Fresh off the holiday weekend, the buzz surrounding Jay-Z and Kanye West’s new album collaboration seems to be the top topic in hip hop.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you've heard that Hov and Ye, members of hip hop’s elite class, have joined forces to release Watch the Throne, a project that comes with high expectations.
Shrouded in secrecy, there’s very little known about the highly anticipated LP. With the ever–changing release date now set for August 2nd and a shimmering new album cover on display on the Internet, the reality of the Def Jam/Roc Nation partnership hitting stores soon seems realer than ever.
So much so, fans can now pre-order the disc at digital retail hubs. The deluxe CD is being sold for $16.99, while the standard CD goes for $13.99. The album is also available in MP3 versions; with the deluxe copy going for $14.99 and the standard digital album priced at $11.99. However, I can’t help but wonder if this is yet another project based on hype but not much substance.
Before I’m chased out of the village by hip hop fans with their proverbial pitchforks, allow me to explain my hesitation.
The project, which currently has a dubious release date, comes with huge expectations. These high hopes are for a project that, let’s keep it real, has yet to generate the “hit” an album needs to ultimately be a success. Nobody should be able to forget—although I can completely understand if you did—the first single from Throne titled “H.A.M.” Yet it fell short of expectations for a collaboration from the hit–making legends.
Listen, at the end of the day Watch the Throne, I’m sure, will do well. It’s almost impossible for it not to, even if someone has to bust open their wallet to purchase a few 100k copies to save face.
However, with everything about Watch The Throne being kept under tight wraps, in my experience of reviewing albums, the secrecy has never led to anything that warrants to elusive hype.
I will definitely be waiting for the reported August 2nd release date—probably sooner if it leaks—when Watch the Throne is expected to hit stores.
But we should all remember that everything that glitters ain’t gold. And as a music critic, I offer up a "cynical opinion with a buyer beware" approach to things. I’m expecting the best, but knowing how "the industry" is, I am prepared for the worst.
Just my two cents.
(Photo: Daniel Boczarski/Getty)