Here's a quiz. Without leaving this tab, list every fact you know about Magna Carta Holy Grail, the much-discussed forthcoming release from Jay-Z. If you've clicked this far — or, you know, gone on the Internet in the past two weeks — chances are you know something. Great. Now list every fact you know about the music that is contained on Magna Carta. Not the marketing or the Samsung deal. Just the music.
If your latter list is slim — and I can't imagine how it isn't, unless you happen to be Hov himself — then it's probably time to consider how the massive marketing apparatus behind Jay-Z's twelfth album, including but not limited to the controversial Samsung promotion deal, has gradually but indisputably overshadowed interest in the album itself. The latest stunt involves displaying the album art on a lectern in Salisbury Cathedral, directly beside a frayed copy of the actual Magna Carta. If that seems like enough to make Bono blush with modesty, it's because it is. Tonight, when the album is made available to Samsung users at 12:01, Jay-Z's boldness will almost certainly pay off. But it's increasingly hard to tell if the people scrambling to download the #magnacarta app are buzzing about an album or a flashy new tech product by Samsung.