Watch the Throne is a collaborative studio album by American rappers Jay-Z and Kanye West, released on August 8, 2011, by Roc-A-Fella Records, Roc Nation, and Def Jam Recordings. Before the album, Jay-Z and West had collaborated on their respective singles and with West as a producer on Jay-Z's work. As longtime friends, they originally sought out to record a five-song EP together, but the project eventually evolved into a full-length album. Recording sessions took place at various locations and began in November 2010. The album was produced by West, 88 Keys, RZA, Swizz Beatz, Jeff Bhasker, and Mike Dean, among others.