A couple of weeks ago, Jay-Z and Samsung released a commercial during the NBA Finals to shock the world with an announcement that his new album, Magna Carta Holy Grail, would be released on July 4th for Samsung users and nationwide three days later. Other than that, we don’t know much.
Jay and company have embarked on a quizzical rollout that only includes the lyrics to the album. It’s easily one of the most worthless forms of anticipation for an album in recent memory. Rap lyrics with no audible context? Why?
But have no fear. We’ve gathered some info that’s leaked over the last few weeks to come up with clues of what to expect from what will either be one of Jay-Z’s milestone projects or the rap version of Star Wars: Episode 1. Take a look.
1. It’s Already Platinum - Samsung bought a million copies of the album, which they’ll be distributing on July 4th. The RIAA had originally said that these won’t count towards album sales, but the ruling was reversed and Jay-Z already has a certified platinum album before anyone’s even heard it. I guess that’s what those #newrules were all about?
2. Fat Timbaland Is The Best Timbaland - We haven’t listened to the whole album, but the beats Timbo were shelling out for the commercial were nothing short of spectacular. When Timbaland was all musclebound and huge, he made Shock Value 2. When he’s fat he makes the classics. Stay fat, Timbo. And stay relevant.
3. Rick Rubin Didn’t Actually Work On The Album - Apparently Rick Rubin was just a prop to confuse people who thought Jay-Z knew Santa Clause. He recently revealed that he didn’t have any creative input on the album. Jay just wanted him there because he worked on Kanye’s album and any chance to upstage Kanye is a great opportunity. Probably.
4. It’s A “Traditional” Hip-Hop Album - Rick Rubin also revealed that he had a hard time getting into MCHG because he’d just finished Kanye’s album and the contrast in styles was too jarring since Yeezus was really experimental and MCHG was more traditional. Good. Jigga is better just staying in his lane.
5. The Jay-Z/Lil Wayne Feud Is On - A couple of years ago, Lil Wayne rapped that he’d kidnap Beyonce and hold her for ransom. Jay-Z kept quiet, but on “La Familia,” Jay finally fires back with some choice barbs. These two have had a cold war of sorts for almost a decade, so it’s time to take the gloves off and have at it.
6. There’s A Nirvana Sample - Courtney Love was recently approached to see if Jay-Z could use the lyrics for “Smells Like Teen Spirit” for the track, “Holy Grail.” This also reminded everyone that Courtney Love owns the rights to all Nirvana songs. You may now all shoot yourselves in the face.
7. There’s An Always-Welcome Nas Collaboration - Jay-Z and Nas were bitter enemies in 2001, but they’ve only made great music together since squashing the beef a few years later. With news that they’d be working together, we’re guaranteed at least one good song from the album.
8. Kanye West Has A Beat On It - Okay, this is less in the “for sure” category and more in the “I think so.” At the 1:40 minute mark it appears as though Jay is saying “Ye, you wanna tweak that?” As he says it we get a glimpse of a figure standing up. Is this Kanye West? Probably. He’s had a beat on every Jay-Z album since The Blueprint so it makes sense he’s on this one.
10. Downloading The Album Will Invade Your Privacy - As rapper Killer Mike pointed out via Twitter, the app to download the album on the 4th is asking for just about all the personal information intrusive sites like Facebook have access to. But Samsung also wants access to all of your phone calls once you make the download. Thaaaat’s pushing it a bit.