Last night during the NBA finals, Jay-Z announced via a Samsung commercial that he has a new album coming on July 4th, his first since 2009′s The Blueprint 3. Titled Magna Carta Holy Grail, part of the promotional ruse includes one million owners of Samsung Galaxy S4 phones being able to cop the project three days early if they download an app to listen to it. The Wall Street Journal reports that the cell-phone manufacturers have agreed to pay Jay $5 for each one of those million pre-bought copies, which means the rapper gets a guaranteed wheel-barrow load of money in this new development for the increasingly mixed waters where art and commerce congregate. It also possibly means the Illuminati are soon going to be able to monitor all your emoji-strewn text messages. Not surprising, the rap world is quite supportive of the new tactics:
Dope commercial loved it salute Jay Z
— DJ KHALED (@djkhaled) June 17, 2013
So Jay Z already platinum? His life winning streak continues….. — Charlamagne Tha God (@cthagod) June 17, 2013
Jay-Z has managed to overshadow the biggest week of hip hop releases of the year and his album doesn’t come out til mid July
— Peter Rosenberg (@Rosenbergradio) June 17, 2013
During the three minute-long advertisement Jay refers to the Internet being like the “wild west” and says, “we need to write the new rules.” But this isn’t the first time he’s dabbled with cellphone-based stunts: 2003′s The Black Album was pre-loaded onto a number of deluxe edition Nokia 3300 phones.
In more traditional music news, the commercial teases at the album’s line-up of cohorts by featuring hearty doses of Pharrell Williams (in a polka dot shirt), Swizz Beats (sporting green pastel tones), and Rick Rubin with his fantastical beard, who appears to regularly doze off on a couch as part of his svengali schtick. For his part Jay plays it low-key with a rather grubby grey sweater which is quite the curious attire to sport when you’re making something called Magna Carta Holy Grail.