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Jay-Z’s new LP, Magna Carta Holy Grail

News of Jay-Z’s new LP, Magna Carta Holy Grail, hit the wire last night and with the announcement came the revelation from the Wall Street Journal that Samsung paid $5 a pop for 1 million copies of the album to give away 3 days early to Samsung Galaxy smartphone users. This is of course a huge win for Jay, as the album has already brought in at least $5 million in revenue and it hasn’t even gone on sale yet.

Corporate sponsorship of albums is not a new concept, but I don’t believe it’s ever been done on this scale. The Jay x Samsung rollout is essentially the Green Label Sound model on steroids. Samsung wins through their mere association with the biggest Rapper in the world and Jay pockets a nice check plus enjoys a subsidized global marketing push. The only people who lose here are of course us iPhone users, but I’m guessing we’ll all have a copy of Magna Carta within an hour of it hitting the Samsung App. And if the album has already turned a profit, I’m thinking neither Jay nor the label will even care.
The unique elements of this campaign have of course prompted several questions about how this whole thing is going to work. Will the 1 million albums Samsung purchased count towards the LP’s Billboard placement? (I don’t see why they wouldn’t). Does this mean Jay will be the first artist ever to go platinum prior to their album release date? (I think it might).

Mr. Carter ‏@S_C_ 6h

If 1 Million records gets SOLD and billboard doesnt report it, did it happen? Ha. #newrules #magnacartaholygrail Platinum!!! VII IV XIII
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Has Jay sold out? Is selling out in Hip-Hop even still a thing?

People don’t always love when art is so closely tied to commerce. A-Trak wasn’t impressed by the TV spot. And I get that. But you know if Jay is gonna step outside the box, at the level he’s operating on, you have to expect that he’s gonna be looking for a big corporate check. And with big corporate checks come slick ad campaigns and branding. One thing is for sure: Jay does shit, and other people follow, so get ready to see more of these types of deals in the near future with artists and sponsors big and small.

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Kanye West & Kim Kardashian Have Baby Girl

Congratulations to Kanye West and Kim Kardashian as the happy couple welcome their new baby girl. TMZ is reporting that Kim Kardashain has given birth earlier today and her and the baby are in good health. She started having contractions Friday night and went into full labor early Saturday morning. The delivery comes 5 weeks earlier than expected. Kanye West missed out on his own album listening session and was there for the entire thing. Still no word on the name.

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Jay-Z x Samsung x Game 5

Jay was close to closing a multi-million dollar deal with Samsung, now Life+Times has posted this message asking fans to tune in to Game 5 of the NBA Finals. Whether it’s new music, the launch of a new ad campaign or some combination of both, we’ll find out come game time.

Game 5 airs this Sunday night at 9:15 EST.

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Future On The Cover Of The Source Magazine

“I feel like I’m going to be here forever. Even without me [here], my music is gonna live forever. I love making music, there’s nothing on this earth I’d rather do. Whether putting it out through myself or working with another artist, it’s an honor and privilege to be in the music industry and I’m taking full advantage of it.”

He also wonders if the Ciara/Rihanna beef prevented ‘Loveeeee Song’ from becoming a single.

“We never shot a video, we never performed it. I don’t know whether it was because of that situation or if just the time hasn’t come up,”

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Apple Is Said to Be Pressing for Internet Radio Deals

After months of stalled negotiations over its planned Internet radio service, Apple is pushing to complete licensing deals with music companies so it can reveal the service as early as next week, according to people briefed on the talks.
Apple’s service, a Pandora-like feature that would tailor streams of music to each user’s taste, has been planned since at least last summer. But Apple has made little progress with record labels and music publishers, which have been seeking higher royalty rates and guaranteed minimum payments, according to these people, who spoke anonymously about the private talks.

While it is still at odds with some music companies over deal terms, Apple is said to be eager to get the licenses in time to unveil the service — nicknamed iRadio by the technology press — at its annual developers conference, which begins June 10 in San Francisco.

Apple has signed a deal with the Universal Music Group for its recorded music rights, but not for music publishing — the part of the business that deals with songwriting. Over the weekend, Apple also signed a deal with the Warner Music Group for both rights. It is still in talks with Sony Music Entertainment and Sony’s separate publishing arm, Sony/ATV, whose songwriters include Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga.

Representatives for Apple and the music companies declined to comment.

Apple’s Internet radio feature is expected to be free and supported by advertising, and would represent a relatively late arrival by the company into what has become a fast-growing — if low-margin — sector of the music business. Pandora has more than 70 million regular users, the vast majority of whom do not pay, and similar features have been introduced by Google, Spotify and the radio company Clear Channel Communications.

The licensing fees paid by Pandora have been a sore spot for music companies, which see promise in Apple’s service, particularly since it can be linked to sales through Apple’s iTunes store, but want higher rates. Publishers, for instance, are paid about 4 percent of Pandora’s revenue, but want as much as 10 percent from Apple.

Apple is said to be negotiating directly with the music groups because it wants more extensive licensing terms.

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Blaylock critical after wreck; 1 dies

JONESBORO, Ga. — Former NBA All-Star guard Daron “Mookie” Blaylock was in critical condition at a hospital late Friday after his SUV crossed the center line and crashed head-on into a van in suburban Atlanta, fatally injuring a passenger in the van, police said.

Blaylock was driving in Jonesboro on Friday when he crashed and was airlifted to the Atlanta Medical Center, said Clayton County police spokesman Clarence Cox.
Jonesboro Police Chief Franklin Allen said late Friday that 43-year-old Monica Murphy, a passenger in the van, died just before 10 p.m. Allen said her husband, 41-year-old Frankie Murphy, sustained a broken ankle and was released from the hospital after undergoing treatment.

Blaylock was initially placed on life support at the hospital. But the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Blaylock’s condition improved Friday night and he was taken off it. According to the newspaper, Allen said Blaylock is in guarded but critical condition.

Allen told WSB-TV in Atlanta that Blaylock has had “a history of seizures,” and police were trying to find out if a seizure may have led to the accident.

The 46-year-old Blaylock was a first-round draft pick by the New Jersey Nets out of Oklahoma in 1989.

He played for the Atlanta Hawks from 1992-99, appeared in the 1994 NBA All-Star Game and had his best season in 1996-97, averaging 17.4 points and 5.9 assists.

“Our thoughts are with Mookie Blaylock, who is in the hospital tonight after a car crash,” the Hawks tweeted.

In 13 NBA seasons with New Jersey, Atlanta and Golden State, he averaged 13.5 points and 6.2 assists.

“Prayers out to Mookie Blaylock and his family! Big fan of his as a kid #PG #NBAFamily,” Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul tweeted.

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J.Cole Announces ‘Dollar & A Dream’ Tour

In order to promote his upcoming sophomore album, J.Cole is planning to travel the country on his ‘Dollar & A Dream’ tour. It will feature 10 secret shows across North America and entry to each show will only cost $1. There will be no tickets sold and it will be first come first serve. The tour is set to kick off on June 11th in Miami. ‘Born Sinner’ in stores June 18th.

Check out the dates below.

9RPJ5iz

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Alex Rodriguez sells $30M home

Alex Rodriguez is a bit richer today.

The New York Yankees third baseman closed on the sale of his Miami Beach home on Friday morning, ESPN.com has learned. The confirmed sale price of $30 million is one of the highest purchase prices for a home in Miami.
Rodriguez, who has earned approximately $360 million to date in salary alone, more than any U.S. major sports athlete in history, will make a $15 million profit.

In 2010, Rodriguez bought the 54,000-square-foot plot of land on the water for $7.4 million. He then put roughly the equivalent amount into the 20,000-square-foot modern, minimalistic home that his own construction company, Newport Property Construction, built in 11 months.

It has nine bedrooms and 11 bathrooms with the oft-coveted European white oak flooring throughout. Its most impressive feature is at the rear of the house, where clear, glass windows can be adjusted so that someone can walk straight outside. The house also features a zen garden and rooftop deck.

Rodriguez moved in in October 2011 and, encouraged by the rebound of the Miami real estate market, listed the home for the first time at $38 million a year later. Failing to get a nibble, he took the home off the market in December 2012.

Rodriguez never listed the home again, as he was personally offered the deal that was consummated Friday.

“When you’re offered the highest price for a home in a city’s history, you have to take it,” said Jose More, a business partner of Rodriguez who is the vice president of his construction company.
Confidentiality agreements protect the buyer’s identity, but More did reveal that the buyer is a businessman, not an athlete.

That’s an important distinction, since so many athletes customize their homes so much that they find trouble selling them to anyone outside the sports world. The only feature in the house that is obsolete to the new owners is an indoor batting cage.

“Alex was ahead of his time in his design of the modern, clean, elegant structure,” More said. “There are eight houses in the area that are now being built exactly like this.”

The home is on the same street as houses owned by actor Matt Damon and Miami Heat stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

More says that A-Rod has not picked his next home site, but he will very likely demolish what he buys.

“He really enjoys the design process,” More said.

The 37-year-old Rodriguez, who has not played for the Yankees this season after getting surgery on his left hip in January, is currently rehabbing in Tampa and is expected to return after the All-Star break.

When he comes up to play in New York, he will be living in a rented apartment in Manhattan.

In October 2011, A-Rod bought a condo on Manhattan’s upper west side for $5.5 million, but flipped that, too — for a $2.5 million profit less than eight months after buying it.

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Rapper Tim Dog Fakes His Own Death ?

Noisey investigates the ongoing mystery of Tim Dog’s alleged death. They spoke to Esther Pilgrim, the woman behind the recently issued warrant for Tim, a Dutch woman who says she was scammed as well and The Source writer who first reported the rapper’s death. What a clusterfuck.

If Timothy Blair can walk away from having committed an extremely complex, audacious swindle that borders on identity theft, who’s to say he couldn’t fake his own death? In the age of the hyper-accelerated Internet news cycle, dying is almost the easiest thing a celebrity can do. Once one source reports an event, a domino effect occurs where everyone bases their report off of a single account. And in the case of Tim Dog, the source was problematic at best. It’s complicated by the fact that the source was also, well, The Source.

CHECK OUT THIS LINK http://noisey.vice.com/blog/in-search-of-tim-dog

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