Jay-Z has only just announced his next album, and already it's gone platinum — sort of.
A three-minute commercial that aired Sunday night during Game 5 of the NBA Finals revealed Jay-Z will release a new album in a few weeks. Magna Carta Holy Grail, as the rapper's 12th studio LP is titled with wonderfully maximum over-the-topness, is due out on July 4. The ad suggests the record will feature Pharrell Williams, Timbaland, Swizz Beatz, and Rick Rubin (a.k.a. Kanye West's Yeezus savior).
The commercial during the San Antonio Spurs' win over the Miami Heat wasn't only for Jay-Z, however. The ad was technically for Samsung, which will release the album first to users of its Samsung Galaxy smartphone (the release date for non-Galaxy owners is actually July 7). As the Wall Street Journal's Speakeasy blog reports, citing "a person familiar with the matter," Samsung has already bought one million copies of Magna Carta Holy Grail at $5 apiece. Those are the copies that will go to Galaxy users; it's too soon to tell whether Nielsen SoundScan will include Samsung's purchases in its sales counts.
The first one million people who download Samsung's Magna Carta app when it comes out on June 24 will get the album for free. In the teaser video, Jay-Z compares the Internet to "the Wild Wild West." He says, "We need to write the new rules." Find more information over at the Magna Carta Holy Grail website.
Whatever the music ends up sounding like — and the magisterial, piano-heavy snippets in the clip are certainly promising — Jay has achieved one kind of Holy Grail: a million albums sold without even being released yet.