With “Watch the Throne,” Jay-Z and Kanye West each take a break from record-destroying solo careers to trade verses on a full-length album.
This is not the first time that either MC has put aside personal goals for teamwork, of course. Both have a long history of showing up for eight or 16 bars at a time as guests on the tracks of friends, lovers and newcomers.
Here are four of our favorite guest appearances a piece by the chart-topping duo:
... featuring Jay-Z
‘I’ll Be,’ Foxy Brown
From the same era as his debut album “Reasonable Doubt,” Jay-Z’s verse on Foxy Brown’s radio hit gave the world a taste of the next 15 years of hip-hop history.
‘Beware,’ Panjabi MC
The “black Brad Pitt,” as he calls himself on the track, took an obscure song from a British Indian MC and made it a Top 40 hit in America with just two verses.
‘Crazy In Love,’ Beyoncé
It’s music royalty together on the track. As with “‘03 Bonnie and Clyde,” there was no way for this to go wrong.
The song that launched Pharell’s solo career might have been a throwaway love song without Hova’s contribution.
... featuring Kanye West
‘They Say,’ Common
The Chicago MCs team up with John Legend on a track dripping with soul. Play it at the barbecue of your choice.
‘Tell Me When to Go’ (remix), E-40
A posse cut featuring E-40, Ice Cube, the Game and West sounds like a style clash, but Yeezy proved his ability to blend into any hip-hop sub-genre on this 2006 club hit.
‘This Way,’ Dilated Peoples
The shorthand guide to Kanye West’s personality: “I don’t know what’s better, getting laid or getting paid / I just know when I’m getting one, the other’s getting away.”
‘Run This Town,’ Jay-Z
Want an example of why “Watch the Throne” is so eagerly anticipated? How about this collaboration between Hova and Yeezy? The song is destined to be played at sporting events for decades.
Jay-Z and Kanye as the Throne play the Izod Center Nov. 5 & 6. Tickets are on sale now at livenation.com.