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Rappers / entrepreneurs Kanye West and Jay-Z were all smiles at the exclusive listening event for the highly-anticipated release of their album, Watch The Throne (Available August 8th). The event was held at the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History on Monday, August 1 in NYC.

Concrete Loop was in the house for the listening session and let’s just say it was very space aged. They confiscated all phones and cameras at the door and I spotted a couple of celebrities getting heated when they had to give theirs up too. The whole listening event was on another level and before it actually started, Kanye greeted the invited guests with smiles and hugs and seemed to be in a chipper mode. He looked excited about the whole experience and it was the happiest I’ve seen him in a minute. After awhile, we peeped Beyonce and Jay-Z stroll in with security (Julius of course) to get their seats. Following them, were singers Kelly Rowland and Solange Knowles. A lot of celebs were seated randomly inside the listening including: Q-Tip (who is featured on the album), Nas, Idris Elba, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Steve Stoute, Busta Rhymes, Teyana Taylor, DJ D-Nice and designer Tory Burch (more photos below).
After some confusion with seating, the lights started to dim and the effects started. For those of you who have never been to a planetarium, here is a little description of the set up. We were sitting in a dome shaped room and the ceiling was pretty much a movie theater screen. Our chairs were positioned so we could look up and I believe some of them even reclined but ours didn’t. LOL. Big speakers were in the middle of the room and there were also some aligned on the walls (for maximum listening pleasure). When the music started, the ceiling started showcasing stars, planets, moons, meteors and more. As the album played, each scene changed and I’m guessing Kanye was very hands on with this, because you can tell his made sure that the music matched the scenes we were observing. After the listening/viewing (keep reading below to hear my thoughts on each song), Jay-Z briefly spoke to the crowd as Kanye sat on the side smiling from ear to ear. Jay said it took them “about 9 months to complete the album” and it was a “process of three incarnations/stages”. They had to bring the musicality down a little more so it could be more cohesive. He thanked everyone and then they proceeded to usher people out for the second listening/viewing session.

Inspiring Social Hotness via Concreteloop (view more pictures at

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