Six Years Ago Kanye West and Jay Z Changed Hip-hop Forever Releasing ‘Watch The Throne’

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On what was meant to be a 5-track EP, instead Kanye West and JAY Z teamed up at the peak of their powers to collaborate for 55 minutes of black excellence. Today (August 8th), fans celebrate six years since Watch The Throne‘s release. Even though their relationship may not be as strong as the big brother family ties once were, it still doesn’t take away from the impact this project had in changing the hip-hop landscape forever.

Last week, I detailed how fortunate I was to have Graduation kick off my high-school career. What better way to end it than have Watch The Throne drop in the summer that I prepared to take on the challenge of going away to college. Kanye and Jay broadcasted their braggadocio lifestyle, dealing with fame, racism in connection to materialism, and shed light on the political and socioeconomic problems we still see today.

Look at that in depth analysis from TreeSap himself above on release day. On a more serious note, there aren’t many albums I have a great feeling about after one listen, but I distinctly recall loving this project after my first time through hearing the stories told by Ye and Hov. Weaved into the opulence and decadent themes was my introduction to Frank Ocean, who was featured on “No Church In The Wild” as well as “Made It In America,” which went on to be two of my favorite tracks off the album.

My biggest regret in life to this point is not going to the Watch The Throne Tour stop at MSG in November of 2011. We won’t see anything like that ever again. The WTT Tour spawned the trend of having designers create artist merchandise. Riccardo Tisci, former Creative Director at Givenchy, designed the t-shirts and artwork for the tour and album. To this day I still have a Watch The Throne album cover phone case and don’t plan on changing it anytime soon, as I always come back to anthems like “Niggas In Paris” and “Otis” every few weeks for inspiration.

The collaborative effort was recorded across the globe from Los Angeles, NYC, Paris and England to Hawaii and even Abu Dhabi from November 2010 through the summer of 2011. Calling on a superstar team to help craft the production on the record, much like Kanye did with MBDTF. In addition to the usuals like Mike Dean, Noah Goldstein and Anthony Kilhoffer, legends such as RZA, Swizz Beats, Q-Tip, Pharell and many more left their mark on the Throne, making for some brilliant studio sessions.

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Some of those stories have been recalled by the likes of Roc Nation’s Lenny S. and Complex Editor-In-Chief Noah Callahan-Bever to share with the public.

Ten years after first teaming up on Jay’s Blueprint album for the duo to come together and be able to create a classic body of work is something I will appreciate forever. I know it’s unlikely that there would ever be a sequel, but I am grateful the album came together so flawlessly with tuneful production and genius use of features. (Still wanted to hear Bruno Mars over Beyonce on “Lift Off”)

If you know me, you know I hold this album close and do not tolerate any slander of it, as I believe it can go toe-to-toe with any project ever made. Make sure to honor the Throne and keep WTT heavy in rotation today!

Big Brother

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