Yesterday, in the midst of a beautiful game of basketball between the San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat, Jay-Z, with the help of Samsung, revealed to the world a teaser of his upcoming album, Magna Carta Holy Grail.
That Jay and Samsung chose to drop the news during the NBA Finals — with Jay wearing a Brooklyn Nets cap with a prominent NBA logo — is telling, for hip hop and the NBA has always gone hand in hand.
It is worth noting, that at first glance, Jay’s promotion of his album is the complete opposite of Kanye West’s approach to his album, Yeezus. The latter hit store shelves with minimal promotion — only that random street broadcast and that SNL performance — while Jay has teamed up with a billion dollar corporation (a foreign one, at that) to push his album on the biggest stage (at least for his demographic), the NBA Finals.
Heck, that deal between Samsung and Jay practically turned Jay’s album platinum before release — Samsung reportedly purchased a million copies of Manga Carta at five bucks a pop, to be released to Samsung Galaxy users (eh, I’ll stick with my superior iPhone and just download that shit and purchase a hard copy later). For a self-proclaimed hustla, this was yet another hustle by Mr Carter.
But different approaches to marketing aside (or at least so they claim), are the two albums that different? I’m not talking about the way it sounds — I’m sure Jay won’t be doing his Marilyn Manson thing, and being married to Beyonce and all, has toned down the stupid misogyny — but is Yeezus and Magna Carta Holy Grail actually on the opposite end of the spectrum?
Much like the supposed differences between the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs, I say no.