Jay-Z has been waving his “new rules” flag around the release of his latest, Magna Carta Holy Grail, and the idea of shaking up the music industry has already resonated with many. 50 Cent, for one, welcomes it.
“You can’t be afraid of change. I think the old way of doing things is not gonna work, but then you gotta create a plan for a new way. How are you gonna do it?” Fif asked rhetorically when MTV News asked him about his thoughts around Hov’s digital rollout for Magna Carta Holy Grail on June 25, a week before anyone heard the project.
Jay partnered with Samsung to release the album on July 4 via a dedicated phone app available to Galaxy smartphone users. In exchange for the exclusivity, Samsung paid a reported $5 million to distribute 1 million digital copies of the LP to its users. The RIAA changed their rules and says they will immediately count those sales toward the album’s platinum certification, while it will appear that Billboard will not count those “bulk” Samsung sales toward their albums chart — meaning that if Jay is to eventually earn a #1 spot for MCHG he can’t do it off the back of those first 1 million sales.
Fif, who has built a reputation as a shrewd business man and successful mogul himself, doesn’t side with Jay or Billboard, but suggests that the main thing that matters is the financial gain behind the deal. “I don’t think you can take anything away from it — that idea,” he said. “If you can take something away from it, the money was still made.”
50 has been working on his own solo album. His last one, Before I Self Destruct came four years ago in 2009, and though he has released a few tracks to the public over the years (“New Day,” “Major Distribution” and “We Up”), he is no rush to put out an album just because. “What’s really important,” he asks. “If I make a record that I’m really passionate about.”