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Jay-Z Explains the Meaning Behind ‘Watch the Throne’

Bryan Bedder, Getty Images

Jay-Z has staked a claim to hip-hop royalty for over a decade — and while his recent recording and touring partner, Kanye West, hasn’t been at the game for quite as long, he’s got his own piece of the crown.

But according to Jay-Z, he and West weren’t thinking of their status as rap’s reigning MC and producer when they titled their album ‘Watch the Throne.’

“It’s just protecting the music and the culture. It’s people that’s in the forefront of music, it’s like Watch the Throne, protect it,” he explained during a recent radio stop. “You just watch how popular music shifts and how hip-hop has basically replaced rock and roll as the youth music. The same thing could happen to hip-hop, it could be replaced by other forms of music.”

He added, “So it’s just making sure that we put that effort into making the best product so we can contend with all this other music, with all the dance music that’s dominating the charts right now and indie music that’s dominating the festivals and still hold off rock ‘n’ roll. Just to hold our place and make sure that the hip-hop culture is still the most dominant form of music around the world.”

‘Watch the Throne’ is certainly dominant — early sales reports indicate it broke the one-week sales record at iTunes, moving 290,000 downloads after its August 8 debut. That bests the previous tally of 288,000, set by Coldplay’s ‘Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends’ in 2008.


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