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Jay-Z Goes Full-Tilt Hipster With Third Man Records-Produced Playable Letter


As Brooklyn goes, so goes Jay-Z. The first song the rap mogul put out in the months ahead of Magna Carta Holy Grail didn’t make it to the digital edition of his new album, but it will be enjoying a physical release worthy of Portlandia. Politically pot-stirring “Open Letter” will come out via Jack White’s Third Man Records as a playable “letter,” Hov revealed in an interview with Hot 97, though the details of what that entails aren’t yet clear. Recently graduated Bushwick arrivistes will soon have something new to buy with their parents’ money.

“That goes on a vinyl,” Jay-Z says in a video of the interview, which you can watch above. “It’s in a letter … You can play the letter. It’s amazing. You open the letter and you can actually play the card like a vinyl.” Yup, Jay-Z evidently calls records “vinyls.” He also has enough money to call records whatever he wants — that’s what “Somewhere in America” was about, right?

A release date is unclear, as are full vinyl release details for Magna Carta Holy Grail. But a playable “Open Letter” letter wouldn’t be Jay-Z’s first venture into White’s whimsical world: Jay-Z executive produced the Great Gatsby soundtrack, which Third Man released on “metallized” vinyl. (Conveniently enough, check out Alt-Jay: Jay-Z’s 24 Most Hipsterific Rock Moments.) 

Third Man has confirmed that it will be involved in the vinyl release of MCGH, teasing that “something very special” is planned for the record’s wax edition, which will “be made available for purchase in the coming weeks.”   

Still, gold- and platinum-looking records were more Hov’s style. You don’t expect Jay-Z to put out a song via balloon, or, like, take his record and put a bird on it. Then again, with Justin Timberlake recently discovering a sudden love of the Coen Brothers, it might just be that fin de siècle feyness is the new luxury status symbol. The existence of a Kanye West-Wes Anderson mashup Tumblr blog is irrefutable proof.