I caught a bit of flak from our readers on the 4th of July when I expressed my distaste with the way the Magna Carta Holy Grail album launch was handled. If you aren’t in the know, Jay-Z’s latest album was to be released three days early to 1 million Samsung Galaxy owners, and for free. The clock was supposed to strike midnight and the world was to partake in yet another masterpiece.
That didn’t exactly happen. The app crashed for many, with the servers crumbling under the pressure of thousands of people trying to grab it at once. These things happen and I didn’t want to chastise Samsung too badly for it, but it was still a pretty big deal — this is the biggest name in hip hop since, well, I can’t even remember, and he’s trusting you to launch his album with grace.
Sure, Samsung is the one who paid Jay-Z for that privilege, but there’s still a certain level of quality you expect for something like this. It looks like I wasn’t alone, though, as Jigga Man himself chimed in on the issues.
Speaking on Power 105’s The Breakfast Club, Jay-Z stated “I can’t even imagine waiting for Rakim’s album at 12 o’clock and I couldn’t get it and I downloaded and did everything right,” describing a scene where thousands of fans had to resort to listening to the album via internet radio or pirating it just to get a taste. “On the 24th I downloaded my app, I set it, I watched the clock count down and at 12 ‘clock I couldn’t get it. For me that’s not cool.”
It can’t feel good for Samsung to receive disapproval by Jay-Z, perhaps the most powerful artist in the hip-hop industry today. With fans going as far as saying “Apple wouldn’t have allowed this to happen,” you have to wonder where Hov might take his business the next time he decides to launch an album and give a company an exclusive.
Jay-Z called it “disheartening,” though the rap mogul was still upbeat about the potential of future launches being handled in this manner. His #newrules mantra certainly rang true with this interesting distribution model, and as shaky as the first step may have been Jay-Z feels like it can only get better for anyone else who decides to go this route in the future. In any case, I’m sure the man is feeling quite nicely about the fact that his album went platinum before it even launched (with a plaque celebrating that achievement pictured above).
[via NY Daily News]