All Articles Tagged "watch the throne"
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 getting.it.in.
Check out the video at Hello Beautiful.com.
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!
More on Madame Noire!
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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(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.
(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.”
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 Billboard.com, 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.
“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.
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.
(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.
by Evette Brown
As two of hip-hop’s elite superstars, Jay-Z and Kanye West are used to being heavily criticized for their decisions. The hip-hop heavyweights are both respectively infamous for different reasons, but having come together to create an album and initiate a nationwide tour might be entering them into a battle that neither one is prepared to wage.
After months of anticipation, their collaborative debut Watch the Throne is set to be released to all nationwide retailers on August 12th. Here’s where the conflict begins.
According to Billboard, rather than releasing the album to all retailers on August 12th, the duo and their record label are following in the footsteps of Jay-Z’s superstar wife, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, and others by offering iTunes and Best Buy separate preferential windows to sell the album exclusively. From August 8th to August 12th, iTunes will be the only retailer with permission to sell the album. From August 12th until August 24th, Best Buy will be the exclusive retailer with the deluxe edition of the CD.
Even before the official release date, iTunes is sweetening the deal for fans by offering them the opportunity to pre-order the album. With this pre-order comes an exclusive download of “Otis,” Jay-Z and Kanye’s blockbuster single. Other retailers are not admitting defeat in this battle without a fight against the artists, Island Def Jam, and Universal Music Group.
58 independent retailers, including The Music Experience, Newbury Comics, Amoeba Music, Looney Tunes, and Cactus Records penned an open letter to the two superstars, expressing their disappointment for not allowing them to be included in the first week sales of the album and urging them to rectify this tense situation.
According to Forbes, these independent retailers’ response presents a double standard for the MCs. When Beyoncé exclusively released the deluxe edition of 4 to Target, she received zero criticism and the same lack of backlash applied to Lady Gaga and Amazon’s deal which allowed Born This Way to be sold for $0.99 during an exclusive window.
However, the question is, do these independent retailers have valid reasons for protesting against these exclusive windows? Statistics point towards yes.
For superstar artists such as Kanye West and Jay-Z who are guaranteed to sells hundreds of thousands of copies in the first week, the deluxe edition of an album can account from 50 percent to 70 percent of the first two-week sales. Since Best Buy is allowed this two-week window, it guarantees that the retailer will be given an advantage against the competition, including independent record stores.
Based on first-week sales for The Blueprint III and My Dark, Twisted Fantasy, sources are predicting that Watch the Throne will have first-week sales of 400,000 units, with an even split of 200,000 between digital and physical releases. Experts are projecting that the deluxe version will account for 50 percent of digital sales, which indicates that “iTunes and Best Buy will account for 300,000 units. Between the two exclusive windows, 75% of the demand is expected to be satisfied within 10 days.”
Eric Levin, owner of Criminal Records and head of the Alliance of Independent Media Stores, disagrees with Jay-Z and Kanye West’s decision to allow these windows. “A two-week window will be disastrous for music retailers,” he told Forbes.
Carl Mello, Newbury Comics head of purchasing succinctly agrees with Levin. “The main element in all of these exclusives is that label executives forget what is convenient for the customer,” he told Forbes. “Making the album available in certain versions at certain times is not the most friendly thing for the customer, for whom it will feel like a game of hide and seek. At first, due to the iTunes exclusive, when Newbury Comic customers come into our stores looking for the album, we won’t be able to sell it to them. Then, when we have it beginning on August 12, we won’t be able to sell them the deluxe version.”
Some independent retailers are refusing to sell the album after the windows period has expired and are vowing not to carry Jay-Z or Kanye Wests’ albums in the future. Could this decision be disastrous for the artists in the long run?
Trans World Vice President of music and new media, IshCuebas, believes so. “Look at what happened to the Beyonce album ’4,’ when Target got the exclusive version of the album,” he told Billboard. “After the first two weeks, sales collapsed because the rest of retail wouldn’t support the album.”
The winner of this battle will not be determined until the numbers are released on Nielsen Soundscan in two weeks.