Last week, the twelfth solo studio album by the rapper Jay-Z, Magna Carta … Holy Grail, burst forth from a cloud of calculated obfuscation. The release came with little of the usual promotional buildup: no radio single, no Rolling Stone cover. Instead, it was announced via a three-minute commercial during game five of the NBA Finals. Shot in vérité style, the ad purported to show the artist in his studio, his Brooklyn Nets cap slung backward, as he made gnomic pronouncements to producers Timbaland, Pharrell Williams, Swizz Beatz, and the graybeard Rick Rubin. “We need to write the new rules,” Jay-Z declared.
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Sidenote - Art critic Jerry Saltz wrote another great one about literally being face to face with Jay-Z at the Picasso Baby video shoot and how ill it actually was. You might care. Go here.