With Jay-Z's recent shots at Kanye, it would appear that The Throne is in shambles.
The era of Watch The Throne are long behind us, and the idyllic Parisian landscape has frozen over, leaving naught but a barren, frozen wasteland in its stead. Gone are the glory days of "Heart Of The City" and "Lucifer," when Jay-Z would absolutely demolish some of the finest Kanye beats, developing a consistent and unfuckwitable chemistry. Gone are the days of "Big Brother," where a vulnerable West would bare it all on wax, leveling with the Jay like one might level with their one blood.
Watch The Throne 2? Not likely. What was once a friendship and musical camaraderie has become something darker. Idols become rivals, as it were. And for what? Where did it all go wrong?
Well, for starters, Drake's "Pop Style" seemed to be one of the inciting incidents. While Hov was originally supposed to have a larger role, Kanye claimed that his Throne compatriot opted out over some "Tidal/Apple" bullshit. The politics behind the scenes ultimately led to Ye having a bit of a frustrated meltdown, where he proceeded to address the issue mid-show.
No doubt there's more to the story, but it's clear that Ye had some serious pent up anger toward Jigga. He later proceeded to put him on blast over neglecting to reach out to him after Kim got robbed.
What followed was a stream of gossip and ambiguous media fodder, essentially creating a narrative that the Kardashian-West clan was in direct competition with the Carters, as if it were the finale of some power couple battle royale. Unfortunately, the truth of the matter remained out of reach, shrouded by subliminal shots and erratic, cryptic Kanye rants. Eventually, West was hospitalized, and upon recovery, retreated into the Wyoming wilderness to seek inspiration.
Fast forward to now, the day after Jay's 4:44 album dropped. Fans know that Jay has a history of pulling no punches on record, and it would appear he has had enough of Kanye's shade-heavy antics. On the album's opening track, Jay unleashes the following stanza, clearly aimed at his former partner in rhyme:
You walkin' around like you invincible
You dropped outta school, you lost your principles
I know people backstab you, I felt bad too
But this 'fuck everybody' attitude ain't natural
But you ain't a Saint, this ain't KumbaYe
But you got hurt because you did cool by 'Ye
You gave him 20 million without blinkin'
He gave you 20 minutes on stage, fuck was he thinkin'?
"Fuck wrong with everybody?" is what you sayin'
But if everybody's crazy, you're the one that's insane
And again, on "BAM":
“Uh, niggas is skippin’ leg day just to run they mouth” (referencing one of Ye's rhymes on TLOP's "30 Hours")
There's no denying that it was Jigga's turn to air out some frustration, and it's clear from some of those references that Ye was heavy on his mind. Still, it's interesting that Jay didn't exactly unleash hell, opting instead to go the subliminal route. Perhaps there is hope for reconciliation. It's sad to see the two at odds like this, and hopefully Hov's message can knock some sense into Kanye's head. Both artists are far too talented to squander their skill over some petty, business related beef.
Here's hoping the former "brothers" can put aside their differences, and one day return to blessing us with some dope music.