Music

Jay-Z & Kanye West release their highly anticipated collaboration album, Watch The Throne

Jay-Z & Kanye West release their highly anticipated collaboration album, Watch The Throne

Hip-hop heavyweights Jay-Z and Kanye West released their long-awaited debut collaboration album, Watch The Throne, this week to much praise from fans and critics who have been waiting eagerly for the two megastars team together on a full-length album.

In production since fall of 2010, Jay-Z and Kanye West originally only intended to release a shorter EP of songs, but eventually embarked on a full-length album, with the deluxe version containing 16 tracks. According to both rappers, recording the album was no easy task, as both of their hectic schedules and creativity clashed early on. The two began recording the album in various hotel rooms in Australia, Paris, Abu Dhabi, and Los Angeles before settling on New York City to record a majority of their songs in the Mercer and Tribeca Grand Hotels.

The two released their first joint single, “H•A•M”, in January 2011, a song that quickly debuted at number 23 on the Billboard Hot 100 and gave fans a taste of what they could expect from a full-length studio album. Their follow-up single, “Otis”, was released in July and samples soul singer Otis Redding’s “Try A Little Tenderness”. The song, produced by Kanye West, features West and Jay-Z trading lyrics over the soulful beat and is uniquely reminiscent of Kanye West songs of the past.

For the rest of the Watch The Throne album, Jay-Z and West not only collaborated together, but the two teamed up with some of the biggest producers in hip-hop today and featured several big stars on some of the album’s songs. “Lift Off” features Jay-Z’s wife and longtime collaborator, Beyonce Knowles, who sings the song’s catchy and pop-driven hook. Co-produced by Pharrell Williams of The Neptunes, the song is a radio-ready and cohesive crossover effort that Beyonce, Kanye West, and Jay-Z fans will enjoy. The Swizz Beats-produced “Welcome To The Jungle” contains an infectious beat, a standout on the album, and is a fresher take on the Guns N’ Roses song by the same name, of whom Jay-Z gives a shout-out to on the track.

“Who Gon Stop Me”, already emerging as a fan favorite, grows to be more aggressive as the song progresses and features impressive beats that mix hip-hop with different electronic elements. The song is one of the most unique songs in current mainstream hip-hop today and showcases both Jay-Z and Kanye West’s personalities perfectly. “Made In America” features OFWGKTA member Frank Ocean, whose R&B vocals are put to good use on the mid-tempo song’s hook. The song’s message is one many can relate to, about overcoming the struggles of trying to make something of yourself and also pays homage to icons of the past who have overcome obstacles.

Watch The Throne has a lot to offer to fans of Jay-Z, Kanye West, and fans of innovative and unique hip-hop. It is unlike anything currently in rotation on urban radio and is sure to go down in history as one of the most impressive hip-hop collaborations of all time. Taking the two combined talents of Jay-Z and Kanye West, two huge performers on their own, and putting them together on one album is something fans of the artists dream of and lucky for them, the two made the collaboration a well-executed reality.

Jay-Z and Kanye West will embark on a joint tour beginning October 29th in Atlanta, Georgia and will touch down in Los Angeles at the Staples Center on December 12th. To purchase the album, visit iTunes today!