Things I’ve Learned from “Watch the Throne”…or SomePeopleThink White People are the Problem

This past Monday, at midnight, “Watch the Throne”, the highly anticipated album from Kanye and Jay-Z, became available on iTunes. On Tuesday, I downloaded it illegally and have been listening to it non-stop ever since. I literally have not listened to anything else (save for some Disco Biscuits, courtesy of my dirty hippie boyfriend).

I can't even think of a joke for the absurdity of this album cover.

Anyways, I was first going to write a review of the album for this post but then realized there probably isn’t a whole lot more for me to say that hasn’t been said already. Google “Watch the Throne reviews” and you’ll come up with a whole lot of reviews written by much more musically-knowledgeable, articulate people (now is the time for a sympathy comment – “Jenny, you’re so smart and pretty!” Perfect.)

So, rather than a review, I’m going to write a listicle (list + article, Google that shit) for this post: Things I’ve Learned from “Watch the Throne”…or Some People Think White People are the Problem.

1. Kanye and Jay-Z are rich. Like really, really rich. And they really, really want us to know it. Now, rappers have been displaying extravagant, and often tacky, wealth for decades. One of my all-time favorite music videos, Biggie’s “Hypnotize”, has P. Diddy and Big on a yacht, spilling Cristal all over hundred dollar bills, then throwing more bills into the wind. This is – how you say – ridiculous.

But on this album, Kanye and Jay-Z have stepped up their game, not only with the amount of high-cost items they casually throw into their lyrics, but with the high-culture value of these items.

Doing just a quick survey of the lyrics from the album, the following are mentioned (and I will say, I didn’t even know what the hell many of these things were. Thank you, Google and Urban Dictionary, without whom this post could never have been possible):

Yachts, Louboutin slippers, Hummers, Rolls-Royce Corniches, black Maybachs, 1985 white Lamborghini Countach (2 of ‘em), Polo, Manolo, Lanvin thousand dollar tee with no logos, oversized Rollies, big face Rollies, Dries, sheepskin coats, no cheap cologne, the Black Card, Gucci, Audemars (hidden behind all these big rocks), gold bottles, Louie, Margiela, my other Benz (and my other, other Benz), G450, Hermes, marble floors, champagne, Grey Goose, cases of Ciroc, Porsche 911, black cars, so many watches I need eight arms, no limit on the Black Card

2. Kanye and Jay-Z are cultured. While ‘Ye and Jay want us to know they have more watches then any freakin’ human being should ever have, they also want to be quite clear that they are more cultured than any of us will ever be.

As Jay raps on “Illest Motherfucker Alive”:

Basquiats, Warhols serving as my muses
My house is like a museum so I see ‘em when I’m peeing
Usually you have this much taste you European

There are mentions of Picassos, boutique stores in Paris, Larry Gagosian, Le Meurice, Rothkos, the Mona Lisa, the MOMA, the Coliseum, Plato, owning 5 passports (though to be honest, this seems a bit of a liability), et cetera.

3. White people are most certainly the problem. After Kanye’s appearance on the Hurricane Katrina telethon, we all finally knew that “George Bush doesn’t care about black people”. What ‘Ye wants us to remember with this album is that it’s not just George Bush, but really all white people. We just suck altogether, and I really couldn’t agree more.


(skip to 1:33 for the best pop culture moment of the past decade)

A few of my favorite black-power lyrics from the album:

White America, assassinate my character –“Gotta Have It”

Heard Yeezy was racist, well, I guess that’s on one basis
I only like green faces –“Who Gon Stop Me”

In the past if you picture events like a black tie
What the last thing you expect to see, black guys? –“Murder to Excellence”

Only spot a few blacks the higher I go
What’s up to Will. Shout out to O.
That ain’t enough…we gonna need a million more –“Murder to Excellence”

And my all-time favorite, with Kanye rapping about his future son:

I mean I might even make him be Republican
So everybody know he love white people –“New Day”

4. Kanye and Jay-Z have a softer side. One of my favorite songs on the album, “New Day”, has ‘Ye and Jay singing to their future sons. (Of course, irony suggests that they will both be blessed with three or more daughters). The song is very sweet and reminds us that even bazillionaire rappers have feelings too, goddamnit!

5. Kanye and Jay-Z are interested in helping the economy. With the crazy American economy this week, “Watch the Throne” really couldn’t have dropped at a better time. Americans are freaking out, nobody has jobs, and who better to figure out how to stabilize the volatile markets than these two moguls? So, my dear readers, I leave you with these words of wisdom from Jay-Z, who may just be the Warren Buffet of our generation…

Mmm. Yummy.

I hit the club, order some Grey Goose
Switched it for Ciroc to give Puff’s stock a boost –“Primetime”

Peace and love,
Niffy

SomePeopleThink Top 10 Albums of the Year Can Be Explained with 10 or Less Words Each

So I have been reading all the year end top 10 lists and I think it is time to throw mine in the ring with the experts. But I am gonna one up them. They spend hours writing their long narratives on why one is better than the other but nobody cares or even agrees with them about. In response, my top 10 will only be accompanied by 10 (or so) words or less on the thoughts each album immediately put in my head. SomePeopleThink is for the people and we aren’t here to waste your time, start the debate:

10. Rick Ross- Teflon Don

“Remember when this guy used to suck? Still fat though”

9. Broken Bells- Broken Bells

“Cool, the guy from the Shins and Jew from Gnarls Barkley”

8. Sleigh Bells- Treats

“This is really loud but I can’t turn it down”

7. Best Coast- Crazy for You

“This song is catcy. So is this one. Look at that cat”

6. Mumford and Sons- Sigh No More

“I am definitely a Little Lion Man.”

5. The Arcade Fire- Suburbs

“How many people are in this fucking group? Noises everywhere”

4. Janelle Monae- The ArchAndroid

“It’s cool to put every different genre on one album”

3. Vampire Weekend- Contra

“I would never hang out with them but I love them”

2. The Black Keys- Brothers

“OMG, this actually might be better than what Kanye is gonna put out in December”

1. Kanye West- My Beautiful Dark twisted Fantasy

“Sorry Black Keys, this album can’t be touched”

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