‘WATCH THE THRONE’ Documentary Features Jay-Z, Kanye West, Beyonce

Kanye West and Jay-Z grudgingly allowed a filmmaker to capture footage of their work in the studio while they recorded the collaborative album ‘Watch the Throne.’ The 11-minute documentary (via Global Grind) catches the legendary rappers at work and at play during the recording sessions.

The video, filmed by Robert Lopuski, mixes behind-the-scenes footage from the making of the record with classic clips, like when West first announced that he had signed with Jay-Z’s label. Jay-Z gushes about his former protege, saying, “I’ve 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.”

The clip also shows private moments between the rappers and Beyonce. In one scene, West presents Jay with an engraved ring for his birthday. Later, as they listen back to the album, Kanye is impressed by his own work, saying, “All that s— is emotional!” There’s even a clip of Russell Crowe sitting around a table with the gang while the song in which Kanye mentions Crowe’s name is played.

Lopuski told Paradigm Magazine it was challenging to shoot the film, because at first the rappers refused to do interviews or to let him record any of their conversations, but gradually, he gained their trust.

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— 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.”

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