Panelist: Confusion, Pigeons and Planes
It's hard to even talk about Watch The Throne without focusing on Kanye. As much of a legend as Jay-Z is, and as much as he brings to WTT, Ye was the real driving force behind the album. When you compare Drake to Kanye West, it's one of those apple/orange situations.
The first Drake line that ever struck me was, ironically, over a Kanye West beat. It's a simple line, but one that so perfectly captured what I think should be the ambition of any artist. On "Say What's Real," off Aubrey's So Far Gone mixtape, he says, "Don't ever forget the moment you began to doubt/Transitioning from fitting in to standing out." You can argue that Drake's always stood out—and in some ways you'd be right—but he's never done it as confidently as on Take Care. It's a turning point for Drake. He's spent years cultivating and perfecting his sound and the way he conveys his personality, and this album is like the epiphany-featuring turning point in a coming-of-age novel.
Kanye, on the other hand, has never had an issue with confidence, and he’s never had a problem moving forward (musically, at least). Instead of working on perfecting one sound, he drops near-perfect album after near-perfect album and moves on. Instead of treating albums like chapters in a book, each project stands as its own story. WTT is not a defining moment for Kanye or Jay, and it's not a point that they've been working towards and building up to their entire careers. It’s just another great story.
For me, it all boils down to the book/chapter thing. Drake has delivered a really important chapter in his story. It was a great read, and it's done its job with character development and advancing the plot. But as important as it is for Drake, it still isn’t as fulfilling as Watch The Throne.