Android has 99 handsets, but Jay-Z's on one

Samsung to give exclusive first-listen access of Jay-Z's new album to Galaxy users.

Samsung Galaxy users will soon get supersized bragging rights to go with their supersized displays. They'll be given the opportunity to get their ears on Jay-Z's new album Magna Carta Holy Grail before it's released to the general public. And they'll get it for free.

Viewers tuning in to Sunday's NBA Finals game to watch the Heat fail to catch anything remotely resembling heat against the Spurs were treated to an extended docu-mercial featuring the Brooklyn MC.

The mysterious ad featured behind-the-scenes footage of Hova working on some tracks with other illustrious music folk such as Pharrell, Timbaland, and a derelict-looking Rick Rubin before closing with the title card "The Next Big Thing is Here" and a prompt to vist MagnaCartaHolyGrail.com.

The website features a countdown clock for the exact moment the Magna Carta app from Google Play (no link yet available) comes available on June 24. The first 1 million Galaxy S3, S4, and Note 2 users who download the app will get free access to the album on July 1 at 12:01 AM, a full 72 hours ahead of the album's official release on July 4.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Samsung paid Jay-Z $5 an album for 1 million copies to give away for free, but it was unclear if the album sales would be counted among unit sales by Nielsen SoundScan, which may be why Mr. Carter tweeted the following earlier on Monday.

If 1 Million records gets SOLD and billboard doesnt report it, did it happen? Ha. #newrules#magnacartaholygrail Platinum!!! VII IV XIII

For Samsung, the promotion is a chance to be associated with one of the coolest cats pop culture has to offer and to showcase the company's ability to compete with iTunes Radio as a venue for exclusive music content. For the musician-turned-entrepreneur, it's an opportunity to go platinum (if not officially, at least financially) before an album has even dropped--not to mention building anticipation for his first solo album since 2009's The Blueprint 3.

As the music industry continues its process of morphing into a strange alien entity barely resembling its former self, we will see more unthinkably surrreal relationships moving forward. #StrangeNewCrazy

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Evan Dashevsky

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