Jay-Z, Kanye West Preview Watch the Throne

Jay-Z held an intimate listening session for his and Kanye West’s Watch the Throne album in New York City’s Mercer Hotel last night (July 7), and select members of the media — including XXL as well as two teenage kids who were the first to pre-order the album, accompanied by their parents — were privy to the rough listening of about a dozen or so songs.

Although the crew in attendance, mostly sitting on the floor camp-style, was given strict instructions not to live tweet (a Fader reporter was kicked out early in the night because of it), not to quote lyrics and not to report on album titles, some of the highlights we can provide include a strong Otis Redding sample, a song in which Jay-Z and Kanye West both rap to their unborn children and collaborations with Beyonce and Frank Ocean (who appears on two tracks).

In addition, there’s a southern-inspired track that finds Jay and ‘Ye trading verses at times and then rapping in unison. There’s also an opera-sounding production that might make the final cut. What might not be included though, is the first and only track that the duo leaked, “H.A.M.,” which Jay explained was a smart track but quite possibly not an enjoyable listen.

Jay, who wore a v-neck T-shirt, cargo pants and shell-toe Adidas and hosted the affair alone while West is in London, made sure to have enough libations (Ace of Spades bottles everywhere), Voss water and cheese platters to go around the room. Producer Mike Dean, Hov’s bodyguard Norman and longtime lawyer/manager John Meneilly were also in attendance.

Jigga, who played an unspecified bonus tracks for those in attendance, also mentioned working on his next solo album, for which he has two songs already, one of which features the Odd Future singer/songwriter Ocean.

As of press time there is no release date for either projects. —Gina Montana

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  • TK

    So “The Joy” is obviously the Odis Redding track. That was one of my favorites from GOOD Fridays, so that’s dope.

  • AD

    the *joy* was curtis mayfield not odis redding and kanye is too good to put ols songs on a new album

    • $yk

      “and kanye is too good to put ols songs on a new album”

      ^ word

      Just like “Thru The Wire”, “Golddigger”, “Touch The Sky” and many other hits he’s had with old song samples. He’s too good for that. smDh

      • Hades

        “Old” as in previously released, not “old” as in sampled, genius.

        • Zain

          half of my beautiful dark fantasy was already released in good friday

  • JHarry

    The Joy Sample Curtis Mayfield;s”The Makings of You”


    “The Joy” sample was Curtis Mayfield I believe. And it was produced by Pete Rock, so I don’t think that will make the cut. But if the album sounds anything like “The Joy” (or better) were in for a classic!

  • RapMusic25

    “Jay Z held a private listening session for selected members of the media” You would think this is some top secret shit.Its just an EP…After all this promotion and the way people have talked about it..this better be the best fucking EP ever in rap.I bet Hell The Sequel is far better and royce&em did that shit super fast and almost with no promotion.Just watch xxl dickride kanye and jay by giving them XXL in the review of Watch The Throne

    • jimmmyjam

      if it gets a xxl its cos the album was better, which it will be. and stop dick riding em man tht ep was way ovverated. and dnt start with ur bullshit either actin like they tryna hold em back u fuckin stan xxl always giving em shine, CHILD!!

      • http://facebook brandon

        Thats because eminem is a better rapper than jayz and yu know it buddy.He is more popular than jay,sells more than jay and is harder than jayz. Em iz a beast if nothing elese bro no stan over here.

        • jimmmyjam

          plz, he was a beast now hes softer than pudding, his lyrics are passable now but tht it and recovery was wack. this album wil blow that ep out of the water in every aspect.

        • Richdarealisbac

          Em better rapper than Jay??? foolishness at its best, you dont really believe dat dumb shit do you? and for yall who think he so overrated why has he been the main face n topic of rap for 16 years! most #1 rap albums ever, sells out any arena the fastest and continues to hold raps throne w/o having mixtapes or droppin music every other month like most rappers?

        • zayzkidd

          @ brandon
          Elvis sold more than Stevie Wonder. Does that mean he’s better? PHUCK NO!!!

    • O.skino

      Hell the Sequel might not have the kinda production or commercial success as Watch the Throne… but i highly doubt Watch the Throne will be as lyrical… fuck all the who’s better talk. Em just proved he’s still got it in him to drop some FIRE in minimal time… i don’t think Jay can pull that type of shit off no more… Watch the Throne will be dope… but i highly doubt iyt’ll be more lyrical than Hell the Sequel… and after all is said and done… Lyrical content are what GOATs are supposed to be all about…

      • jimmmyjam

        first off a dope album comes from more than just lyrics, from a musical stand point hells got nothing on watch the throne i can tell u that right now, tht album was fine at best nothin special and lyrically it wasnt even tht good. ur defenition of lyrical is obviously fucked just cos em was using complex rhyme schemes (multis and internal rhymes) dont mean its more lyrical, its about what u say. hell the sequel was a good listen but hardly anything special

        • jimmmyjam

          c the only difference between the contents of hell and youre average wayne song was the rhyme scheme.

  • http://www.splashjoy.com/ CW of SplashJOY

    Can’t wait for the Otis joint and the Black on Black sounds sick too

  • Que Rollo

    Hope this shit’s banging.

  • Chief GreenLeaf

    “Jay, who wore a v-neck T-shirt, cargo pants and shell-toe Adidas”

    Damn, this nigga is definitley showing his old age.

  • http://facebook brandon

    yu know i think jayz is overrated,as well as yeze i like it the old kanye before he got a big head and started to feel him self too much But as far as the best rappers eminem got the throne.The so called king is alwayz going to jail so yu got to crown my boy em.And stop hating because he out sold every rapper that is out here with impunity lol.

    • kidnothing1

      BEFORE he had a big head???? Kanye had a big head before College Drop Out. I know Jay-Z seems over-rated cause I used to think so too, but when I really payed attention to his cds I realized how deep he really is. Hidden lyricism all day!

      • http://facebook brandon

        I concur wit yu that jay-z is dope he is one of the best i agree.But i think em is still better because of his rapid delivery horror movie style flow that rips into everything and everybody maybe iam bias numbers dont lie people crown tha king people and get over his skin color.

  • $yk

    LOL @ this Jay>Em/Em>Jay debate…

    most sites do Jay>Nas/Nas>Jay


  • M diggie

    Does just selling records make u the best rapper or is it skill, cuz nelly sold a hell of alot of records and i dont consider him the best or even one of the best, and i fell that who we as individuals fell is the best is opinion based on how we relate to the speaker so why do we keep pushing this argument on who is the best?

    • $yk

      truth…that’s why I’m laughing…at least if we wanna debate something let’s use SONGS…MUSIC to debate instead of accolades to determine who’s what…just like you said, then Nelly & 50 should be in this “greatest” convo if it comes to records sold and all of that nonsense.

      When dudes don’t use music for the debate I’m inclined to think they don’t listen to the music, they just use the press releases for argument. #notcool


    Hell>Watch the toilet. two huge egos on an ep cant be a good thing. Em is far more consistent than jay z song for song. Two m albums were so-so. So what every artists have bad records. Jay is over rated as hell, great but overrated. Em will never get his level of respect from the hip hop world as a whole for reasons I wont go into, because they are obvious. People cant get over the fact that he is as good as he is and their favorite artists can hold a candle to him let alone his mic cord.
    Watch the toilet will sell more just because of the popularity of Jay and Kanye, plus Kanye is producing not because it is actually better. Put Royce Em Jay and Kanye on a track together and see if jay and ye dont get outshined, real talk I know its a bitter pill to swallow.


    Why everybody tripping on JayZ age when if lames really pay attention all these rappers is old! Watched Hip Hop Police? Ok, well Check Fabolous record–this dude is straight up 35 years old! So all yall fall back! what you think Snoop 22, hell 25 even..Dre, Eminem, all these RESPECTABLE artists are old…you want teeny boppers go pick up a Wacka Album or Travis Porter & listen to THAT ish! I hate when ppl talk bout Jay age like he only old dude rappin!

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