'Watch the Throne': A Militant Masterpiece?

Illustration for article titled 'Watch the Throne': A Militant Masterpiece?

The Huffington Post's Ava DuVernay says she's "absolutely not" a music critic, but that doesn't stop her from weighing in on the relevance of Jay-Z and Kanye West's just-released collaborative effort, Watch the Throne.


She praises the project's unapologetic enthusiasm for blackness and what she calls its "Black Rich Militance." According to this DuVernay, the album represents what hip-hop should have been.

Read an excerpt:

I hear pride. Pride wrapped in Maybach imagery. Things Oprah understandably can't say. Things Obama surely can't say. Things that for obvious reasons no true Black Power Players in Film, Sports, Music and Television have really dared speak in public in eons. Robeson comes to mind. He talked the talk. In the 40s and 50s. Ali comes to mind. He shouted the talk. In the 60s. But there's been decades of silence since then from folks who have "made" it. Tell me who has "made it" to the highest heights and then started speaking the truth about the beauty of us, Black Folk, our souls, our bodies, our brains. Who?

Who speaks about LOVE OF BLACKNESS with a swagger that feels wonderfully dangerous. A swagger that feels militantly proud. This is something that has fallen out of favor among those truly in the spotlight. To be loud and proud about one's Blackness. To be bold and brash with it. Is that so wrong? Feels that way sometimes. But not on Watch the Throne .

At the top of their respective games, Jay-Z and Kanye West take the opportunity to not just flaunt their wealth and success, but to — finally — flaunt it with purpose. The purpose being to empower. They're talking that talk on Watch the Throne. That good Black talk. We know it. We speak it to ourselves. But we don't often hear it out in the open like this — not from our brightest, biggest stars. Nope. Not in a long, long time.

Read more at the Huffington Post.

In other news: LeBron Renovates Boys & Girls Club.