Jay-Z: Watch The Throne

This record just came out a few days ago, and I must say it is very refreshing to listen to from so many perspectives! More often than not, the artists in the modern hip-hop scene just replicate what others have done in the past, and truly lack the intuitive musicianship that their predecessors had down to a science. People focus so little on production and originality, that the genre seemed to have lost its touch. Jay-Z and Kanye have hit the ground running to reclaim the “throne” (haha) of the genre from all the phonies who have taken away it’s spark.

In the next few posts, I’ll be posting my top 2 track picks from the record, as well as giving a short analysis as to why I feel they are the strongest/most meaningful on the record.

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“Gotta Have It”

This track is definitely in my top 3 for so many reasons. The melody at the start with the spliced vocal sample saying “Whatcha’ need” immediately grabs my interest both melodically and rhythmically. Kanye brings us into the EXTREMELY colossal, sub-bass-driven beat that you just can’t prevent yourself from bobbing you head over. From deep modulating sawtooth-waved synths, reminiscent of the modern electronica subgenre of “dubstep”, to the 1-2kHz hi-hats sitting deep left in the back of the mix giving the vibe of a southern-styled gangsta rap song, you can’t deny the HUGE amount of influences that they must have take into the production of this track.

“Otis”

Definitely has impressive use of sampling. Producers tend to just toss samples into songs and not take into consideration the key of the sample vs the song, as well as proper sonic placement in order for the sample to really breathe with the song. But Jay-Z and Kanye managed to base the entire instrumental around the extremely tasteful Otis Redding sample. I also highly appreciate the sense of community between the two on this track. Usually you hear all about feuds between rap artists, and in this track their verses seem to be playing off of one another in a friendly way. Something that the world isn’t used to, and I feel should be heavily appreciated.

Introduction

Are you sick of egocentric people trying to feed you their uneducated, substance-lacking and biased opinions about music? Well I am, so through use of this blog, I hope to create a haven for producers, recording engineers, and even avid music listeners alike, to be able to give their ever-growing and creative minds what they really deserve. You can expect concise and educated reviews on records (both current and past) spanning more genres than you can imagine, analysis of the equipment and recording/mixing/mastering techniques that sculpt the sounds you’ve grown to love, and video tutorials about tips & tricks to turn your bedroom quality recording into a platinum record.