Last night, the staff was invited to a private listening of Jay-Z and Kanye West’s Watch The Throne. Slated to hit iTunes next Monday (Aug.8), this album looks to shape the next big trends in hip-hop. As the music played, we noticed a large number of unexpected name drops and references. If our ears weren’t mistaken, here’s what stuck to our ear drums.
1. Buzz Aldrin on “Lift Off,” his name is isn’t dropped per say, but we recall hearing an audio snippet of the famous astronaut somewhere on the track.
2. Jay loves to rap about the famous Mikes and has done so plenty of times. So we were surprised to hear Hov duplicate the flow on “Niggas In Paris,” where a few famous big M’s like Mike Tyson and Mike Jordan get a shout out (again).
3.W hy rappers love to “Plank” we’ll never know but hearing “Planking” on “Gotta Have It” sealed the deal on hip-hop adopting the goofy act.
4. Just when we thought it was gone for good. Kanye brings back one if the most infectious hooks of 2011, “Racks on Racks” on his verse from “Gotta Have It.”
5. Hip-hop heads dreamed of Rza and Jay-Z making music together since both groups became East Coast rap staples in the mid 90s. Not only does this happen on “New Day,” but Rza gets name dropped by Jay Hov.
6. Jay’s infatuation with Hollywood is nothing new but on “Welcome To The Jungle,” this A-lister gets called on by first name “Selma’ (Hayek).
7. Not far behind comes Penelope Cruz, who also gets a brief name drop.
8. Jay gives Michael Jackson a nice shout out on “Welcome To The Jungle” with “Rest In Peace Leader of the J5.”
9. Both Jay and Kanye can be known as compassionate people when they aren’t stunting like kings. So their “Holocaust” reference on “Who’s Gon Stop Me” was done in good taste.
10. While The Throne isn’t the most political duo on the market, Black Panthers’ leader Fred Hampton gets shown love on “Sweet Baby Jesus.”