The throne is back.
Though many hip-hop fans were patiently awaiting the release of Kanye West‘s latest project, which was projected to have some surprise features, nothing could’ve prepared them for a collaborative effort from the Chicago native and Jay-Z himself in a song reportedly titled “Jail Tonight.”
On Thursday, July 22, West debuted his long-awaited 10th studio album “DONDA” during a listening party at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. The album is named after the “Jesus Walks” emcee’s late mother, Donda West, who unexpectedly died in 2007 due to cosmetic surgery complications. She was 58.
Jay pops up on the track featured toward the end of the album, making for the pair’s first record together since appearing on Drake’s “Pop Style” in 2016. According to longtime producer Young Guru, the Brooklyn native’s verse was recorded the very afternoon of July 22 at 4 p.m.
Seemingly unafraid to call his “brother” out on his past indiscretions, Jay’s verse, which was apparently from the perspective of a man in jail, referenced several instances, including West’s once unwavering support for former president Donald Trump, their troubled friendship, and the possibility of an official reconciliation. The two had been friends since the late ’90s when West was hired to produce music for Roc-A-Fella Records, a record label founded by Jay, Damon Dash and Kareem “Biggs” Burke. However, after Jay and his wife Beyoncé skipped out on West’s wedding with his now-estranged wife Kim Kardashian, their relationship deteriorated. Their feud played out in public and ultimately devastated fans.
“God in my cell, that’s my celly / Made in the image of God, that’s a selfie / Pray five times a day, so many felonies / Who’s gon’ post my bail? Lord, help me,” Jay began.
“Hold up, Donda, I’m with your baby when I [unclear] / Told ’em stop all of that red cap [?], we goin’ home / Not be with all these sins, casting stones / This might be the return of the throne,” the business mogul rapped, referencing their Grammy Award-winning 2011 joint album “Watch the Throne.”
He continued, “Hova and Yeezus / Like Moses and Jesus / You’re not in control of my thesis / You already know what I think, bout think pieces [?].”
The internet nearly shut down following the track’s debut during the event, live-streamed on Apple Music as many flocked to their social media platforms to express their feelings on the surprise record.
“Jay-Z hasn’t rapped on a Kanye West beat since Clique in 2012… 3,242 days ago He hasn’t been on a Kanye solo album since MBDTF – 3,896 days ago….,” one social media user wrote. “This is special.”
“A whole jay z and kanye west track in 2021. peace has been restored. the pandemic is over,” wrote another.
“It actually took a divorce from Kanye West and Kim K before he could feature Jay Z again…,” joked a third. “Back like old times.”
Check out some of the other reactions below:
Kanye West’s highly anticipated album was reportedly supposed to release on Friday, July 23, following the traditional new music schedule. However, as of today, it has yet to appear on streaming platforms.