Jay-Z: Kanye West Wanted 'Magna Carta' Songs for 'Watch the Throne'

Rappers spent four days arguing over tracks

Jay-Z and Kanye West.
Johnny Nunez/Getty Images
July 15, 2013 9:45 AM ET

Jay-Z says Kanye West wanted songs from his newest album Magna Carta Holy Grail for their 2011 collaboration Watch the Throne, telling BBC Radio 1's Zane Lowe (as reported by NME) that the pair spent days arguing over the tracks. Jay-Z said the two had planned to jump right into their solo records – West released Yeezus about two weeks before Magna Carter Holy Grail – after finishing Watch the Throne.

The New Immortals: Kanye West

"Soon as I thought we had wrapped up Watch the Throne, I made two records – I had 'Holy Grail' and 'Oceans' . . . and I played those records for Kanye," Jay-Z said. " And he was like, 'No, those have to go on Watch the Throne.'"

They wrangled over the tracks for four days before hashing it out. "Not like fighting," Jay-Z said. "Well, there was some pushing at one point but not between us, just everyone else got a little excited."

Jay-Z released Magna Carta Holy Grail last week. The album features contributions from Justin Timberlake, Beyoncé and Frank Ocean.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

More Song Stories entries »