Designer Riccardo Tisci Explains Inspiration Behind 'Watch the Throne' Cover

The artist behind the elaborate design for Jay-Z and Kanye West's new album Watch the Throne has revealed his inspiration for the unique album cover artwork.

Riccardo Tisci, who designs for French fashion house Givenchy, was tapped to create the album cover for Watch the Throne, after designing the artwork for the album's first single, "H.A.M.”

According to Tisci, he decided to create the artwork to symbolize the “masculinity of two of the most iconic rap figures of our time."

The artist meticulously incorporated a variety of religious symbols, animal faces and symmetric shapes, giving the album an embroidered feel, while leaving the inside artwork with a painted and printed feel.

"I am honoured to have been asked to be part of this incredible music moment with such amazing artists," Riccardo Tisci told "I am impressed by the amount of respect they have for music and art. We share the same way of working : like a family."

According to sales estimates, Watch the Throne is slated to move over 450,000 units in the first week in stores, which would make it the year's second biggest release, behind Lady Gaga's album Born This Way.

Watch the Throne, which is expected to top Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart, will be Jay-Z's twelfth #1 release, getting him closer to The Beatles record of 19 chart topping albums.