Watch The Throne

The Rap-Up is a weekly round-up of all things hip-hop. Check it out every Wednesday.

Jay-Z and Kanye West top the charts and take shots, a promising Detroit spitter makes his mark and Pittsburgh rap pioneer J. Sands reacts to the health scare of a friend -- read on for the weekly Rap-Up.

“Watch The Throne” Tops The Charts, Endures Hate

“Watch The Throne,” the collaborative album from Jay-Z and Kanye West (as The Throne), enjoyed a remarkable first day at online retailers on August 8, earning the No. 1 chart position in 23 countries.

It’s a staggering accomplishment for two of the genre’s biggest and best artists but rarely has an album from such revered artists as Jay-Z and Kanye West endured so much criticism. Saigon and Joell Ortiz are among the artists who have openly questioned the merits of the collection, which features the single “Otis” featuring Otis Redding, as well as the soulful “Made In America” with Frank Ocean.

Time will tell how the album, which arrives in CD form August 12, will be regarded by the public. But it’s worth noting that these two rap titans are enduring such heated criticism on such a successful album. It’ll be interesting to see if The Throne fires return shots.

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Danny Brown Gets “XXX”

Detroit’s rap scene continues creating some of the genre’s most interesting and promising artists. Next up could be Danny Brown.

Though his name is decidedly plain, his material is anything but. On the heels of 2010’s “The Hybrid,” the Motor City rapper will release “XXX,” a dazzling 19-cut album will be available as a free download at Like early Eminem, cuts such as “Blunt After Blunt” highlight Brown’s profane, sexually charged, drug-abusing ways, while the quirky beat of “Outer Space” showcases Brown’s willingness to rhyme over distinctive, unsafe beats.

On Saturday August 13, Brown will premier “XXX” in New York at an invite-only event. He’ll also hit the road this fall with Das Racist for the “Relax” tour. Although it’s hard to relax while listening to Brown’s music, its jarring nature certainly makes it XXX material.

Helping A Friend, J. Sands Evokes KRS-One On New Mixtape

Pittsburgh rap pioneer J. Sands was devastated last December when his friend DJ Bonics (Wiz Khalifa’s tour DJ) suffered a heart attack. The news in itself was shocking but what dumbfounded J. Sands was that Bonics was only 30 when he suffered his heart attack.

Given that many members of the hip-hop community do not have health insurance and live unhealthy lifestyles, Sands wanted his just-released “K.R.Sands The Mixtape” mixed by DJ Bonics to help increase awareness about the importance of being healthy and to raise money for Bonics’ recovery.

During the mixtape’s promotional campaign, Sands will be providing information and testimonials from people who have suffered due to their lack of medical coverage and lifestyle choices. The mixtape’s title plays off of KRS-One’s name, while its cover pays homage to Boogie Down Production’s “By All Means Necessary” album cover. With a blend of hood anthems, positive messages and essential health information, “K.R.Sands The Mixtape” is a great blend of edutainment.

For more from Soren Baker follow him on Twitter: @SorenBaker.



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