Kanye West and Jay-Z's long-awaited "Watch the Throne" album is one step closer to a release date, and, as of the evening of July 3, fans can pre-order it via West's official site and the newly created www.watchthethrone.com.
The first joint effort by the two superstar rappers is being offered in four different versions: a standard CD with 10 songs for $13.99 or the deluxe version for $16.99 with special packaging and four bonus tracks. Both are also available in MP3 form.
"Watch the Throne" has been in the works for the better part of a year and was recorded all over the world (Paris, London, Abu Dhabi, Australia, and New York City). In December 2010, West described the effort in an Interview Magazine story as "very dark and sexy -- like couture hip-hop."
Production credits on the album name West, Jay-Z, Swizz Beatz, No ID and Lex Luger, and Beyonce is also listed as contributing guest vocals on a song called "Lift Off," along with Bruno Mars. Other reported song titles include "Murder To Excellence," "Illest Motherf---er Alive" and "Living So Italian."
The album cover's metallic gold artwork was designed by Givenchy creative director Riccardo Tisci.
Rumors were swirling that "Watch the Throne" would finally be released on the fourth of July, but that looks unlikely. According to a source, the album is still getting its final touches. An official release date has yet to be announced.
Clipse member Pusha T, who is signed to West's G.O.O.D. Music label but does not appear on "Watch the Throne," told Beats by Dre TV that he's heard the album and believes it's "going to be a gem" and that fans will be "really happy with it."
Representatives for Def Jam, the labels to which West and Jay-Z are signed, were not available for comment.