Watch the Throne is a collaborative studio album by American rappers Jay-Z and Kanye West, released on August 8, 2011, by Roc-A-Fella Records, Roc Nation, and Def Jam Recordings. Recording sessions for the album took place at various recording locations and began in November 2010. It was produced by West, 88 Keys, RZA, Swizz Beatz, Jeff Bhasker, and Mike Dean, among others. Expanding on the dense production style of West's 2010 album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Watch the Throne incorporates orchestral and progressive rock influences, unconventional samples, and dramatic melodies in its sound. Jay-Z and West's braggadocio lyrics on the album exhibit themes of opulence, fame, materialism, power, and the burdens of success, as well as political and socioeconomic context.
The album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 436,000 copies its first week. It has produced two singles, "H•A•M" and "Otis", both of which attained Billboard chart success. Upon its release, Watch the Throne received generally positive reviews from music critics, who commended its production and the rappers' performances, although some criticized the subject matter and the album's cohesiveness. Jay-Z and West will promote the album with a concert tour during October to December 2011. The album has been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America and, as of October 2011, has sold 954,000 copies in the United States.