Kanye West, Jay-z: Sitting atop of the Throne

Kanye West, left, and Jay-Z are shown here rapping together in the beginning of the year, before their collaboration was known as the Throne.

The numbers are in. No. 1 in 23 countries on iTunes, the Jay-Z and Kanye West (known collectively as the Throne) collaborative album “Watch the Throne” has been a commercial smash. But financial windfalls notwithstanding, why would two of hip-hop’s biggest stars even bother with the project in the first place, especially when each rapper is at the top of his game?

The answer might be in the project’s first video, “Otis.” Smiling as they trade verses and ride in a Maybach that gets the “Mad Max” treatment, they look like they are having fun with no rules.
“That’s the beauty in it. They didn’t need to do it for money. Not worried about radio singles or marketing campaigns, they just went in and produced what they thought was a dope album,” explains Geespin, assistant program director of New York’s Power 105 FM.

The presentation of the album was unprecedented. It was for sale exclusively through iTunes, while streaming online for free from Aug. 8-11. Then it hit all digital and physical retailers on Aug. 12. This allowed the Throne to dodge that most treacherous of artistic enemies in this digital age, the Internet leak.

The set also broke the U.S. iTunes Store’s one-week sales record last week when it sold nearly 290,000 downloads.

With the physical sales added to the digital, “Watch the Throne” is a lock for the top spot when Billboard updates its charts today.

In the music business, success usually breeds imitation. Are we on the brink of seeing more special projects like this? Will there be an heir to the Throne, so to speak? Geespin thinks so.

“I wish that more artists in the position would be more conceptual instead of thinking radio spins,” he says. “It’s good for the culture.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

NHL

Rangers' speed versus Flyers' size makes interesting playoff…

Among the myriad aspects that will make this Metropolitan Division semifinal series fascinating will be the battle between the Rangers' speed and the Flyers' size,…

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.