Jay-Z and Kanye West‘s album length collaboration Watch The Throne has a name (The Throne), a release date (August 8 digital and August 12 physical) and a slew of announced tour dates. What’s left to wonder about? According to the New York Post’s Page Six, plenty—particularly about how those live shows will be staged. Page Six isn’t always the best source of music-biz rumors, but the seed of this story sounds accurate. Page Six’s sources say the two artists “are barely speaking to each other as they iron out the details of their upcoming tour,” for which tickets are slated to go on sale today.
The Post seems unaware of the fact that the two artists’ busy and often contradictory schedules tend to mean that they are barely speaking to each other even in the best of times, but their report about the artists’ differing visions of the Watch the Throne tour sound very much in character for Kanye and Jay: “Sources say West wants flashy concerts with ‘next-level production,’ which would cost more than $400,000 per show,” Page Six reports, contrasting with Jay-Z who “is said to be meticulous about costs and [who] already has a larger, long-term advance from Live Nation that he has to pay back.”
That sure sounds like the Hova and Yeezy we know; contrast Jay-Z’s understated tour production values in the past—and the problems he’s had when he diverges from that pattern, like on the Best of Both Worlds Tour with R. Kelly (which, admittedly, had its own unique issues)—with the increasingly grandiose and baroque stagings West has preferred. Page Six reports that Jay has won the argument, which to us is a disappointment, because we love spectacle! If we wanted to see “rappity-rappin’ ass rappers,” as they say on the hip-hop internet, we’d go to a Slaughterhouse show.
That said, it’s hard to believe Page Six’s claim that “Industry insiders were shocked to see West and Jay-Z perform separately with Young Jeezy last Monday night at the Highline Ballroom,” because the show was a top-to-bottom performance of Jeezy’s Thug Motivation 101, not an opportunity for The Throne to upstage a fellow Def Jam artist. Even still, Media Takeout is bolstering the rumors of a rift between the artists by reporting an “insider’s” claim that, during one of the Throne’s studio sessions, Jay-Z slapped Kanye. We’ve seen them pretty friendly since recording wrapped, so even if this story is true, maybe the two just have a really tumultuous rapport. As usual, we remain skeptical, but will continue tracking down leads.
Jay-Z And Kanye West Are “Throne” By Feud [Page Six]
[Image: Getty Images]