Kanye West: The idea for ‘Watch the Throne’ that got shot down


Kanye West apparently wanted every song title in ‘Watch the Throne’ to include the N-word. Obviously, that never happened.

Watch the Throne was a collaboration album with two of hip-hop’s greatest of all time — Kanye West and Jay-Z. The two have a long history of making hits, but this time put their talents in a whole album. What they released was straight fire.

The album officially hit the market on August 8, 2011 with most of the production being handled by West. Other producers included Swizz Beats, The Neptunes, Jeff Bhasker, Mike Dean and Q-Tip. Some of the bigger singles from the album included ‘HAM,’ ‘Ni**as in Paris,’ ‘Otis,’ and ‘No Church in the Wild.’

‘Ni**as in Paris’ was the only song on the whole album to include the N-word in it, which means Kanye West’s idea never made it to publication. It was also reported that Jay-Z originally wanted the song to be titled ‘Ball So Hard.” This would lead many to wonder why the disagreements started.

Luckily, we have David Cho to explain all of that. Cho is the former publisher of Grantland and The Awl and even helped build Bill Simmons’ sports and pop culture site with ESPN.

Cho appeared on ItsTheReal’s A Waste of Time podcast and talked on a variety of topics — including Kanye West. The podcast is 2 hours long, so I’ll break down when they talk about Kanye below.

12:40 – His name first appears around the 12:40 mark when Cho explains how he first discovered Kanye. The discovery included seeing him perform with John Legend, who wasn’t really known at the time. Oh yeah, Legend got boo-ed.

34:10 – Kanye’s name appears again and Cho begins to explain another experience with Kanye, which really kicks off around the 34:40 mark. It talks about an experience with Aziz Ansari and Kanye West, who are friends. It was his first time actually meeting Kanye West.

38:25 – Cho continues the same conversation, but starts talking about Kanye complaining about his dentist. This part is pretty funny and worth listening to. Cho also says how Kanye hates flying first class and loves Uber.

1:13:00 – Kanye re-appears as they discuss celebrities and wealthy people as regular human beings. They talk about how easy it can be to reach out to these people, not necessarily Kanye, but people connected to him.

1:47:00 – They bring up Kanye again, this time going over the Kanye-dentist story again.

1:49:00 – They start to talk about how Kanye is “in a weird place” and how “all he cares about are the things he makes.”

1:50:44 – This is where Watch the Throne starts to get attention. Cho states how Jay-Z wanted “Ni**as in Paris” to be called “Ball So Hard”.

This is also where David Cho states how Kanye wanted to “put the N-word in every title on the album so everyone has to say it and confront it.” 

Watch the Throne would end end up selling 436,000 copies in its first week, earned both rappers 7 Grammy Award nominations and was certified Platinum on September 15, 2011.

If you haven’t heard the album yet, then I don’t know where you’ve been. Next time you do listen to it, imagine every title with the N-word in it. That’s what Kanye wanted.

Next: Logic thinks Kanye's political views are 'blurred'

What’s your favorite song on Watch the Throne? Leave your thoughts below!