It's been four years since Jay-Z’s The Blueprint 3 was released, but Hov is back next month, and this time with Samsung in tow. The new album is called Magna Carta Holy Grail, and Samsung has apparently inked a deal to give it away free to the first million Galaxy S III, Galaxy S4, and Galaxy Note II users on July 4th at 12:01AM ET, 72 hours before the official retail release.
People will be able to download the album with a free app that's coming to the Play store on June 24th, which promises an "unprecedented inside look into the album" with "personal stories and inspiration." The description immediately conjures to mind his book Decoded, which breaks down the lyrics and thoughts that went into the rapper's biggest hits. We'll have to wait until the app is released next week to see exactly what's inside, but the new project's website contains a behind-the-scenes video of the Brooklyn MC in the studio with frequent collaborators Pharrell Williams, Timbaland, and Swizz Beatz. "99 Problems" mastermind Rick Rubin nods along from a sofa, eyes closed and barefoot.
The deal is reportedly a huge one for Samsung. Earlier this month, The New York Post wrote that the "eight figure" contract is the largest of its kind at as much as $20 million. According to The Wall Street Journal, Samsung paid $5 each for the million albums it plans to distribute to its customers, giving the project a big cash infusion at the outset, although it's not known whether the downloads will count toward official Soundscan album sales numbers. The Grammy-winning lyricist's business acumen has been a trademark of his success over the years, but recently he's proven especially adept at navigating the tech space, growing his Life and Times original YouTube channel into one of the service's largest, with over 360,000 subscribers.