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Jay-Z reveals 'Magna Carta Holy Grail' track list via Brooklyn scavenger hunt

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Remember the days when an artist recorded an album, and then released that album in a store so that people could buy and hear that album?

Those days are long gone. In 2013, Jay-Z is rewriting the book on releases, dropping his new Magna Carta Holy Grail with only a few weeks notice and putting it out through a deal with Samsung that will allow Samsung phone owners to download an app and hear it all for free a full three days before it actually goes on sale.

And rather than simply announce, “Here are the various song titles, guests, and collaborators who may be appearing on my new, ridiculously-named album,” Jigga decided to send his fans on a scavenger hunt through Brooklyn on Saturday in order to unlock his 12th solo album’s tracklist.

The clues led to a series of binders that revealed all of the songs on Magna Carta Holy Grail, though none of the guests or production notes were included. The fan who found the binder was kind enough to record a quick video of the binder, which you can watch below:

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Jay-Z announces new album ... in a cell phone ad -- VIDEO

Jay-Z has taken branding to a whole new level, announcing his new album in a cell phone commercial.

Magna Carta Holy Grail, Jay’s first album since teaming up with Kanye West for Watch the Throne, arrives July 4, according to a three-minute Samsung spot that aired during Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Sunday night. As a tie-in to the album’s release, the first million Samsung Galaxy users to download a special mobile app will unlock the disc 72 hours early.

Check out the ad — featuring basically every relevant hip-hop producer there is (Pharrell Williams, Timbaland, Rick Rubin and Swizz Beatz) in the studio with Jay — below:
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NPR is streaming the 'Gatsby' soundtrack: What's worth talking about

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Stop whatever you are doing and listen to The Great Gatsby soundtrack, which is streaming in full over at NPR days before its May 7 release. The album arrives pre-buzzed, thanks to behind-the-scenes work from Jay-Z and a series of tracks from a series of high-wattage artists such as Florence + The Machine, Beyoncé, Fergie, and Jack White.

What results is very good (Lana) and very bad (Florence) and very, very interesting, as is the nature of projects that overflow with talented people all working at once. Also: very period. If you didn’t know the movie is set almost 100 years ago, the soundtrack shouts it out at you, all honking brass and a preference for tempos that slide up the scale like liquor, getting hot just as they hit the chorus. It’s Baz Luhrmann’s costume party-version of the ’20s. But it’s fun! Also sad! (People have a way of dying in Gatsby.) Talking points from the 14-track soundtrack:

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Jay-Z writes open letter exiting Brooklyn Nets organization

Remember when Jay-Z was just a guy who rapped about money and women, and his only business ventures were the stillborn careers of Amil and Freeway? Now he’s a major mogul letting the world know how he plans on making his next few millions.

In an open letter posted on his website, the man born Shawn Carter announced that he is officially selling off his tiny ownership stake in the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets in order to fully (and legally) ensconce himself as a sports agent overseeing the newly-minted Roc Nation Sports. NBA rules prohibit team owners from carrying agent licenses, which is why Jigga had to cash out on his stake (which amounted to roughly one fiftieth of one percent). READ FULL STORY

Beyonce and Jay-Z are a billion-dollar couple, probably

How much money are Beyoncé and Jay-Z worth, really?

The answer: $1 billion dollars, according to the International Business Times, with a caveat or three. These are rough figures, and that worth is cumulative, not that they make that much all at once — but it’s grounded in a lot of evidence that the couple makes a lot of money.

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Listen to Jay-Z's 'The Great Gatsby' soundtrack sampler, featuring Fergie, Lana Del Rey, Jack White and more

No matter how The Great Gatsby does at the box office when it finally arrives in theaters next month, it’s eclectic, star-studded soundtrack is already a newsmaker.

Curated by Jay-Z, the Gatsby soundtrack includes tracks by Jay himself, Beyoncé, Jack White, Fergie, Sia, Lana Del Rey, the xx and more. Twelve of the 14 total core tracks are currently available in snippet form on YouTube, which you can stream below.

Highlights include Florence Welch wailing on the track “Over the Love” and the swing version of Beyoncé’s “Crazy in Love” delivered by Emeli Sandé.

There’s also the already-released “A Little Party Never Killed Nobody” by Fergie, Q-Tip, and GoonRock, which must be ironically titled given the fate of one Gatsby‘s main characters.

Listen to these, as well as Jack White’s cover of U2′s “Love Is Blindness” (as featured in the trailer to the film), a spin below: READ FULL STORY

Jay-Z addresses Cuba controversy on new track 'Open Letter': Hear it here!

Some businessmen issue press releases when their names show up in controversial headlines. Jay-Z, on the other hand, just calls some friends and drops a sonic note on Soundcloud.

In light of the recent chatter surrounding his sports agency ventures, Roc Nation’s recently-announced deal with Universal, and his vacation in Cuba, Jay-Z recorded and dropped the new track “Open Letter.” Produced by Timbaland and Swizz Beatz, the brief tune showed up on Jigga’s Life + Times website last night.

“Wanna give me jail time and a fine/ Fine, let me commit a real crime,” Jay raps on the song, shouting down those politicians questioning the legality of Jay’s island getaway to the communist country. Give the track a spin below. READ FULL STORY

Beyonce, Nine Inch Nails to headline Made In America Festival

Beyonce and Nine Inch Nails will headline the second annual Made In America Festival, organizers announced Wednesday, via an official playlist on Spotify.

The Budweiser-sponsored festival returns to Philadelphia Labor Day weekend (Aug. 31 and Sept. 1). This year’s lineup was once again curated by Jay-Z, though he is not set to return to the festival as a performer after headlining last year’s event with Kanye West.

Queens of the Stone Age, Imagine Dragons, Wiz Khalifa, Kendrick Lamar, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, and Public Enemy will also perform.

It’s going to be a very busy summer for both Beyonce and Nine Inch Nails. In addition to Made In America, Queen Bey is set to headline July’s Essence Festival in New Orleans, while NIN will rock the main stage at Chicago’s Lollapalooza in early-August. Beyonce also kicks off her 65-date world arena tour, dubbed The Mrs. Carter Show, on April 15 in Belgrade, Serbia.

The eclectic lineup features artists from the worlds of hip-hop, rock and EDM. Check out the full roster of performers below.

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Beyonce and Jay-Z's scrutinized Cuba trip approved by U.S. government

U.S. Treasury officials say the trip by Beyonce and Jay-Z to Cuba was licensed as an educational exchange.

Assistant Treasury Secretary Alastair Fitzpayne wrote in a letter Tuesday to congressional representatives that the famous hip-hop couple traveled to Cuba with a group authorized by the Office of Foreign Assets Control to promote people-to-people contact in Cuba.

The letter was released Tuesday by U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen .

Ros-Lehtinen and U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, both Florida Republicans, had expressed concerns to the Treasury Department about the trip and wanted to know if it was licensed.

Beyonce and Jay-Z marked their fifth wedding anniversary in Havana last week. U.S. citizens are not allowed to travel to Cuba for mere tourism, though they can obtain licenses for academic, religious, journalistic or cultural exchange trips. The so-called people-to-people licenses were reinstated under the Obama administration.

Jay-Z announces Made in America festival returning to Philadelphia -- VIDEO

Jay-Z says his “Made in America” festival is coming back to Philadelphia.

The rapper posted a teaser video on his “Life and Times” website Monday that showed footage from last year. It says this year’s festival will again take place on Labor Day weekend — Aug. 31 and Sept. 1.

Jay-Z says the lineup will be revealed on Spotify on Wednesday. READ FULL STORY

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