After dominating the hip hop conversation for weeks with Watch the Throne, his new album with Kanye West, Jay-Z recently opened up about the project, its purpose and its inevitable copycatters.
In an interview with South Florida radio station 99 Jamz, Hov said the LP—which hit stores last week—aimed to keep hip hop on top. "It's just protecting the music and the culture," Jay told on-air personality Lorenzo Thomas. "It's like, 'Watch the throne'—protect it. You just watch how popular music shifts and how hip hop has basically replaced rock 'n' roll as the youth music. The same thing could happen to hip hop. It could be replaced by other forms of music. So it's just making sure we're putting that effort into making the best product, so we can contend with all this other music—with all the dance music that's dominating the charts right now, indie music that's dominating the festivals and still holding [down] rock n roll."
Watch the Throne, he continued, is designed to "just to hold our place and make sure hip hop culture is still the most dominant form of music around the world." The album certainly seems set to make a strong case for hip hop: It's expected to debut atop the charts this week, with sales as high as 550,000 units.
Eminem and Royce da 5'9" released their collabo LP Hell: The Sequel earlier this summer, and Drake and Lil Wayne are also slated to release their own project soon, but Hov said he doesn't mind other rappers walking in Throne's footsteps. "Anything that has success is gonna be emulated," he said. "That's the reason why we went down this road. We went down this road to make a great album but also to make a statement for this culture." We're listening, Jay.
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