In honor of Watch the Throne, he and Kanye West’s first shared-billing collaborative album, Jay did what he always does, which is turn a formality into intimacy and dispense with the trappings. In a cramped room on the second floor of the Mercer Hotel, a dozen or so reporters and editors, along with Jay’s publicist, manager, trainer (!), and assistant, and two album pre-order contest winners—imagine Willy Wonka’s golden ticket, only it looks like this—huddled up. Jay was decked in standard casual gear: crisp black denim, a white tee, white shell toes, and a suddenly au courant Yankees snapback—the event actually kicked off an hour late because the guest of honor was at Yankee Stadium hoping to catch Derek Jeter’s 3,000th hit. (Alas, The Captain sits at 2,998, foiling a perfect night.) Without much fanfare, Jay-Z pressed play on the black MacBook in his lap and the album began.
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