'Watch the Throne' Claims iTunes Album Crown in 23 Countries

The collaboration between the hip-hop superstars Jay-Z and Kanye West was released Monday through Apple's digital music store.

Watch the Throne, indeed.

The album, a collaboration between hip-hop superstars Jay-Z and Kanye West, shot to No. 1 on iTunes album sales charts on its first day of release Monday.

The project took Apple's digital music store crown in the U.S. and 22 other countries including Australia, Mexico, New Zealand, the U.K. and multiple European territories.

Watch the Throne bowed exclusively on iTunes at midnight in standard and deluxe forms, and will be released in stores Aug. 12. The deluxe version is exclusive to Best Buy for a limited time. The Apple/Best Buy release was criticized by a number of independent retailers who said the duo was employing a "short sighted strategy" by leaving them out of the equation.

Beyonce, RZA, and Q-Tip are among the contributors to the project, which the rappers will support on tour beginning in Atlanta on Oct. 29.

Watch the Throne has received generally positive reviews thus far: All Hip Hop’s JP DelaCuesta and Chuck “Jigsaw” Creekmur wrote, “Most people tend to love or loathe Mr. West and Mr. Carter with very few gradients of gray. Watch the Throne is the most ambitious effort the pair have joined forces on and the world awaits to hear it. The dynamic duo do not disappoint.” Billboard’s The Juice described the sound as “filthy rhymes over sumptuous soundscapes” in a track-by-track review.