All Articles Tagged "watch the throne"

WEEKEND WRAP UP: Eddie Long Drama, Usher On Drugs?, + More!

December 4th, 2011 - By Drenna Armstrong
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We couldn’t let you go without wrapping up the weekend with a little celeb dish.

Check out whose relationship is over, who’s is heating and hooking up and what legend is recuperating from an illness….

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Beyoncé Grooves at “Watch the Throne” Concert

November 16th, 2011 - By MN Editor
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Bey told ya’ll she’s always been a Jay-Z fan. She wasn’t lying. She was in the front row of the “Watch the Throne” concert

Check out the video at Hello

Jay-Z Set To Appear in New Cartoon Mini Series

October 23rd, 2011 - By nativenotes
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Who said all rappers say disparaging things about women, talk drugs, guns and promote excessive materialism to our youth? Well, hip-hop mogul Jay-Z is teaming up with multi-billionaire Warren Buffet in one of four new animated specials called Secret Millionaires Club. The animated short will teach basic business principles to youngsters, set to premiere tonight on Hub TV.

The Jiggaman won’t have to do much acting; his character is a business savvy mogul promoting financial literacy to kids.

The new series will focus on spreading the message to kids that it’s never too early to invest in your self. Jay-Z must love the kids, he currently has one on the way with wife Beyonce, a few weeks back he held a Carnival in the middle of New York City to raise money for young scholars looking to further their education and now he’s educating young children about the importance of financial literacy.

Check out the trailer over at E!

Email nativenotes at or follow him on Facebook/Twitter/Tumblr and check out some his writings over at Notes of This Native Son 

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‘Collabo’ Clearance Controversy with Jay and Ye

October 16th, 2011 - By madamenoire
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Controversy just can’t seem to stay away from Jay-Z and Kanye West.  Or is it the other way around? This time, Syl Johnson (who peaked as a singer in the 60s and father of singer Syleena Johnson) has filed a federal lawsuit against the two alleging they illegally used part of the vocals from his single “Different Strokes” on their album Watch the Throne.

The Numero Group, a company responsible for preserving and re-issuing old music, stated in a blog that Kanye and Jay-Z used Syl’s voice on their song, “The Joy” without getting proper clearance. They allege the process to receive clearance began last summer when the song was to appear on Yeezy’s latest solo project, My Beautiful Twisted Fantasy.  But when the song was not released and didn’t make it to Ye’s (Kanye sure has a lot of nicknames, huh) album, the process pretty much stalled and they didn’t reach an agreement.  “The Joy” now appears on Watch the Throne as a bonus track.

Mr. Johnson is disappointed that they used the song, which has been sampled in the past by artists such as Michael Jackson and Tupac, without getting the permission. SO, he’s suing for copyright infringement, unfair competition and fraud. He’d also like a jury trial hoping to permanently restrain them from performing or distributing the song, an impounding of all recordings of the song, an accounting of the revenues and a monetary judgment of what he is owed.

You can check out Syl’s side of the story on NBC Chicago.

– Drenna Armstrong

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6 Things Jay-Z and Kanye Can Teach Entrepreneurs About Branding

September 23rd, 2011 - By TheEditor
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(Inc.) — On August 8, 2011, two of Hip Hop’s biggest stars, Jay-Z and Kanye West, released one of the most anticipated albums of the year. Its sales of close to 500,000 albums in the first week wasn’t just serendipity. Watch the Throne, on Island Def Jam Records, leveraged paid, earned, and owned assets to create an experience for fans. It went No. 1 in 23 countries on iTunes.

Create unique offline experiences that can be amplified in the social space.  On the day of the release, Island Def Jam used Twitter to generate excitement for a pop-up store in Manhattan, simultaneously connecting the digital and physical experiences. But executing a pop-up store or any real-world event to support your online strategy takes a certain budget and planning time. If this is a stretch, research other options to bring the online experience offline in order to make a real-world connection with your audience. Be sure to point people in attendance back to your online properties with signage at your event.

Why Weezy Is Leaving Jay and 'Ye in the Dust

September 8th, 2011 - By TheEditor
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(Forbes) — The numbers for Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter IV came in this morning, and they were staggering: 940,000 copies sold in the first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan, placing the album firmly atop the Billboard 200 chart.   Tha Carter IV was Lil Wayne’s third No. 1 debut; remarkably, its first-week sales total was more than twice that of Jay-Z and Kanye West’sWatch The Throne, which moved 436,000 units when it hit stores last month. So how did the diminutive Young Money/Cash Money star—who finished behind Jay-Z and Kanye on our annual Hip-Hop Cash Kings list—manage to outsell a pair of heavyweights?  “I think just the hard work, all the years and everything we’ve been through as a unit,” says Cash Money Records chief Bryan “Birdman” Williams, who was deeply involved in the album’s production and promotion. “It’s our season, that’s just how it goes … [Wayne] is the best doing it, and everybody is just starting to see it. I don’t think any artist in the world is going to be as big as he’s going to be.”

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For Jay-Z And West’s Collaboration, Watch The Sales

August 17th, 2011 - By TheEditor
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By Charlotte Young

As anticipated, Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “Watch the Throne” collaboration snatched the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 albums chart this week. It sold 436,000 copies according to Nielsen SoundScan, and is the second largest sales week of the year for an album, falling short only to Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way.”

According to, there are those in the industry who predicted “Watch the Throne” would command even higher sales numbers, reaching a total number of more than 500,000. Lady Gaga’s No. 1 “Born This Way” saw sales of 1.1 million.

Some say that the below 500,000 album is evidence that two hip hop greats don’t  necessarily equal one gotta have it album. Still others assert that the super duo’s collaboration was hard to predict, due to its “staggered release.”

From Aug. 8-11, “Watch the Throne” was exclusively available through iTunes. For the Apple based music manager, “Watch the Throne” pummeled their previous one-week sales record, selling almost 290,000 digital copies. On Friday Aug. 12, it was available to all digital and physical retailers, but SoundScan’s tracking week ended on Sunday, Aug. 14. With this unusual marketing strategy, it was difficult to compare the album’s sales by the traditional model.

Those who really want to see how well the album sales did must be patient. The results that roll in from the second week combine both physical and digital sales which will provide a clearer number.

Despite the difficulty in obtaining exact numbers, nothing but the top spot could have ever been expected from Jay-Z or West.

This is Jay-Z’s twelfth No. 1 spot and West’s fifth. Jay-Z also takes the throne in longevity. He’s the solo act with the most No. 1 albums in history, second only to The Beatles who claim 19 No. 1s.

Jay-Z has also been part of two other collaborations that most recently topped the Billboard 200: Linkin Park’s “Collision Course” and R. Kelly’s “Unfinished Business,” which both debuted in 2004.

His last solo album, The Blueprint 3, came in at No. 1 with 476,000 in 2009. West’s last album, “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” in 2010, also took home the No. 1 spot.

Jay-Z & Kanye West to Dominate Charts With “Watch the Throne”

August 12th, 2011 - By TheEditor
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Jay-Z & Kanye West: Watch the ThroneBy Alexis Garrett Stodghill

“Watch the Throne,” the highly-anticipated collaboration from Jay-Z and Kanye West, is set to appear in stores today — one store that is. In an exclusive deal with Best Buy, a deluxe version of the CD will only be obtainable through the megachain retailer until August 23.

This limited release, which has sparked ire among independent record sellers, comes on the heels of the iTunes debut of “Watch the Throne” on August 8. While fans who purchased the LP on Monday are already hailing “Watch the Throne” as an instant classic, industry watchers are eagerly poised to see whether Jay-Z and West will grab the #1 Billboard spot.

Expectations are high. Rap insiders have ventured that “Watch the Throne” will sell up to 500,000 copies in its first week. That’s enough discs to earn a gold plaque for rap’s dynamic duo, but not as legendary as Lady Gaga’s record sales for “Born This Way.” Her fans helped this queen of pop move 600,000 copies in one week (but the $.99 sticker price helped).

Sales of 400,000 to 500,000 would still make “Watch the Throne” the second largest release of the year, according to The LA Times. That’s not too shabby for Jay-Z and his former protege, who have 17 and 5 #1 albums respectively. On iTunes, “Watch the Throne” is already #1 in 23 countries. It remains to be seen how physical album sales will add to the tally, but so far no one is considering the possibility that the album could be a flop.

To the contrary, the press and consumers alike are applauding Jigga and Yeezy for their ability to create authentic hip-hop despite the distractions of wealth. Jay-Z in particular was lauded by Forbes, “because he makes brilliant business moves but keeps putting out relevant music,” a staff writer told MTV News. Both superstars placed on Forbes’ 2011 list of Hip-Hop Cash Kings, with Jay in the #1 spot and West taking third.

Female crooner Adele is expected to get bumped from Billboard’s #1 position as receipts for “Watch the Throne” begin to roll in. Her album “21” has held the top position for 12 non-consecutive weeks, setting an industry record. With 2.9 million sales, “21” is the top-selling 2011 album, leading a trend in which total album sales are up 2% compared with the same time last year. Yet, in a surprising snapshot of CD vs. digital sales:

Digital track sales this past week totaled 23.18 million downloads, down 1% compared to last week (23.33 million) and up 12% stacked next to the comparable week of 2010 (20.72 million). Year to date track sales are at 777.53 million, up 11% compared to the same total at this point last year (701.98 million).

Despite the fact that physical CD sales have improved modestly, digital sales are still much hotter. Cool new services like Spotify are rapidly enhancing the market for digital music for the benefit of consumers over record companies and artists. While not falling off the map, album sales seem almost irrelevant in these changing times.

Regardless of the reality of how people increasingly buy (or steal) music, the world will still “Watch the Throne” to see how well Best Buy moves the CD compared to iTunes. When the effects of the Jay-Z/Kanye West collaboration are calibrated, it is certain that these hip-hop cash kings will reign supreme at #1 on all major charts.



Kanye West Partners With GlobalHue to Create All-Access Web Site

August 4th, 2011 - By TheEditor
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Kanye WestBy Alexis Garrett Stodghill

Are you looking for an all-access pass to every aspect of Kanye West’s existence?  More importantly, are you willing to pay $4.99 a month for it? Multicultural ad agency GlobalHue is hoping that you and millions of others are. The famously egocentric star has a new web channel launching on the Voyr platform, a fresh idea from the agency’s incubator GVH. GlobalHue hopes to add a roster of stars to Voyr that will offer positive, intimate content to fans on a for-fee basis. While names like Oprah and Elton John have been floated as other possible participants, West is the first super-celebrity to sign on to overshare the minutiae of his life on the site.

Voyr is set to launch on September 15, to piggy back on a 35-city tour West is planning to embark on with Jay-Z to support their coming album, “Watch the Throne.” This will make great fodder for West’s Voyr channel, which promises to project the details of his performing romp across the country from behind the scenes. Advertising Age reports:

Stuff that will be available on his channel: his exercise routine; what he eats on tour and instructional videos about how to prepare those items by his personal chef; a “720-degree” concert experience; rehearsals for the show; a documentary about Kanye called — appropriately — “Me”; and his animated series called “Runaway.”

Possibly more interesting are ideas for the platform GlobalHue presented to Mr. West that the notoriously fussy artist struck down. These include allowing fans to vote on set designs or allowing marketers to sponsor specific episodes. Mr. Lewis said Mr. West, ever the auteur, slammed those ideas, saying he doesn’t need the popular vote to make decisions and the idea of, say, a McDonald’s powering that sort of voting power with the push of an “I’m loving it” button was a “piece of a crap.”

Kanye might be playing the diva, but in this particular situation he is not in total control. In fact he has no monetary stake in the project. Voyr is wholly owned by GlobalHue subsidiary GVH. West’s compensation in this deal was not disclosed.

Major barriers to entry for Voyr include the free content available on sites like YouTube, and of course competition from stars’ own web venues. Kanye in particular is famous for using the web well, so it will be interesting to see what he chooses to feature on Voyr as opposed to his own site, and whether fans will be willing to pay for the deeper peek into his life. Another question is how Voyr will build a massive audience and compete with sites like Vevo when most of its content is behind a pay wall.

History has shown that making Internet users pay for content rarely works. The only success story is that of The Wall Street Journal, which famously prevents its current edition from being read online by anyone but paying subscribers. While its pay wall went into effects years ago and generates income for its already successful business, The New York Times tried the same thing recently and saw it’s online circulation drop by up to 30%. And this is for an already successful, long-standing brand. It would be history-making for Voyr to beat these odds as an anonymous new brand.

But if they can get people to pay for anything, it might be close web contact with luminaries. That is what GlobalHue is banking on. GlobalHue is hoping that stars will attract viewers by offering complementary information about their lives that cannot be found on salacious entertainment sites. The company is also considering a variety of pricing models that will appeal to both the die-hard star lover, and the more casual consumer who would only be willing to pay on a one-off basis.

The launch party held earlier this week for their collaboration with West featured huge stars like Jay-Z, Beyonce, Jada Pinkett-Smith, and West himself of course. Who knows? Maybe stalking a beloved star into every corner of his or her life is worth a few extra dollars a month. Perhaps through Voyr the famous can change TMI into massive coin.


Jay-Z and Kanye on Their Michael Jackson

August 4th, 2011 - By TheEditor
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(Huffington Post) — The world of music has been on the edge of its collective seat since the initial announcement of Jay-Z and Kanye West’s collaborative album, “Watch the Throne.” Since West broke the news via Twitter months prior to the release of his 2010 album, “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” many have questioned whether or not the effort will result in a musical masterpiece, the “Thriller” of hip-hop.  Granted, pulling two powerhouse names together in the studio will generate more than enough consumer interest. And when it comes to recording an album, the title alone creates quite high expectations to live up to. According to the producer of “Thriller,” crafting a timeless collection of songs is something that happens organically and in the moment.

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