Jay-Z says Magna Carta Holy Grail app issues were “not cool”


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]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Bring on the blame Jayz posts! Cmon you wonderfully ignorant people. Do your thing.

    1. Your about as annoying as the people on CNN discussing the Trayvon Martin case, everything people say has to always be racist or ignorant to you

      1. Yeah because ignorance isn’t ignorance. And awesome example there. Smh.

      2. Now there’s something, playing the race card while accusing someone else who never mentioned race of playing the race card.

        1. ^^^^ THATS more annoying that ANYTHING.

  2. From the headline I expected Jay-Z to speak about the overly intrusive and totally unnecessary permissions that app required.

  3. Kinda feel bad for people who were looking forward to this. I personally don’t care for his music though so no big deal for me. But just goes to show even though we love our advanced technology.. Its not full proof!

    1. I see what you did there. You just demonstrated how our advanced technology can’t even tell the difference between full and fool. Well done Sir. :-)

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        Well he wasn’t suppose to be this time but Sammy decided to buy a million and keep this out of touch artist relevant.

      2. I see what YOU did here…you burned Mr. Raider without him even KNOWING. Nicely done.

        1. LOL ^^ Kudos to you both. LOL funny stuff

          1. What is this, reddit?

    2. fool not full..-_-

    3. It’s definitely not foolproof when you put a countdown clock on your app, expecting hundreds of thousands of people to download it, and don’t bother preparing for a MASSIVE server load.

      This isn’t about the limits of technology; it’s about incompetent Samsung employees not know how to properly prepare.

  4. The album was just as “not cool” as the app.

    1. So you bought it?

      1. Got it only because it was free. Tried listening to it and deleted the entire album. I got what I paid for.

  5. Your album want cool either. Talk about suck..

  6. RIAA already stated that his album is not platinum and will not get a plaque. JayZ said that Samsung bought his Albums but, the RIAA stated it was for promotion purposes and do not count towards retail sales…i do not know why everyone is crediting Jayz platinum status, when he will not get it….yet…..and yes i am a Jay-Z fan….just stating the truth….

    Edit: wow i just realized that he did get the plaque after all!!!Guess the RIAA changed things…Good For you HOVA!!!!

  7. What’s not cool is it not being on Google Play Music All Access.

    1. whats up with that? thought i was the only one….huge ripoff, that google/samsung didnt even warn us

    2. there are a lot of albums not on Google Play All Access

      my free month is my first and last

  8. I agree with Jay-Z. Very poorly handled. The idea was actually a very good one. Execution was sub-standard (and that’s being generous).

  9. Wait, why does he get to comment on that? He didn’t have any part in creating the application other than the “music” in it. Let’s see him try to make a professional application and have everything go smoothly.

    1. That has got to be the dumbest comment I’ve ever seen on Phandroid. How old are you?

    2. he commented because it reflects on him and his reputation as a businessman. his name is on the app. he is the focus of the app, from the promo videos to the music itself. he handled the question well.

    3. He was asked about it

  10. It worked, just not at 12a. Is it really that big of a deal?

    1. Yes. (Nexus 4 owner).

    2. it’s a big deal to Nas stans like Quentyn. It was working for me and a bumch of people on forums at 1:30AM, and everyone who woke up like normal folk also got it just fine… and then Quentny wrote that story about how it wasn’t working (present tense) long after it was already working fine.

  11. It worked just fine for me.

  12. Biggest name in hip-hop?
    Well he wasn’t suppose to be this time but Sammy decided to buy a million and keep this out of touch artist relevant.

  13. Jay-Z and the complainers need to all get a life. Did all of you forget that you received this for free without having to do anything? I can’t remember the last time Apple, HTC or LG pulled something like this. This guy got his millions paid off to him and still had the audacity to complain about how the launch went for the dumbass album. You got your money, Shut up!! If anything, Samsung should be disappointed that they didn’t get all their moneys worth because of server issues and what not. Geez!

    1. Oh please. Samsung screwed up royally on this and they deserve it for botching it as they did. Samsung customers getting it for free is besides the point, and your dismissing of it just reeks of being a paid Samsung shill.

      It doesn’t matter if JZ got paid his “millions”. Consumers were promised something and didn’t get it. Whether the product is free or not, that’s wrong.

      Had Apple handled it this way, you guys would be screaming lawsuit. At least Apple would offer some sort of credit / gift card for those that were inconvenienced. What the heck did Samsung offer as an apology? Zip. Nada.

    2. he was basically forced into that position. They probably asked him about it, and there was nothing else he could really say. It isn’t like he said it in a tweet or press release

  14. Why does he look nervous in the photo with those people?

  15. He’s mad about all the data he’s collected on people?

    1. the repetition of that noun is driving me crazy
      but I agree, he does look pretty nervous

  16. you caught flak because you posted about the issues in the present tense half a day after the issues were fixed.

  17. Didnt Apple have a similar problem before. Those people claiming Apple wouldnt let this happen are dumb. Stress on server from demand would have made it fail for any company.

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