Watch the Throne

Music review by
Stephanie Bruzzese, Common Sense Media
Watch the Throne Music Poster Image
Rap kingpins cut excellent but super-mature CD.

Parents say

age 4+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 8 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

Song lyrics stress the importance of having mountains of money, engaging in lots of sex and substance use, and dominating the competition.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Lyrics celebrate substance use, violence, sex, and consumerism -- but the songs also encourage listeners to think about sensitive subjects like racism and religion.


Descriptions of violent scenes like "And I'm from the murder capital, where they murder for capital / Heard about at least three killings this afternoon."


Some allusions to sexual situations that occasionally also involve violence.


Lots of "f--k," "s--t," and the "N" word. Also "bitch" (including in a song title).


Tons of name- and label-dropping, including Louboutin, Maybach, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, LeBron James, and much more.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Several references to drinking and drug use (cocaine, marijuana).

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Watch the Throne is a very mature album that's not meant for tweens or younger teens. In addition to plenty of substance use, violence, sex, consumerism, and profanity, the album also discusses mature topics in depth, including racism and religious differences.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byNikeswoosh99 November 30, 2012

Jay and Kanye kill it!

This is a great album that has two of the best rappers ever in it. They tell the story of their success and how they got there, but it is woven in with other th... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byrapadvocate April 23, 2012

There Is A Moral Underneath The Madness

There is actually a somewhat necessary message in this album, And the negative reviews exemplify why it needs to be heard. "Watch The Throne" is the s... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byspeedblazer99 April 27, 2021


I know nothing about Jay-Z but in 2008 Kanye remixed "Billie Jean" by Michael Jackson for Thriller 25th anniversary edition and that song is just the... Continue reading

What's the story?

Two of the biggest names in rap -- Jay-Z and Kanye West -- join forces for the full-length album WATCH THE THRONE. Profanity, substance use, violence, sex, consumerism: You name it, this record has it. In addition, many of the song lyrics explore sensitive subjects like racism and religion.

Is it any good?

Watch the Throne demonstrates why Hova and Yeezy are at the top of the rap game. From the first haunting guitar chords of the album's kick-off tune, "No Church in the Wild," you can tell that this rap record is different. Both artists have commanding yet complementary rhyming styles, and the beats that back them up (especially on "That's My Bitch" and "Murder to Excellence") are exceptional.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the contrast between Jay-Z's professional bravado and his private life as a family man who's married to Beyonce. Are these mixed messages? Why or why not?

  • Does Jay-Z's continued adherence to the classic rap formula -- lots of swagger and talk of illicit behaviors -- prove that rappers must discuss these topics to be successful? Why or why not?

  • What would happen if Jay-Z wrote songs about his solid family life? Would fans still buy his music?

Music details

  • Artists: Jay-Z, Kanye West
  • Release date: August 15, 2011
  • Type: Album
  • Label: Roc-A-Fella
  • Genre: Rap
  • Parental advisory: Yes
  • Edited version available: Yes
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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