Revisiting an approach he used to promote his 2010 memoir, Decoded, Jay-Z revealed the track listing for his upcoming album, Magna Carta Holy Grail, by sending fans on a scavenger hunt in Brooklyn Saturday.
Jay-Z’s publicist, Jana Fleishman, tweeted pictures of locations where she would be waiting with binders that contained the album’s song titles. Around 100 lucky fans were able to track down Fleishman’s location and get a copy of the track listing, which was then posted online.
While there weren’t any confirmed collaborations from other artists, producers Rick Rubin, Pharrell Williams, Swizz Beatz, and Timbaland appeared in the commercial that aired during Game 5 of the NBA Finals last Sunday and are thought to have contributed to the album.
Fleishman also hinted that there might be another promotion in the near future, sharing a handwritten note on Instagram that reads, “Hey family … Done for right now .. Stay tuned for next time I’m out.”
Jay-Z also announced that copies of Magna Carta Holy Grail would be available for free download to owners of the Samsung Galaxy S 3, IV, or Galaxy Note II on July 4, and that the album would be released to the public 72 hours later. However, Billboard announced that it had turned down Jay-Z’s request to have those downloads counted toward his sales total. While Samsung “bought” one million copies of the album, those fans aren’t actually buying anything — they’re downloading the album through an app.
“The passionate and articulate argument by Jay’s team that something was for sale and Samsung bought it also doesn’t mesh with precedent,” Billboard editor Bill Werde wrote. He used the Guns N’ Roses album Chinese Democracy as an example, explaining that even though Best Buy paid for 600,000 copies of the album upfront, those albums didn’t count as sales until fans bought them.
“Had Jay-Z and Samsung charged $3.49 — our minimum pricing threshold for a new release to count on our charts — for either the app or the album, the U.S. sales would have registered,” Werde wrote. “And ultimately, that’s the rub: The ever-visionary Jay-Z pulled the nifty coup of getting paid as if he had a platinum album before one fan bought a single copy.”
You can check out the track listing and cover art for Magna Carta Holy Grail below.
1. Picasso Baby
4. Tom Ford
5. Beach Is Better
09. Part II (On The Run)
11. La Familia
12. Jay-Z Blue
13. Nickles & Dimes
14. Holy Grail (Bonus Track)
15. Open Letter (Bonus Track)
What do you think of the track listing and cover art?