Watching The Throne: The Impact Of Jay-Z And Kanye West's Album On The Industry
On August 8th, Jay-Z and Kanye West will release their album together entitled, Watch The Throne. And the world is doing exactly what they wanted.
But not for the reasons you think. Sure these guys getting together musically is an audio treat for rap fans that want to hear some bragging, depth, wordplay and soul music.
And yes the second leak record lived up to the hype and sparked multiple renditions, freestyles, and barbershop talk about whether the chopped up "Otis" is fire, just cool or unbearable.
However, the industry wasn't ready for the kind of impact that we are seeing in this bootleg, free-download era.
It's August 5th and there are no leaks, torrents, or snippets of the entire album on the Internet.
And how was this achieved? No web access in the studio when they recorded, the songs were totally protected by the engineers and producers, and most of all, no hard copy manufacturing has even happened yet.
Why hadn't anyone thought of this before? Well they have. But this time the throne is being observed and it makes a difference. So on Tuesday, everyone will be rushing to their computers instead of the stores and when they do go to the store, it will only be Best Buy, Target and Wal-mart four days later.
The result could possibly be similar to the 80's and early 90's when you copped an album because you wanted it. You weren't thinking about dubbing it, borrowing it, or listening to someone else's first to see if it was worth your money.
If you're a fan of Hov and you know Ye puts out heat, then you're going to go get it. Well there's only one place for now and that place is tracked by Soundscan. Of course on that day, the links will be available and the entire week will open the door for free downloads, but name a time in history when an album this heavily anticipated wasn't everywhere at least three days before its official release.
The major labels are looking at this blueprint, the rappers are peeping the formula and the people are watching.
Will The Throne live up to expectations? I'm sure it will. I've been alerted that they toss their wealth at us a bit much during these tough financial times, that some concepts outweigh the actual song and Jay and Ye don't always mesh. But for the most part, all 12 of the folks that have heard it are excited and promise that this collaborative joint will be regarded as great. The music, the rhymes, and the features are all placed well enough that critics will be satisfied.
The interesting trend that may be adopted after this is release dates that start out digital and end up in stores at a later date if this all works out for the two emcees. Keep watching.
Watch The Throne Trailer