Welcome to 'Watch the Throne' day
August 8th, 2011
01:34 PM ET

Welcome to 'Watch the Throne' day

In what Billboard is calling a rare move for a major hip-hop album, industry heavyweights Jay-Z and Kanye West released their buzzed-about album "Watch the Throne" on iTunes today without any tracks being leaked. (Although the snippets from a New York listening party last week circulated the Web briefly, the Interwebs were quickly scrubbed clean, Billboard reports.)

In addition to the album, the record's single "Lift Off," which features Beyonce, is also making waves on the Web much as the track "Otis" did in late July.

On iTunes both the standard and deluxe versions are available (with the deluxe carrying four extra tracks), with the physical album arriving in stores on August 12. Reviews are starting to trickle in, and Time notes that "you can't fail to be impressed by the talent on display."

But in regards to "Lift Off" in particular, Idolator critiques that "the song...works pretty effectively in the anthem category when played at a large, crowded setting. But when blaring out of speakers on, say, your computer, there seems to be a little something missing from the chorus....We're just not sure exactly how much fuel is in this craft's tank."

USA Today, meanwhile, has given the record four out of four stars, saying that "they've realized [their] ambitions" to "raise the creative bar for themselves and hip-hop in general." The paper pegs the must downloads as "No Church in the Wild"; "Who Gon Stop Me"; "New Day"; Welcome to the Jungle" and "Murder to Excellence."

The New York Post was less laudatory, saying that "Watch the Throne” "is neither West’s nor Jay-Z’s best." Nonetheless, you can still "count it as a success, especially getting two performers as dynamic and ego-maniacal as this duo to mesh into a cohesive team."

If you've purchased the standard or deluxe editions, what do you think? Was the album worth the wait and the hype? There's a video pasting together 30-second snippets of the album's songs floating about - take a listen for a bit of a preview:

Filed under: Jay-Z • Kanye West • Music

soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. TimmyJ

    And they probably had on $1 million dollars in jacob's watches too. http://www.facebook.com/jacobandco

    August 17, 2011 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Tai

    I can't stand Kanye's antics at times but that man makes excellent music! I can't wait to download it

    August 10, 2011 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
  3. WHAT?

    Someone will make a mix that will be playable. But hip hop dead??? Look at billboard, 5 of top 10 are hip hop related songs....no offense. Electro and House are established as well. Glad you can spin and get paid this day and time...

    August 9, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  4. AtotheG

    I'm a Dj, I use technics 1200's and a Rane 57, the best money can buy. I spin 3 to 4 nights a week and get paid... I can tell you right now that I won't spin any of these tracks. I grew up on hip hop and this stuff is garbage. I agree with an earlier post – the throne (of hip hop) has been empty since 2Pac was killed... Unless one of my peers remixes one of these tracks so that it's playable, the album will get no play by me.... HIP HOP IS DEAD! Electro and House is where the parties at!

    August 9, 2011 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Tai

      that is so lame. techno is the new hip-hop? maybe in the Ukraine. This is AMERICA, BABY. Hip hop is KING> Now i will admit, i don't like a lot of the songs coming out. But that is just because the industry is willing to pay any black man to rap anout money and hoes (i am talking about you, Lil Wayne). There is still rappers out their making real music, though. And i will continue to support them

      August 10, 2011 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
  5. JayT

    I'm impressed. Like The Post said, it wasn't the best of both, but a success either way. If I had a to but a number on it, I'd give it a 4/5. Best tracks are: No Church, Murder To Excellence, Why I Love You, Who Gon Stop Me, and N****s in Paris.

    August 9, 2011 at 1:16 am | Report abuse |
    • GayZ

      Yeah and you are such a wonderful judge of quality. *POOT* <–Smell it.

      August 9, 2011 at 7:56 am | Report abuse |
  6. no name


    August 8, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jason Morris

    Better than most mainstream music but falls far behind other underground acts like Grieves, Charles Hamilton, Freeway, Eydea, or Suffa MC. Production is great but lacks when it comes to lyrics, i suggest you check it out for yourself though...

    August 8, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
  8. charlie crack

    Good album....not the best of both..........but decent........

    August 8, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  9. portalpunk

    Why didnt they name it "Watch the Porta-Potty", the reason they call the toilet a throne is because the King's used to take a po-po in it so they didnt have to walk out in the woods, I know Kayne is an idiot, but you would think Jay-Z would know that.

    August 8, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Captonbyrd

    I think its a well put together cd...compared to what else is out with there ( oscar grouch music)...i t should go down in history...A lot of urban americans wont to much like it doue to the fact of the whole euro-sound and dark sounds i dont know what its called but i could have seenthis comming from these guys do to the fact that they are world runners!!!!!

    August 8, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Evel Knievel

    More cr@p from two thugs.

    August 8, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kking

      More uneducated comments from closed-minded people.
      FYI these two 'thugs' are two of the most talented and recognizable names in music today.
      And perhaps you should look up 'thug' in the dictionary.


      August 8, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • portalpunk

      @Kking Way to defend yourself, you go girl.

      August 8, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • KKing

      I'm a boy.

      August 9, 2011 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  12. Mr. Hanky

    HI-DE-HO, kids. Watch me take a "download" on my throne. Now watch me flush that stanky mess all the way to Brooklyn!

    August 8, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  13. itsamemario

    the throne was abdicated once tupac died, hasnt been filled since..

    August 8, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  14. jujubeans

    Oh, Yracie's going to have a field day on this one.

    August 8, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  15. boocat

    Throne = toilet.....time to flush this crap down...who'd these idiots plagiarize from this time?

    August 8, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  16. ed

    Yeah. Watch the throne where I sit and take a dump.

    August 8, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  17. lifestylesection

    I think its an impressive album. The album cover is a little scary though.

    August 8, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Richard Fore

      I'm impressed that your impressed that its an impressive cd, let's just pat all of us on the back and do the hoky-poky.

      August 8, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |

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