In November 2010, hit American rappers Jay-Z and Kanye West teamed up to begin recording their album titled, Watch the Throne. It was released on August 8, 2011. The album debuted at number one of the US Billboard 200 chart, selling an outstanding 436,000 copies in its first week.
The album incorporates both orchestral and progressive rock influences, along with over-the-top melodies. The album was certified platinum by the R.I.A.A., and sold 1,144,000 copies in the United States by December 2011.
Jay-Z and Kanye took their Watch the Throne album on tour across the United States and Canada from October to December 2011. It is now considered one of the top-ranked albums of 2011 by many critics and publications.
The Watch the Throne tour was held in Vancouver, BC on Saturday, December 17 and Sunday, December 18, 2011 at Rogers Arena. The aggressive, New York City, gangster-rap style concert was well attended. Concert goers were treated to over 2.5 hours of non-stop, action-packed lyrics by the duelling rappers.
The American produced show hit a sore spot with many of the concert attendees when a giant American flag was revealed towards the beginning of the show. Jay-Z also wore an American flag bandana from his back pocket for the entire concert.
It was no wonder these guys were sweating – it wasn’t from their non-stop performances or the head from the lights – each one was covered in gold bling; from rings and bracelets, to chains and watches.
The lighting effects, lasers, and pyrotechnics were all executed with precision and care. The sound system was well tuned and every word was crystal clear.
The theme of the visual effects was very aggressive – often featuring fangs of angry dogs, wolves, leopards and lions. Other symbols including police chases, animal killings and atom bombs were used to set the tone of the show.
The band was carefully tucked away towards the back of the stage so the entire focus would be on Jay-Z and Kanye.
Each artist has their own sets to feature their own music and their unique styles. There was the main stage where they performed together, and separate smaller stages on risers at each the front and centre of the arena floor – bringing the rappers closer to their fans.
Throughout the show the artists kept the well-behaved crowd entertained and with the feeling like two they were listening to their two homie brothers rapping old school style.