“We don’t have any rules. Everyone’s trying to figure it out. That’s why the Internet’s like the Wild West … We need to write the new rules,” said hip-hop mogul Jay-Z in a three-minute ad that aired during the NBA Finals last night. Fans were given a tiny bit of insight into the musician’s highly anticipated new album, Magna Carter Holy Grail, set for release on July 7, seeing him bouncing ideas back and forth with his team, including producers Rick Rubin and fellow musician Pharrell Williams. And rewriting the rules is exactly what this team of artists is doing, much to the benefit of Samsung Galaxy users.
Starting June 24, those who own a Samsung Galaxy S3, Galaxy S4, or Galaxy Note 2 will be able to download a new app called Magna Carter, which will provide an exclusive look at what inspired the music in the new album, including personal stories from Jay-Z himself. The first one million to download the app will also be able to download the new album, for free, three days before it’s made available to the rest of the world. (We’re not sure whether the app will also be limited to just the first one million downloads, or if it will continue to be available afterwards.)
This is the first time an album has been made exclusive to fans through a specific mobile manufacturer, and we’re pretty excited to see just how it fares, and whether other musicians will follow suit down the road. What we do know is that, according to the Wall Street Journal, Samsung struck a deal, paying $5 for each album download. With one million sales of the album already pre-sold to Samsung, it has technically already reached platinum status before its release.
So have Jay-Z and his crew managed to rewrite the rules? Or is this a just a gimmick? We’ll have to give it a little more time to see just how it all pans out. (Though really, we can’t imagine how it would fail … if the proliferation of piracy tells us just one thing, it’s that people love free stuff.) We’ll be doing our best to be among one of the million to download so we can report back on the experience. But just in case we can’t, and you’re able, let us know what you think.