Jay-Z and Kanye West are finally ready to let heads into their proverbial Throne Room. A listening session for their collaborative album Watch The Throne—easily one of the most anticipated albums of the year, regardless of genre—is going down for select media tonight at a secret location in New York City. I will be there on behalf of MTV News to get a first listen in on the project that Yeezy and Hova have been working on for a good minute, keeping fans and media alike wondering what the final product will sounds like.
As for the visuals, the album’s artwork—created by Givenchy designer Riccardo Tisci—was revealed over the weekend. Rumors that circulated previously saying the album would be released over the July 4th holiday proved to be suspect, but the album will be shipping on August 2, 2011. That’s the date given to customers who have already chosen to pre-order the album, which comes in a standard and deluxe edition. Also, there is no solid tracklist that has been made available, yet.
While Jay-Z and Kanye are the epitome of Hip-Hop cool with plentiful hits between them, you can’t help but feel that the pressure is on to deliver a grand slam with Watch The Throne. Jay-Z’s star power has only escalated through the years, eluding the usual trajectory of the older rapper whose luster and skills, and fanbase, has faded over the years. As for Kanye, he’s gone from being the Roc’s go-to producer with rapping aspirations to becoming one of music’s biggest stars.
Considering that Watch the Throne morphed from an EP to a full on album, then took longer than expected to get a legitimate release date, the two marquee Hip-Hop artists are keenly aware only exceptional music will be tolerated. Even Yeezy’s protégé Big Sean, who didn’t make the cut (neither did Pusha T), is saying that “the intro is like, damn!" Jigga also appears to be taking special care on the business side of the project, too. He raised eyebrows by opting to forgo iTunes with this release.
So will this Hip-Hop dream tandem live up the stratospheric hype? Stay tuned to MTV RapFix and on Twitter at @MTVRapFix as I will be relaying a play by play (who made the beat, who drops a guest verse, etc) of the long player the good Hov and Yeezy are set to deliver. Keep watching.
MTV News and RapFix are live on the scene at the Watch The Throne listening party with man about town Alvin Blanco tweeting live from RapFix's twitter account @MTVRapFix about the event, which got started a little after 8 PM ET.
8:07 PM: Yo, @Aqua174 here, about to peep 'Watch The Throne.' Yep.
8:28 PM: Cheese and fruit platters, swanky. But no music yet. #WWT
9:07 PM: In the studio, small room and packed. Hova rocking a Yankees snap back.
9:11 PM: Hova is here. Tweets about to get deaded, though. sneak shot: http://t.co/UjFnqwa
9:25 PM: Five songs in and Watch The Throne is living up to the hype.
10:27 PM: Whole room is chopping it up with Jay-Z. oh, he already has two songs done and four ideas for his next solo album. @Aqua174, gone.
Are you excited to know what Watch The Throne is going to sound like? Tweet to us at @MTVRapFix or leave us a comment below.