It was a crowning moment for Jay-Z and Kanye West as they kicked off the Watch the Throne tour to a packed house at Philips Arena in Atlanta on Friday night (Oct. 28). The hip-hop kings, collectively known as The Throne, opened the most anticipated hip-hop tour of the year with a bang, emerging on two cube-shaped mini stages to the operatic sounds of “Hâ€¢Aâ€¢M.”
During the two-and-a-half hour extravaganza, each rapper took turns performing solo material and came together for their collective efforts off Watch the Throne as images of Rottweilers, tigers, and sharks filled the screens and lasers beamed across the arena.
After their joint opener, Kanye exited the stage letting Jay-Z shine on his own with “Where I’m From.” He encouraged the audience to sing along to “Empire State of Mind” and told them to throw their diamonds up as he ran through his catalog of classics including “Dirt Off Your Shoulder,” “Big Pimpin’,” and “Hard Knock Life.”
As always, Yeezy’s swagger was on a hundred thousand. The trendsetter sported a T-shirt with the beastly image of himself from the Riccardo Tisci-designed album artwork and pulled off a leather kilt while dropping hit after hit off his five albums. He appeared to be on the verge of tears during “Runaway,” pouring his emotions into the song.
“Atlanta, you are now looking at black excellence at its finest. Make some … noise!” Jay said at one point while putting his arm around Kanye.
The historic evening concluded with a powerful performance of “Made in America” as Hov asked the audience to hold up their phones and lighters in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. Jay and ‘Ye followed with “Why I Love You,” affirming their status as two of the greatest who ever did it.
[Photos via Twitter and Virgil Abloh]