Jay-Z is taking promo to the next level, selling a million copies of his latest album to Samsung for smartphone distribution and going on a six-hour Twitterthon with fans.
The rapper holds the title for most No 1 albums on the Billboard 200 chart for a solo artist and Magna Carta ... Holy Grail has a good shot of being his 13th record to shoot to No 1.
But not all critics were impressed with the music and at least one ravaged the Samsung deal.
Jay-Z, 43, spent six hours on Twitter on Monday, answering questions from fans about the album, his first since becoming a father to Blue Ivy, his child with his wife Beyoncé.
He said his favourite track on the album was Oceans, which is also the oldest song on the album, having been recorded two years ago.
On the track, Jay-Z raps about the struggles of his race and his rise to the top. When asked by a fan if Magna Carta showcased a new era in hip-hop, he replied: “Only time will tell. Let’s hope it starts a dialogue.”
Family is the underlying theme in Magna Carta. But Jay-Z also raps about the frustrations of fame and praises the finer things in life on tracks such as Picasso and Tom Ford, named after the luxury-brand fashion designer.
Entertainment Weekly’s Kyle Anderson gave the album a D rating and called it “lazy, smug and fundamentally empty”. Anderson was also highly critical of the Samsung deal.
“The way it has been presented as a ‘capital I’ important piece of art about ‘duality’ (Jay’s word, not mine), delivered to us via the power of corporate marketing and Samsung-sponsored data-mining, I find absolutely putrid,” Anderson said. – Reuters