Towards the end of 2010, there were rumors of Jay-Z and Kanye West working on a joint album. Many wrote this off as simple rumors, as Kanye West had released his comeback effort, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, only weeks before. Meanwhile, Jay-Z had become more focused on office work than recording music.
However, the duo reached out to the media and confirmed their album. Immediately after their announcement, Jay-Z and Kanye West unleashed “H.A.M.” on the world. The song was a major hit early in 2011 and came back into play later in the year. But, for months, there was no new music from Jay-Z and Kanye West, leading many to think there was no album coming.
When fans were ready to give up on Watch the Throne, the August 9 release date was announced and the album’s first official single, “Otis,” leaked. Following the success of the single, the album came, setting an iTunes record. Jay-Z and Kanye West came during the middle of the summer and took the game over, once more. The album was noted for the comeback of Jay-Z, who last released an album in 2009.
Watch the Throne had an impact on the entire rap game, as nearly every track off the album has been freestyled by nearly every rapper in the game. While “H.A.M.” was not featured on the album, Jay-Z’s “baby money” line was replied to by Lil Wayne on “It’s Good.” Late August into mid-September, there were questions about the re-ignited feud between Jay-Z and Lil Wayne, which both rappers played dumb about. In spite of how some may feel about Watch the Throne and despite the album being outsold by other albums, it had and is still having a major impact on the rap game, which says plenty about the influence Jay-Z still has over the rap game.