NEW YORK — "We were at our office and one of my colleagues said, 'I just saw on Twitter that there is a new pop-up shop that's selling Watch the Throne," said a man identified only by his Twitter handle @hiprobbie. "So we ran down here to check it out." And just like that, fans scurried down to 201 Mulberry Street, in the SoHo section of Manhattan, to celebrate the physical retail release of Jay-Z and Kanye West's combo album.
Things started off slowly at first. MTV News was on the scene at approximately 11:30 a.m. ET and the storefront, which was wrapped in a gold Riccardo Tisci-designed print, was barren out front. It wasn't until noon, when MTV broke the news and folks from Kanye's camp began to tweet about the surprise retail space, that fans started to show up.
At about 1 p.m. ET, fans were let in to the surprise store, where the Throne album was sold and the album's art was displayed. The biggest attraction: the chopped-and-screwed Maybach from Hov and Yeezy's "Otis" video, which premiered on MTV on Thursday.
"That's the first thing you see when you get in the store is the Maybach, and it's all tore up," hip-hop fan Max Lockie said. "The engine's exposed, the doors are ripped off, the trunk's split open so you can see the inside of it."
Dorian Talker was equally excited to see the tricked-out whip, which will eventually be auctioned off for charity, though he did express just a bit of disappointment. "I would've liked it better if Jay-Z and Kanye had been in the car, but, you know, you get what you get," he said.
The pop-up store caps off an exciting week in which fans waited until Monday's early morning hours to purchase the album on iTunes. Then on Thursday, Throne fanatics got to see WTT first visual component when the "Otis" video debuted. On Friday, folks were still buzzing.
"It was dope. What I liked about the video most was it seemed like they were having a good time," Jonas Guerrero said. "They were stuntin' on a whole 'nother level. The whole big Riccardo Tisci flag on the back, and they were all smiles ... I haven't seen a video like that in a long time."
Talker agreed. He applauded the video's director for letting Jay and 'Ye just let it all hang out. "I think Spike Jonze just allowed Kanye and Jay-Z to do their thing," he said. "It wasn't overly conceptual, which I think was a benefit to the video."
What do you think of the "Otis" video? Tell us in the comments.