On August 8th, 2011, Jay-Z and Kanye West released their collaborative studio effort ‘Watch The Throne,’ which went on to spawn seven official singles and inevitably become a major success. To celebrate the one-year anniversary of the album, a 10-minute documentary was released showing the more intimate moments of its creation and the tour that followed.
“Both Jay and Kanye felt that it was an important thing for them to [document], so Don C called me up and invited me down,” said Director Robert Lopuski. “The Australia sessions were very intimate; it was really just six or seven people in a room. They rented a mansion and turned it into a recording studio.”
“I am a fan and was a fan of the guys before I flew down there,” he added. “It’s so easy in hip-hop to sell these big, bombastic, exaggerated gestures, but I was more interested in the smaller moments and the quietness of what they do and why they do it. It’s something that I’ve always wanted to see and I was striving to capture the little moments in their process.”
The documentary not only includes footage of the album’s creation but it also mixes in vintage clips such as Kanye’s signing to Roc-A-Fella Records. Jay-Z has guided Kanye throughout his journey and he revealed that he’s “seen him from the beginning to where he is now. To see him as a producer, how he’s grown as a producer and an artist, for me, on another level it’s enjoyable. I’m watching a guy I pretty much mentored become his own guy with his own opinion. It’s fantastic.”
“Being a fan of both of those guys, I knew their story and I felt there was something really powerful there,” Lopuski said of the addition of the vintage footage. “Essentially Kanye was a fan who became a collaborator with Jay and then became his own thing. Historically, that was really charged to me, to be in the studio and see these guys working together, so I wanted to go back and touch that.”
However, even though Lopuski had his own creative vision, creating this documentary wasn’t an easy task at all. Lopuski said, “So much was happening, in such an off-the-cuff kind of way, that I found myself using whatever tools was available. Many times, I would use my cell phone if I had to. There was a lot of use of flip video, iPhone and piece of s*it little cameras in that piece. I’d get access without the equipment, and so, once I was inside and they felt comfortable, I used whatever tool I could, which was usually little consumer-grade cameras. It wasn’t until Kanye and I built a rapport on the side that I think he started becoming interested in having me around. I basically spoke freely and challenged what was being made and why.”
Watch The ‘Watch The Throne’ Documentary Below: