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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Jul 1, 2016

To quote the legendary rock band Staind: It's been awhiiiiile. That's right, it's time for another StorYe! And this week Chris and Travis are interviewing friend-of-the-show/Throner/Keeping Up-dater Anna Zeck, who, as a huge Kimye fan who's seen every episode of every Kardashian spin-off ever, brings a unique perspective to the show. They cover her relationship with Kanye—from his music to his fashion to his relationship with Kim—and, of course, count down her favorite Kanye West songs. That shit cray.

Jun 28, 2016

Just want to feel liberated, they-ey-ey-ey...they just want to feel liberated they-ey-ey-ey...if they ever bored you to death they're SORRRRYYYYY! Actually, Chris, Travis, and Jordan are sorry about this analysis, which goes so in depth into Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1 & 2 (from The Life of Pablo) that you'll probably and unfortunately never even need to listen to the song again. They talking duality, adultery, liberation, and pandas in an episode that just will not end. Tell me who in here can relate.

Jun 24, 2016

Doctors say they the illest 'cause they suffering from realness—that's right, Chris and Travis are back for another week of Kanye news, telling it like it is when it comes to Taylor Swift, Wiz Khalifa, and Ryan Tedder (now known as He Who Must Not Be Named). They also discuss the upcoming Famous video, cover a Kim-North-Saint-heavy week, give a preview of next week's StorYe, and pretend to care about Jay Z's obsession with The Legend of Zelda.

Jun 21, 2016

Chris and Travis tore On Sight a new one a couple months ago, but even that couldn't prepare them for what's on the docket today—it's time to talk about 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 black jeans on by any means...on. So yeah, they, like, cover a lot.

Jun 18, 2016

LOOK THE F$&K OUT WE BOUTS TA HIT THE YE BUTTON. That's right, it's that time of the week for the thing literally nobody in the world is asking for—your weekly Kanye, Kim, North, Saint, and Jay Z news. Chris and Travis discuss the Saint Pablo Tour, Taylor Swift (aka Tay Tay (aka snek)), North's third birthday, and a young Stan's interaction with the one and only himself. Life is good, fam.

Jun 15, 2016

Ain't no question if they want it, Chris and Travis NEED to talk about Gorgeous. Partly because it's the next song on the list, but also because, well, this song is goddamn incredible. They get into Kanye's continued obsession with fame on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, his role as a preacher for a new religion (hip hop), the plethora of micro-narratives, and how the oppression of black people extends from the streets to the top of Mount Olympus.

Jun 10, 2016

After a lean episode with Jordan, Chris and Travis are proving they literally have zero self control. They discuss Kanye's birthday, Kanye-themed ice cream, Jay Z just missing out on the Panama Papers, Macklemore and George Zimmerman on the Kanye Barometer, a Throner's analysis of the latest Keeping Up With The Kardashians episode, and a sports broadcaster's next-level Stannery.

Jun 7, 2016

Welcome to Watching the Throne—or, perhaps we should say, Welcome to Heartbreak. Chris and Travis are breaking down the second track on 808s & Heartbreaks, covering its themes of heartbreak, yearning, and fame life vs. a fulfilling life. Amidst the mindless banter, covering everything from Kid Cudi to family weddings to the inevitable day they meet Kanye West, they also manage to talk about the groundbreaking production of the album.

May 27, 2016

Chris is gone, but Jordan is filling the void! The future WTT hall of famer and Travis (who's definitely not a future hall of famer) discuss Kimye suing their bodyguard, music legends endorsing Kanye West, Jay Z's movie-filled week, the state of the Kanye subreddit, and Kim's ideas for couple Halloween costumes.

May 24, 2016

Is this another Breathe In Breathe Out moment? For a long time, Chris and Travis had little to no opinion of Champion—but after a long discussion? They think they may have stumbled upon an under-appreciated Kanye track. They get into Kanye's reflections on his past with his father, the deeply layered production, Kanye's influence on Chicago, and how Champion fits into the themes explored on Graduation as a whole.

May 21, 2016

Chris and Travis further prove they have absolutely zero self control with the latest WTT news episode. They try to stay on track before veering off into a 20-minute discussion of Kanye appearing on Ellen, followed by Brandon Flowers hating Kanye, Bill Simmons loving Kanye, Kim taking a pregnancy test, and Jay Z working on his calf muscles. Sigh.

May 16, 2016

Today, Chris and Travis make WTT history!'s not that exciting, but they've definitely never covered a track featuring Kanye West, and what better time than the present? They dig into ScHoolboy Q's new track THat Part in a slightly different manner than usual, attempting to figure out if Kanye and Q are actually working together to find a deeper dichotomy and explore rap culture. It's that, or it's just a superficial track—you be the judge.

May 14, 2016

For a light week in Kanye news, Chris and Travis still manage to find lots to talk about? With Elijah Wood showing love for Yeezus, Jay Z unclogging toilets, a brand new Keeping Up With the Kardashians, and (as always) the Kanye subreddit, there's never a shortage of WTT news bulletins.

May 9, 2016

I gotta testify—it's time to talk about Touch the Sky. That's right, Chris and Travis are going back to 2005 to discuss what is probably one of Kanye's most "superficial" songs, aka a super-fun song that talks about being awesome and reaching the high heavens. They discuss how Kanye drifts between past, present, and future, the tension between fame and representing your home, and how the song fits into Late Registration as a whole. They also spend 1.5 seconds trying to figure out Lupe Fiasco's verse before self-performing lobotomies.

May 7, 2016

Things really go off the rails in this episode, as would be the case with Chris and Travis finally back together to cover the week in Kanye West news: Kanye goes on the Steve Harvey radio show and makes some comments about racism; the gang gauges the Kanye Barometer with Kevin Sorbo and Meryl Streep; Jay Z has some conflicted emotions about Lemonade and lemonade; the Kardashians go to Kuba; and the Kanye Subreddit drifts towards complete fucking insanity.

Tune in Monday for when Chris and Travis cover Touch the Sky.

May 3, 2016

This is a God dream...this is a God dream! This is everything—this is, finally, Ultralight Beam (from The Life of Pablo). What Chris and Travis once thought would take years has only taken a few months, as they're now dissecting what could indeed be Kanye West's greatest song to date. They get into Kanye's struggle with his faith, the duality between innocence and imperiledness, and, ultimately, how you can believe enough in yourself to create beam of light. Overall, they unpack how Ultralight Beam signals Kanye's album-long narrative of finding his younger, hopeful, faith-driven, optimistic, Chance-esque self.

Apr 30, 2016

Chris is gone, but Travis is here to report the week in everything Kanye-related with future StorYe guest Tony Walter. They discuss Kanye's wedding antics, gauge the Kanye Barometer with Alec Baldwin, praise Jay Z's strange obsession with Tidal's Twitter account, check in on Kim's Snapchat, and say goodbye to one of r/Kanye's most beloved followers.

Tune in Monday for when they cover Ultralight Beam.

Apr 25, 2016

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 primes the character on the album, and how the insanely deep and stripped down production feeds into all of it.

Apr 22, 2016

Chris and very special guest Jordan C. Jordan cover the latest in Watching the Throne news for the week of 4.15.2016. Kanye drops some bombshells on Kocktails with Khloe, WTT gauges the Kanye Barometer, Azealia Banks says things, and then something about Jay-Z and LeBron's penis.

Tune in next episode for when Chris, Travis, and Jordan cover On Sight.

Apr 18, 2016

Chris and Travis are finally moving on to My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, starting with the epic track Dark Fantasy. They analyze the song's general sprawling nature and how it toys with our collective perception of fame, while also working through how the song serves as an intro to the album and how it fits into Kanye's oeuvre as a whole. 

Apr 15, 2016

Chris and Travis cover the latest in Watching the Throne news for the week of 4.7.2016. Kanye tops the Billboard charts, North goes on a pushup ride, Kim wears some truly outrageous(ly awesome) shades, and Jay Z becomes a second baseman. 

Tune in next episode for when they cover Dark Fantasy.

Apr 4, 2016

The WTT crew is taking a week off from analyzing Kanye West songs to hear from one of his biggest fans: Lauren Kelly has gone from passive Kanye listener to insatiable aficionado in just a few short years, and she's ready to tell the world her StorYe. Lauren also counts down her favorite songs, her favorite and least favorite lines, and even has some Jay Z news, because who doesn't these days.

Mar 23, 2016

The WTT crew is finally diving into Kanye West's controversial album 808s & Heartbreaks by breaking down Say You Will line for line. Chris and Travis get into the song's unique structure, the themes of fantasy, yearning, and heartbreak, and how the song signals a new era for Ye's production. They also go through Travis' Snapchat account for a very important Kim Kardashian update, and finally address the Jay Z cliffhanger from last episode.

Mar 15, 2016

Good morning! Seriously...wake up! Because it's time for another episode of Watching the Throne. Today, Chris and Travis are covering Kanye West's opening track to Graduation, Good Morning. They're really starting to dig into Kanye's progression as both a producer and a lyricist, as Good Morning marks the first song where Kanye clearly sets up a narrative arc for an album and serves as a lead-in to the sound he creates on 808s & Heartbreaks. We get into all that and more, with the "more" being a cliffhanger regarding Jay Z's hatred for black licorice.

Mar 7, 2016

Nothing's ever promised tomorrow today...except the latest episode of Watching the Throne! (sorry about that) Today Chris and Travis are breaking down Kanye West's Heard 'Em Say with a very special guest (Chris' friend Alex), comparing and contrasting how Late Registration and College Dropout differ in their introductions and discussing how the song foreshadows many of Kanye's musical and lyrical accomplishments in the years to come. And while it's a pretty low-key day for Jay Z news, you had best believe they still got the goods.

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