Whether or not you tuned in to the San Antonio Spurs versus the Miami Heat during last night's round of the NBA Finals, by now you know the biggest highlight of the game: Jay-Z has been working with Timbaland, Pharrell, and Rick Rubin on his 12th studio album. And the solo effort, Magna Carta Holy Grail, will be released on July 4th. While the multimedia magnate teased a major announcement on his Life and Times blog last week, we can't say we saw this coming.
In a 3 minute-2 second spot with Samsung, the reigning hip-hop authority is seen in the studio with his collaborators, laying out the blueprint for what could be his biggest album to date. “It's this duality of ‘How do you navigate your way through this whole thing—through success, through failures, through all of this—and remain yourself?” he says in the clip.
With only three weeks left until the national holiday and album drop, this is the first marketing effort from Jay-Z. It seems that he, like West and Beyoncé, are at a point in their careers where their names alone are enough to catapult respective creative feats. Think about it: which other artist has been projected to sell 500,000 units in his album's first week while eschewing conventional promo tactics? What singer do you know who can sell out an international world tour off the strength of a few high-profile performances and campaigns, without publicly hinting at a new single or album release? We'll wait.
“We don't have any rules, everyone's trying to figure it out,” Jay-Z muses in the video. “That's why the Internet's like the wild west—the wild wild west. We need to write the new rules.”
That, though, is not where the great news subsides. In addition to serving the masses with new music (yes, before Queen Bey), one million owners of the Samsung Galaxy S3, Galaxy S4, and Galaxy Note 2 will receive Jay-Z's latest LP for free. Samsung has already purchased 1 million copies for $5 dollars each, and will make the project available to customers who download a special app, which drops on Google play in one week. That means Jay-Z has already made $5 million off his record and if you don't own Samsung's latest android device, you'll have to wait three more day until the album is released to the public on July 7. Your move, Apple.