JAY-Z & KANYE WEST: WATCH THE THRONE REVIEW

My review of ‘Watch The Throne’ as featured on http:www.blacksheepmag.com

*

The greater the hype, the bigger the disappointment when a project fails to deliver. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you ‘Watch The Throne’.

There can be few better barometers of where hip-hop is at than a collaboration between arguably the two most important names on the mainstream scene. If ‘Watch The Throne’ is indicative of where it’s all going, we might as well all become country and western or heavy rock fans now, and lay a wreath for our once great and lovingly cherished art form.

Sub-par lyrics can be overlooked provided they’re delivered over some captivating and sonically epic production, so your subconscious has something else to focus on and get the head nodding. This is ‘Watch The Throne’s great downfall. The factory conveyor belt-style electronic beats are lacking in soul and substance, and are a far cry from the ingenious sample-based cuts of the 90s, or even the inventive Just Blaze and Kanye dramatic beats of Roc A Fella’s glory years in the early to mid-00s.

When you add to that Kanye’s naggingly annoying vocals, you’re really not left with much. From appearing as hip-hop’s great hope with ‘The College Dropout’ in ’03, the dude has gone on to become a clear corporate stooge, and the once-meaningful lyrics have given way to stupefyingly boring generic droning about nothing in particular, delivered in an exaggerated drawl that’s now as annoying as listening to a dentist’s drill. I came away from the album remembering nothing that Kanye had rattled on about other than something about pyjamas.

To be fair, Jay does demonstrate that he still has verbal dexterity all these years on, his verses flowing far more lucidly, and with some characteristic wordplay. But again, you don’t exit ‘Watch The Throne’ with a memory of any uplifting, empowering or thought-provoking message.

Thankfully, the set does have a couple of redeeming features in its two reflective/ soul-searching tracks. ‘New Day’ has J and K delivering an ode to their imaginary sons, urging them to draw wisdom from the mistakes of their pops’, while ‘Made In America’ has spiritual overtones – even if the much-repeated gospel-style sample about ‘sweet baby Jesus’ sits uncomfortably with Kanye’s insistence on continually using the N and F words. (Elsewhere on ‘Otis’, of course’, ‘Ye proclaims ‘I made ‘Jesus Walks’ so I’m never going to hell’, so he seemingly sees no contradiction here.)

‘Otis’ itself remains the only other strong feature. Sadly, its usage of huge chunks of Otis Redding didn’t signal the return to sample-based beats on the album that many had hoped for.

In all then, if the ‘Throne’ part is treated as the common euphemism for ‘toilet’, then it serves as an appropriate title, for that’s where this – along with its anally pretentious ‘high end’ artwork – best belongs.

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MD’S CLUB DATES, AUG/ SEP/ OCT ’11

Friday 19th August

The Living Room, Milton Keynes

Saturday 20th August

The Earl, The Second Bridge, Bath

Friday 26th August

The Living Room, Heddon St., London, W1

Thursday 1st September

Block Party 9th Birthday, The Wheelhouse, Bowness On Windermere

Saturday 3rd September

The Living Room, Milton Keynes

Friday 9th September

Mirage, Aylesbury

Saturday 10th September

The Earl, The Second Bridge, Bath

Wednesday 14th September

Soul City, San Antonio, IBIZA

Saturday 24th September

411 Club 2nd Anniversary Weekend, 411 Club, Cardiff, WALES

Saturday 1st October

The Earl, The Second Bridge, Bath

Friday 7th October

The Swish Ball, (with Omar/ Ronnie Herel/ Donaeo/ Rampage,)

Bushwackers & Sin, Swindon

Saturday 8th October

Back In The Day, (90s Revivals,) Sloanes, Gloucester

Saturday 15th October

The Living Room, Milton Keynes

Saturday 22nd October

Mirage, Aylesbury

Saturday 29th October

The Living Room, Milton Keynes

Friday 4th November

CONNECTIONS @

Club Illusion, Tartu, ESTONIA

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ABSOLUTELY IMMENSE ARCHIVE OF BLACK/ URBAN/ DANCE RADIO TAPE RIPS FROM THE 80s/ 90s. DOWNLOAD AND REMINISCE

Here we go with something for all nostalgists/ music historians/ fans. This is an exhaustive collection of radio show audio from back in the day, covering a variety of black/ urban/ dance music DJs and shows. Although many of these have come from my own garage cassette archives, a fair few have been sourced from various other uploaders, so respect and acknowledgement to all concerned for their posts. Much of the audio has appeared before and has been in wide circulation on the web, but there’s sure to be something of interest to pretty much everyone among this lot.

My personal favourites are a happy and high Danny Rampling on Kiss FM in Summer 1988 when it was still a pirate, a very young Trevor Nelson on Kiss from the same era, and Pete Tong delivering his Soul Session on Capital in early ’88. There’s also a snippet of Westwood on the pirate LWR in 1985, along with a bunch of classic audio from the legendary Capital Rap Show; the programme from 12th Jan 91 is absolutely on-point, as is the Live To London session broadcast live from The Arch in Vauxhall in May ’92. Loads of Robbie Vincent and Jeff Young on Radio 1, for anyone who remembers when these dudes were on top of their game.

In addition, I’ve uploaded a few of my own Swing Shift shows from Galaxy 101, which will hopefully find favour with anyone who used to listen to that in the golden years.

The oldest recording remains the excerpt from Greg Edwards’ Soul Spectrum on Capital, from 1978.

Everything else pretty much speaks for itself, and is grouped by station for convenience. Happy listening.

RADIO 1

Robbie Vincent’s first Radio 1 show 1/1/84 1.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/t1wua1

Robbie Vincent Killer Cuts 1984 P1.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/6vv9je

Robbie Vincent Killer Cuts 1984 P2.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/y2768u

Robbie Vincent Killer Cuts 1985 P2.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/p3j1bq

Robbie Vincent Killer Cuts 1985 P1.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/v11ggm

Robbie Vincent Killer Cuts 1986 P1.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/rxriy5

Robbie Vincent Killer Cuts 1986 P2.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/9d2i6g

Robbie Vincent R1 Apr 1987.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/4jpyd9

Robbie Vincent Killer Cuts 1987 P1.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/qptl43

Robbie Vincent Killer Cuts 1987 P2.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/ep66e2

Robbie Vincent Jul 1988.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/c97ufp

Robbie Vincent Sep 1988.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/dp89h0

Robbie Vincent Killer Cuts 1989 P1.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/f7ys4l

Robbie Vincent Killer Cuts 1989 P2.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/7uvjz3

Rankin Miss P/ Robbie Vincent R1 trailer, R1, C. 1984

http://www.sendspace.com/file/g0j98r

Jeff Young’s Big Beat Nov 1987.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/1kw9s6

Jeff Young 25_12_87 P1.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/vcqfqm

Jeff Young 25_12_87 P2.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/musv3b

Jeff Young 1_1_88 P1.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/qf45pi

Jeff Young 1_1_88 P2.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/1d649s

Jeff Young 1_1_88 P3.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/n47wnf

Jeff Young’s Big Beat Feb 1988.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/eb5liu

Jeff Young Dec 1988 P1.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/kbhlq4

Jeff Young Dec 1988 P2.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/3murno

Jeff Young, National Fresh, Radio 1, 1989.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/5f2gn3

Jeff Young, Radio 1, Nov 1989.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/05v2lv

Jeff Young, Radio 1, Jan 1990.mp

http://www.sendspace.com/file/b500ko

Jeff Young 28_12_90 P1.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/q8htbw

Jeff Young 28_12_90 P2.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/dewgw2

Jeff Young 28_12_90 P3 (Rap).mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/hvyjou

**

CAPITAL RADIO

Greg Edwards Capital Radio 1978.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/ximy9t

Mike Allen Best of 1985.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/4k419t

Mike Allen Capital Radio Xmas 1985.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/1arf9b

Mike Allen Best of 1986.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/g5q7ii

Mike Allen 3_4_87 P1.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/js746z

Mike Allen 3_4_87 P2.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/s5d0ki

Pete Tong, Capital Radio C. 1988.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/5rps01

Pete Tong, Capital Radio, 5/3/88 P1.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/02ea56

Pete Tong, Capital Radio, 5/3/88 P2.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/kx3eip

Chris Forbes Capital FM Oct 1988.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/qzpdwc

Westwood Capital Rap Show Early 1989 P1.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/379yi3

Westwood Capital Rap Show late 1989.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/a4mj7b

Pete Tong Capital 95.8 28_4_90.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/1pshwf

Pete Tong Capital Radio 22_12_90 Part 1.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/umhwty

Westwood Capital Rap Show 12/1/91.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/emn0w4

Westwood CRS Live To London, 29_5_92 P1.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/kij3jr

Westwood CRS Live To London, 29_5_92 P2.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/koqo2u

Westwood Capital Rap Show 26/12/92 P1.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/imj0gs

Westwood, Capital Rap Show 26/12/92 P2.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/frffrd

**

KISS FM (PRE-1990 PIRATE)

Trevor Nelson, Kiss FM (pirate), Jun 88.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/w8t02r

Danny Rampling, Kiss FM (pirate), July 1988

http://www.sendspace.com/file/eqp82i

**

KISS FM (POST–1990 LEGAL)

Gordon Mac/ Norman Jay Kiss FM legal launch, 1990 P1.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/p1bwkp

Gordon Mac/ Norman Jay Kiss FM legal launch, 1990 P2.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/vpbhcx

Danny Rampling Kiss FM 1990 P1.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/1mk9oq

Danny Rampling Kiss FM 1990 P2.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/wsk1ng

Paul Trouble Anderson, Kiss FM, 7/12/91.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/kkbw5g

Danny Rampling, Kiss FM, 26/9/92 P1.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/oybyfs

Danny Rampling, Kiss FM, 26/9/92 P2.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/p28bcd

CJ Mackintosh, Kiss FM C. 1995.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/iuyfcb

Graham Gold Kiss 100 Dance Chart, March 1995

http://www.sendspace.com/file/93yx3e

Steve Jackson, Kiss FM C. 1995 P2.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/kf68av

Steve Jackson, Kiss FM, C. 1995 P1.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/3ktjmb

Paul Trouble Anderson, Kiss FM, mid 90s.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/57p9jt

Bobbi & Steve Louie Vega, Kiss FM 1998

http://www.sendspace.com/file/9ilexm

**

GALAXY 101

Swing Shift 5/7/96 P1

http://soundcloud.com/markdevlindj/swing-shift-5-7-96-p1

Swing Shift 5/7/96 P2

http://soundcloud.com/markdevlindj/swing-shift-5-7-96-p2

Galaxy 101 DJ Lynx classic mixes 1996 – Luchini/ Incredible Hulk!

http://soundcloud.com/mark-devlin/galaxy-101-dj-lynx-classic-mixes-1996-luchini-incredible-hulk

Swing Shift 3_1_97 (Best of 1996) P1.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/f4klzn

Swing Shift 3_1_97 (Best of 1996) P2.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/c3n2j1

Swing Shift 3_1_97 (Best of 1996) P3.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/e9zgzl

Swing Shift 3_1_97 (Best of 1996) P4.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/jtspbp

Notorious BIG tribute section 14_3_97.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/k67zd7

Swing Shift Ragga Selection Jun 97.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/sep4m8

Swing Shift 1997 Summer Revivals.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/y6lxil

Swing Shift 26_12_97 (Best of 1997) P1.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/5pc5on

Swing Shift 26_12_97 (Best of 1997) P2.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/htnatw

Swing Shift 2_1_98 (Best of 1997) P1.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/rlxcnp

Swing Shift 2_1_98 (Best of 1997) P2.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/msgzqg

Swing Shift 2_1_98 (Best of 1997) P3.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/17a2eh

Swing Shift 27_2_98 P1.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/tmo2es

Swing Shift 27_2_98 P2.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/d98704

Swing Shift 27_2_98 P3.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/z4df4b

Swing Shift UK Special 21/4/98 P1

http://i.mixcloud.com/CYR0o

Swing Shift UK Special 21/4/98 P2

http://i.mixcloud.com/CYVeC

The very last Swing Shift, Galaxy 101. 21/8/98

http://soundcloud.com/mark-devlin/the-swing-shift-galaxy-101-21-8-98-p1

MISC

Disco 94 US Radio KRLY March 1979.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/5n1nlx

Robbie Vincent Radio London Soul Show P1.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/9vfxdv

Dread Broadcasting Corporation, Notting Hill Carnival 1984

http://www.sendspace.com/file/vgi6mb

Funkmaster Flex 90s Revivals, Hot 97 Jul 2007 P1.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/oh3bvl

Funkmaster Flex 90s Revivals, Hot 97 Jul 2007 P2.mp3

http://www.sendspace.com/file/oo5v5m

Tim Westwood, LWR, Nov 85

http://www.sendspace.com/file/vxtea9

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