself is up to big things this week, doing a classic interview that rails against the fashion industry and getting in an emotional feud with Kid Cudi. Also in other news, the NFL is not a fan of Yeezys, Kim is posting nude selfies once again, and Jay Z is getting into the lucrative children's lullabies business.

Sep 14, 2016

You know that part in Apocalypse Now when Martin Sheen finds Marlon Brando and Brando is just muttering nonsense and this magnificent film turns into a crazy fever dream? Well, if you listen to this episode long enough—in the midst of a classic, in-depth WTT analysis of I Wonder—you'll experience that scene in podcast form. It's a punch-drunk episode, Chris and Travis are food- and sleep-deprived, and shit gets crazy.

This episode is brought to you by EasterxSunday.

Sep 9, 2016

Chris and Travis' favorite word in the English language? Brevity—it's the only thing they know! And this 53-minute episode covering the week in Kanye West, Jay Z, and Kim Kardashian news can attest to that. They're talkin' Yeezy Season 4, Saint Pablo Tour, Desiigner, prepubescent boys and their YouTube comments, Dennis the Menace, wild rice & broccoli, Connect Four, and, of course, the mid-season finale of Keeping Up with the Kardashians.

Sorry...they are seriously so sorry.

Sep 4, 2016

Chris and Travis have talked about Famous enough—so now it's your turn! In the Throne Zone, we offer listeners a chance to throw out their theories about Kanye West tracks, starting with Famous. Chris and Travis discuss thoughts submitted from three different Throners who pitch their ideas about Kanye's legacy, the "hood famous" line, and how Famous ends up connecting to Saint Pablo.

Sep 2, 2016

Welcome to the first annual VMYe's!!!! Oh, you thought the VMAs had a lot of Kanye in it? Chris and Travis are committing 100% of their time to Yeezus himself, kicking off with an analysis of his music video for Fade. They break down the video's three-part structure and what the dancing, cat-face and sheep symbolize in the context of the album.

Aug 31, 2016

Chris and Travis pump the brakes a little bit with this episode, as they abandon the New Kanye for the Old Kanye with their analysis of Drive Slow. They examine the multiple interpretations the song presents about "driving slow," Kanye's amazing ability to paint a scene, why Mali and GLC represent Obi Wan and Emperor Palpatine, and how Late Registration lays the seeds of the themes later explored on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Yeezus, and The Life of Pablo.

Aug 26, 2016

"We young and we alive...and we NEVER gonna die!!!" Chris and Travis exclaimed as they grabbed Jordan by the hand and dove into their most extensive analysis of a Kanye West song yet—the one, the only, the controversial Famous. They're discussing fame, they're discussing delusion, and bet your bottom dollar they're discussing the infamous "I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex" line. They also get into the irony of using the Nina Simone "Do What you Gotta Do" and Sister Nancy "Bam Bam" samples, as well as how Rihanna's hook embodies The Life of Pablo's "New Kanye vs. Old Kanye" theme. If you're looking for more information about the Famous music video with all the celebrities in bed, check out our news episode, "Kanye West's Famous Video, A Live Kardashian Update, Jay Z Loves Harry Potter, Lena Dunham Starts a Feud With Us."

This episode is brought to you by EasterxSunday.

Aug 24, 2016

Chris and Travis are back in action for the news! And they're back with a vengeance, just like Hans Gruber's brother. They give a poetic reading of Kanye West's poem about McDonald's, put their pre-orders in for baby Yeezys, shake their heads over Scott Disick's crazy prank on Kourtney Kardashian, and take a long, hard look at their lives when confronted with the hurtful consequences of their Jay Z news.

Also, in a harrowing tale, Jay Z breaks his iPhone 6.

Aug 19, 2016




It's a question Chris and Travis continually asked themselves as they discussed Kanye West and Travis Scott's remix of Alicia Keys' In Common—is Kanye talking about Kim or Taylor? The answer is complicated, as it ever is with Ye's multi-layered tracks. They get into Kanye's verses about Kim being his rock during the Taylor Swift situation, a continually changing style that may signal the direction of his next album, and how overall the song explores three different levels of sharing too much "in common" with others.

Aug 16, 2016

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.

Aug 14, 2016

Sorry, Mr. Bean is gone! But Chris is here, and he's with his girlfriend Marie, and they're doing Kanye West news. It's been a pretty busy week, with him breaking Billboard records and getting Werner Herzog's approval and everything. Oh, and don't worry, they didn't forget about Jay Z's latest charity venture, Squirrels Without Fathers.

Aug 9, 2016

As they looked down at their diamond encrusted microphones, Chris and Travis embarked on their longest, toughest, most treacherous journey yet: analyzing Kanye West's legendary hit, Power. Powered by the self-confidence Kanye shows on the track, the WTT crew opens the prison doors, brings the goalies in and goes straight Genghis Khan on everyone's asses.

Man, this is way too much, they need a moment.

Aug 5, 2016

Kids, grab your sleeping bags, gather 'round, and turn on your flashlights...because it's storYe time! That's right, artist Robyn O'Neil sits down with Chris and Travis to talk about Kanye West because everyone else is annoyed when she talks about Kanye West and We go deep into this stan's insane obsession (that the WTT Crew can relate to a little bit too well) with Mr. West, how her opinion of him and his music has changed over time, how his lyrics have helped her through some rough moments, and why she is now a full-blown Keeping Up With the Kardashians addict.

Check out Robyn's podcast! It's called "Me Reading Stuff" and you can find it on iTunes.

Also check out for some of her awesome artwork!

Aug 2, 2016

Our mouths bulgin' bulgin' bulgin' with analysis. Analysis. Analysis—

OK that's enough of that.

Look, Chris and Travis are talking about the Gucci Mane song Pussy Print, which features Kanye, talks about money and sex, and, in case you missed it, is called PUSSY PRINT. But it's a cool song that Travis somehow convinced Chris to appreciate. Let's see if they can do the same for you as they dissect Gucci's Scarface-level bonkers verse and contemplate how Kanye can transition himself into the trap game.

Jul 30, 2016

Like we always do at this time, we go for ours, we got to shine, now put your headphones on your ears! Because it's time for Watching the Throne!! Chris and Travis apologize for missing an episode, but they're back to discuss some very important Kanye West news, like Kim and Kanye's interview in Harper's Bazaar and the brand new Wolves music video (which might be his best yet?). We also explore Jay Z's frustration with Taylor Swift, determine if Kelly Clarkson and Piers Morgan are wavy or basic, and try to figure out why the Redditors aren't more excited about the first public Saint West video because IMA LET U FINISH BUT BABY YE IS THE CUTEST BABY OF ALL TIME.


Jul 22, 2016

Chris, Travis, and Anna 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, just days ago. The 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, with some terribly unfunny banter to boot. What's not to love? 

Jul 20, 2016

You guys, Chris and Travis are.So.SORRY. In their pursuit to do one of the coldest storYes ever told justice, they brought in Jordan C. Johnson and then there was some sort of disagreement and then all hell broke loose. Almost two hours later, the WTT gang found itself crawling its way out of a mountain of snow brought on by Kanye's icy cold imagery on 808s & Heartbreak and the torrential blizzard of debate that came from understanding the album's third track, Heartless.

P.S. The episode definitely isn't overlong due to confusion over the WWE and our collective hatred of Anthony Fantano.

P.P.S. Please still love us.

Jul 16, 2016

Chris and Jordan keep it wavy as they discuss a particularly light week for Kanye West news. They gauge Dave Franco and Kings of Leon on the Kanye Barometer, discuss Jay Z's fascination with ghosts, countdown the best of the Kanye sub-Reddit, and read a scouting report detailing the Kardashians trip to Iceland for Kanye's latest music video.

Jul 13, 2016

"N-now th-that that don't kill them...can only make them stronger...we need WTT to hurry up now......god can they talk much longer?!"

Yup! Chris and Travis probably could, but at some point they had stop themselves from analyzing Kanye West's smash-shit Stronger so hard that they believed they could walk into any club in the world and everyone would go ahead go nuts go apeshit. Join them as they contextualize one of Kanye's most superficial songs within Graduation to show how Kanye's relationship with Chicago is actually a narrative building on the album. 

Jul 8, 2016

The dream team meets the supreme team this week as Chris tags in Lauren for some very important Kanye West news. Lauren and Travis get into all sorts of shenanigans, such as Saint West photos, Kim Kardashian's food shaming, Kylie's lipstick line, Jay Z giving up on Dexter several years too late, and Jack Black's cryptic Kanye fandom. Oh yeah, and they spend about 20 minutes dissecting a photo of a burger Kanye tweeted.

Jul 6, 2016

"They take my time when I'm in need...yeah they some triflin' hosts indeed." Sorry, they didn't mean to dig on you! But then again, you shouldn't have had expectations for Chris and Travis, who probably became the first people in the world to sit down and talk about Gold Digger for an hour straight. But then again, nobody has ever really cared about the avant-garde structure of what is perhaps Kanye West's most popular hit, making a reasonable person wonder why Chris and Travis are even doing this podcast in the first place.

Good thing they're not reasonable.

Jul 2, 2016

There's only one word we can use to describe the length of this episode: SCARY. Because dear lord do Chris, Travis, and special guest/past StorYe guest Anna go off the goddamn rails. They go deep into Kanye West's new video for Famous, WTT getting shut down by Lena Dunham's Facebook page, Jay Z's financially draining obsession with old Saturday morning cartoons, the latest episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, and the now all-time most upvoted Kanye sub-Reddit post. Hold on to your butts, Stans.

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