July 10, 2013 |
Jay-Z has a flair for the theatrical. Does he also have a flair for the cinematic? The rapper's latest stunt, a six-hour performance of “Picasso Baby” - he rapped the song over and over at an art gallery in New York on Wednesday to promote his new record “Magna Carta Holy Grail” - is apparently being shot for a music video. But it's not just any music video. It's a video for the Hollywood director Mark Romanek, who had a little burst of cinema with his “99 Problems” video for Jay-Z several years back. (Though I'm currently in New York, I wasn't able to attend Wednesday's show.
July 10, 2013 |
Jay-Z drew both praise and scorn last week by unveiling his latest studio album, "Magna Carta Holy Grail," through an exclusive smartphone app. Music industry pundits hailed the Brooklyn rapper's business acumen; listeners complained about the app's crummy performance. (As for the album itself, reviews have been similarly mixed .) But if Jay-Z fancies himself a pioneer in digital music distribution, he's not ready to leave behind old models quite yet. TIMELINE: Summer's must see concerts Early Wednesday, Third Man Records -- the Nashville-based company founded by Jack White of the White Stripes -- announced that it would release the vinyl edition of "Magna Carta Holy Grail" "in the coming weeks," according to a press release.
July 9, 2013 |
Even though the coverage seems to have gone on for years, a mere five days have passed since users of a particular brand of smartphone (and anybody willing to illegally download music) first heard “Magna Carta Holy Grail,” the 12th solo album by Jay-Z. The record, which has received fair reviews, has been the focus of a massive TV ad campaign, voluminous Twitter and Facebook comments and many, many opinion pieces. And through it all, Jay-Z's been mostly silent, save for brief moments when he's opined during the smartphone commercials.
July 5, 2013 |
It's possible to pare down the gist of "Magna Carta Holy Grail," the 12th solo studio album from New York rapper/businessman/new dad Jay-Z, to three simple words uttered in a track called "Tom Ford. " "I'm so special," declares the rapper, 43, and anyone who stayed up late Wednesday night to hear the record, issued first through a computer app available only to owners of a particular brand of smartphone, isn't in a position to argue. He's the man who can sell a million records with a minion's flip of a switch.
July 4, 2013 |
Jay-Z's new album, “Magna Carta Holy Grail,” came out Wednesday night, and as the rapper predicts on one track from it, he did indeed crash the Internet. Not literally, of course, but the artist's 12th solo studio album, released early to owners of Samsung phones who downloaded an app, set Twitter and Facebook abuzz. And not necessarily in a good way: Social media was rife with frustrated fans unable to get the app to work properly, and many of them ended up hearing the highly anticipated release long after those who'd secured "MCHG" free through file sharing links.
July 3, 2013 |
We're not sure where Kanye West and Jay-Z's duel of self-mythologizing will end up -- perhaps with a "Yeezus" sequel titled "I Am Cthulhu"? But Jay-Z has escalated matters with his newest promotional gambit. His new album, "Magna Carta Holy Grail," has received no shortage of notice for its Samsung-centric release strategy , where the album will arrive early to Galaxy users via a dedicated app. But lest one think the album's artwork is getting short shrift, Jay debuted the record cover alongside a document of comparable historic significance: a copy of the actual Magna Carta. PHOTOS: Celebrities by The Times If you swing by England's Salisbury Cathedral, you can glimpse the "Magna Carta" cover art right next to one of four existing copies of the document that established western government.
July 2, 2013 |
When Jay-Z issues his new album, "Magna Carta Holy Grail," it will have platinum status after all -- just with a tiny asterisk. However, the 1 million copies of the album given away for free through the hip-hop mogul's deal with Samsung -- the electronics giant pre-purchased the copies for a reported $5 a pop -- won't count toward first-week sales for the Billboard 200, but will come with instant platinum certification. The Recording Industry Assn. of America announced Monday that it would start counting digital sales toward gold and platinum certification immediately, rather than wait the traditional 30 days after an album's release.
June 21, 2013 |
Jay-Z may have sold a million copies of his upcoming album to Samsung, but those sales won't count on the influential Billboard 200 chart, which ranks album sales, the magazine said. Bill Werde, Billboard's editorial director, said in a letter posted Friday that Jay-Z had approached the chart giant to include the Samsung deal in its sales ranking, but Billboard declined, because it only counts sales of albums when people actually buy them. “The ever-visionary Jay-Z pulled the nifty coup of getting paid as if he had a platinum album before one fan bought a single copy,” Werde said . “But in the context of this promotion, nothing is actually for sale.” PHOTOS: Celebrities by The Times Werde explained that the chart's threshold for a sale is $3.49, and if Samsung were to sell the album at that price to customers, then it would count.
June 20, 2013 |
Hip-hop superstar Jay-Z has been certified by the National Basketball Players Assn. to represent NBA players in contract negotiations, the rapper's Roc Nation Sports agency confirmed to ESPN on Thursday. Major League Baseball Players Assn. spokesman Greg Bouris told ESPN.com later on Thursday morning that Jay-Z is now licensed to do the same for that league's players as well. The NBPA was the first players union to grant Jay-Z his certification, although he may not be able to represent any NBA athletes until he sells his less-than-1% share of the Brooklyn Nets.