Jay-Z, Kanye West, Swollen Egos Disappoint in 'Watch the Throne'

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  • Jay-Z and Kanye West
    Jay-Z is in a tux here, but he wants you to buy an Occupy Wall Street-themed T-shirt released Friday by Rocawear.
  • Jay-Z and Kanye West
    Entertainer Kanye West performs with Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter at a taping of the BET Channel's show "106th and Park" in New York
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"Watch the Throne" artist, Jay-Z, was crowned the Hip Hop Cash King by Forbes for 2011. He earned $37 million offer the past year.

It is the fourth time in five years that he has taken the number one position on the list. Over the course of his career, he has had 11 number one albums on Billboard 200. He holds the record of the most chart topping albums among solo artists and is second among all artists, right under the Beatles who have 20 number ones. The stats keep going as Jay-Z is one of the world's most successful artist, especially in hip hop. Kanye West does not fall far behind as he was crowned 4th place on Rolling Stone's list of Hip Hop kings.

Both star have ultra-star power and they certainly know it... and they know that we know it.

Since "Watch the Throne"'s release on August 8, the duo's promotion of the album has been highly unconventional. Instead of releasing a lead single for radio play before the drop of the album, Jay-Z and Kanye have skipped that tradition.

They released the track,"H.A.M," as the lead single, but then they came out with "Otis"--a Redding-sampled track...interesting, but unorthodox. It doesn't stand out as a hit and is not your typical song for radio play. "...it's not a radio record but it's been added on so many different radio stations, which I think is dope," DJ Envy said. "You still play it in the club, and it's a hot record," the Sucker Free and Power 105.1 DJ added.

 "I think Jay and Kanye could put out an a Capella song and it'll get played," the Shade 45 DJ Statik Selektah told MTV News.

"With Jay-Z and Kanye, they're so iconic that it's not going to make a difference what they decided to do; people are gonna want it," Shade 45's DJ Wonder said. Perhaps they are correct. Jay and Kanye are confident in their skills and even more confident in their fan base to promote and release singles as they desire. And Jay-Z and Kanye's tracks have shown success thus far. Songs including "Lift Off," "No Church in the Wild," and "N---as in Paris" have been trending on Twitter.

"They're in a different type of space: It's Jay-Z and Kanye - they're arguably two of the biggest rappers, I wanna say, ever," Hot 97's DJ Kast One said.

Some may argue that Jay-Z and Kanye West have enough clout to ignore the the typical radio rules entirely... In fact, Jay and Kanye talk about their "greatness" so much, it is almost as it they forgot to actually bring it to the album.

According to most critics, the album has its impressive moments. In spite of their large egos, Jay-Z and Kanye West are talented artists and bring great tracks to the table. But considering the hype surrounding their names, the album falls short. The rappers almost make it seem they are god-like themselves in the nearly blasphemous and impious track "No Church in the Wild."

Jay-Z raps--"Jesus was a carpenter/Yeezy he lay beats/Hova flow the Holy Ghost/Get the hell up out your seats." West goes, "We formed a new religion/No sins as long as there's permission/And deception is the only felony/So never (expletive) nobody wit'out tellin' me."

In "Ni**as in Paris," the duo proclaim their greatness and boast once again. "I got that hot (aforementioned expletive) in my house/You know how many hot (that expletive again) I own?"

On the humble side, Jay and Kanye have great lines that show a softer side to themselves as they speak of their unborn children and plans in "New Day." "And I'll never let my son have an ego/He'll be nice to everyone, wherever we go/I mean, I might even make 'em be Republican/So everybody know he love white people," Kanye raps.  "Promise to never leave him even if his mama tweakin'/'Cause my dad left me and I promised to never repeat him," Jay-Z raps.

"Watch the Throne"  has sold 436,000 copies in its first week. It comes  in second to Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" as the year's biggest debut. It fell short of what retailers expected to be 500,000 sold in the first week. The album is currently number 1 on iTunes and broke Coldplay's record for all-time greatest first week sales on the online store. It sold over 290,000 through iTunes. But, their first single, "Otis," dropped down several spots on the BigChampagne's Ultimate Chart.

In spite of their names, Jay-Z and Kanye have some work to do if they want to keep their album on the top of the charts.

The "Watch the Throne Tour" begins on Sept. 22 in Detroit. 24 dates and several cities including Toronto, Chicago, San Jose, Los Angeles, Dallas, Boston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Vancouver and East Rutherford are on the list for tour stops--and reports suggest that there are more to come!

 

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