Release Date: August 8, 2011
It began with a seemingly offhand Kanye West tweet. “Me and Jay ‘bout to drop a 5 song album called ‘Watch the Throne,’" he wrote in August of 2010, before even finishing his then forthcoming fifth album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.
In an October 2011 interview with MTV, promoting Fantasy’s accompanying short film, Runaway, West confidently said cranking out Throne out would be light work. “We’ll probably be done with the album in, like, a day or whatever,” he said after informing host Sway that it would be a full album. He was wrong. It wasn’t until January 2011 that the two offered up “H.A.M,” the album's first single. It was met with heavy criticism, so the duo went back to the drawing board.
Though it was never confirmed, an Independence Day release date was highly rumored. On July 7, Jay-Z invited a select few journalists to hear the unfinished album at downtown NYC’s Mercer Hotel, where they recorded the majority of the project.
Weeks later, Funkmaster Flex debuted their new lead single “Otis” on Hot 97. Throne was then supposed to be available for iTunes download on August 1, with a physical release on August. 5. That didn’t happen, either.
Fortunately, the last delay was only a week. Watch The Throne hit iTunes on August 8, then Best Buy on August 12.