Rappers will release 'Watch the Throne' as iTunes exclusive on Aug. 8

“Watch the Throne,” the much-anticipated album by rap mega-stars Jay-Z and Kanye West, will finally see release Aug. 8 as an iTunes exclusive, prefacing a U.S. arena tour beginning in September.

Collaborative set will reach other physical and digital retailers on Aug. 12 via Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam/Roc Nation.

As of Monday, consumers ordering the deluxe edition of “Throne” from iTunes received the lead track “Otis” as an instant download. Leaked last week online, tune features an extended sample from Otis Redding’s 1966 recording “Try a Little Tenderness.”

The two rap stars, known collectively as the Throne, will begin their trek Sept. 22 in Detroit. Jaunt will include dates at Staples Center in L.A. Oct. 19-20. The closest the tour will get to the Apple is Sept. 27-28 dates at Izod Center in East Rutherford, N.J.

All fans purchasing tickets online will receive a digital copy of “Watch the Throne.” Pre-sale ducats go on sale July 28 at LiveNation.com and on July 29 through Citi’s Private Pass program.

Hova-West pairing immediately dwarfs last year’s highly publicized Jay-Z/Eminem dates in rappers’ respective hometowns of New York and Detroit.

Ticketmaster and Live Nation are producing the concerts. In 2009, Jay-Z abandoned Def Jam (still home to West) for a 360-degree deal with Live Nation.

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