You pretty much have to watch the throne; stuff happens so quickly on it. First, there was the feud-turned-non-feud between Jay-Z and Kanye West. Then there was the paring down and pushing back of the tour. And now some jerk recorded the listening event last night and posted some song snippets online. Damn it!
That’s the price of having your listening thing (“listening event” is too sad a phrase to use more than once) in a planetarium so you can display, in the words of Popdust writer and attendee Andrew Unterberger, “random planetary shit” with no connection to the now-leaked music. Staff did confiscate any recording devices or cell phones they found, but between all the friends of Jay-Z and Kanye, rock critics and would-be celebrity hangers-on was at least one stealthy ass. No, it wasn’t us. (Seriously, it wasn’t us. You’ll notice this being posted at 2:30 p.m., not 12 a.m. when we’d be first.)
At any rate, the snippets are online as of right now (no indication where they came from, that is, other than some person with a phone), which means that by the time you read this, they’re practically everywhere. The bass is too high–courtesy of the mid-room, blaring speakers–for the tracks to sound perfect or even really intelligible, but it’s still the closest thing to a Watch the Throne leak we know of. Do you agree with us that this sounds more like a Kanye than a Jay album? Does Frank Ocean kill, or does he kill? Anything measure up to “Otis”? You’ll find out either now or on the rapidly receding tour and album release date, so y’know.