"What's a king to a god/What's a god to a nonbeliever."
These words open Watch The Throne, and give a strong hint of the kind of lyrical word-spinning -- and thematic undertones -- in store on Jay-Z and Kanye West's collaborative effort. Aside from a few minor leaks, the duo's album -- which is being hailed by some as the cultural event of the year -- dropped digitally Monday at midnight, right on schedule.
For an album that is sonically more scattershot, Hov and Ye's words tell the story here -- they're blunt in meaning, but cut sharply when they hit your ear. The duo addresses a few larger themes -- success, hypocrisy and race among them -- and work their way around them with an unusual mix of cultural references throughout the album, from Will Ferrell's Chazz in "Blades of Glory" to sweet baby Jesus himself.
We'll be liveblogging a track-by-track, line-by-line reading of the album, so keep checking in for the latest from The Throne.