Jason Squires, WireImage
Jay and 'Ye ended their set with their latest single, 'N----s in Paris,' and even after two performances, and shouting out the song's producer Hit-Boy, who was in attendance, they felt the need to go on. Causing a near mini-riot after encouraging the audience to flood the aisles of the venue, the rap duo soaked up the crowd's adoration with one 'N----s in Paris' encore after another.
"This ain't never happened in history, n----s ain't never done the song five times!" Kanye said before rolling past round five to round six then seven.
To start the night off, Hov emerged on a riser from the middle of the floor, rocking his signature Yankees cap, while Kanye stood on the main stage in a leather kilt and matching leggings. The hip-hop team opened the show with 'H.A.M.,' dropped a large American flag for 'Otis' and showed photos of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. for 'Made In America,' all the while playing lyrical ping pong with their solo sets.
Jay joined in on Kanye's 'Diamonds From Sierra Leone' remix and 'Monster,' but when it was time for him to get up to bat, Brooklyn's finest commanded the attention of the entire audience, including the Chicago MC himself. Running through the likes of 'You Don't Know,' 'New York State of Mind,' '99 Problems' and 'Hard Knock Life,' he was never on stage alone for too long before 'Ye rejoined him, and it was in these moments -- standing shoulder to shoulder with his "big brother" -- that Kanye seemed most excited.
Maybe it's been touring with Jay-Z or the energy of the Los Angeles crowd, but Kanye appeared happier and humbled by the audience's cheers. His only moment of even nearing an emotional outburst was extending the length of his 'Runaway' single by injecting personal stories, but he regained his composer on 'All of the Lights.' "This song was nominated for Song of the Year," he said, referencing his one of seven 2012 Grammy nominations earned from his 'My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy' album.
Amidst the pyrotechnics, elaborate strobe lighting and null of any guest performers or even an opening act, the star power of hip-hop's heavyweights was not lost on the crowd. Even as the clock inched close to midnight, they were ready and willing to be led into another repeat of 'N----s in Paris,' but luckily it ended at seven.
The Watch the Throne tour will remain at the Staples Center through Dec. 13.
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