Credit: Kevin Mazur/

Image Credit: Kevin Mazur/WireImage.comWhat’s happening with Kanye West and Jay-Z‘s Watch the Throne project? West first announced that he and Jay-Z were collaborating on a five-song EP back in August. Two months later, he said they were amassing enough material for a full-length album. Bits of additional information and rumor have circulated since then, culminating in West’s proclamation at a New Year’s Eve party in Las Vegas last weekend (pictured): Watch the Throne, coming in one week!”

Those are some tantalizing words for hip-hop fans. If only they were a little more plausible. West’s promise would presumably put Watch the Throne in your headphones this Friday, Jan. 7. Putting aside the fact that albums generally come out on Mondays or Tuesdays, that’s awfully soon for a project that’s received so little formal promotion to date. West’s label, Def Jam, hasn’t said a word about Watch the Throne; a label rep had no comment for this story. We haven’t heard any official singles or seen cover artwork. Watch the Throne isn’t listed for pre-order on Amazon or iTunes. West and Jay-Z haven’t even confirmed a specific release date outside of that one party. Parachuting an album onto the market with so little advance preparation would be a risky commercial move, to say the least.

That still leaves open the possibility that West plans to surprise everyone by posting Watch the Throne for download on his website this week. Maybe he’ll even be reviving his dormant “G.O.O.D. Fridays” free giveaway series for that purpose. But are Kanye West and Jay-Z the kind of artists who would give away an entire new album online with no regard for profit margins? Bold as such a move would be, it feels out of character for both of them. A more likely version of this scenario has West posting an individual new song from Watch the Throne on Friday, or perhaps finished versions of the original five tunes from this summer — a teaser course, not the whole meal.

Of course, there’s no predicting exactly what Kanye West has up his sleeve at any given moment. Who knows! When do you think we’ll get to hear Watch the Throne? Are you looking forward to this meeting of the minds?

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