While Jay-Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail is due out in just two days, there’s still not a ton of information floating around about it. All the general public really knows so far is that the record references R.E.M. and Nirvana, probably features guest vocals from Pharrell, Timbaland, and Swizz Beatz, and definitely wasn’t produced by Rick Rubin. Oh, and to actually get it when it comes out on July 4, you’ll either need a Samsung phone or basic working knowledge of how to download an album illegally.
However, this morning brought a couple of new tidbits of information. First, Jay-Z released the album art below. It’s pretty boring, but it exists, so that’s something. Secondly, Billboard reported that Jay also somehow managed to strong-arm the Recording Industry Association Of America into changing its rules about how long it takes to have a record certified gold or platinum.
Prior to this week, any record—no matter how many copies it sold out of the gate—couldn’t become officially certified until 30 days after its release, lest tens of thousands of copies of that record trickle back into stores via returns. Now that Jay’s already technically pre-sold a million nonreturnable copies of Magna Carta to Samsung for distribution via its phones, the RIAA is saying the record can be certified platinum immediately upon its release. Of course, Billboard has already said those cell-phone-based sales won’t count toward its album charts. But that doesn’t seem to bother Jay-Z, who included the phrase “#newrules” when he tweeted about not caring about the Billboard charts last month.
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