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  • Jay-Z is using a commercial tie-in with Samsung to move his next album.

    Jay-Z is using a commercial tie-in with Samsung to move his next album.

    Jay-Z didn’t invent the commercial tie-in to new music, but he exploited it to perfection in a surprise three-minute tease for his upcoming album, Magna Carta Holy Grail, that doubles as a Samsung commercial.

    Hov had his usual crew on hand producers Rick Rubin, Swizz Beatz, Timbaland and Pharrell Williams while he worked over the material in the studio.

    But what’s the message? The Korean electronics maker used the spot, aired before the start of the NBA finals, to promote its Galaxy smartphones and tablets.

    This may be Jay-Z’s biggest album ever because Samsung has already bought one million copies and will give them away. But whether they’ll count toward platinum certification by the RIAA remains to be seen.

    Prince pioneered the move when his new album Planet Earth was released in the UK in 2007. The album was given away by a London tabloid, bypassing record stores, online download sites and his label, Sony BMG.

    The paper reportedly paid Prince $500,000 in addition to royalties. The music industry was not amused.

    As part of Jay-Z’s deal, Samsung reportedly paid $5 each for the albums, according to MTV. Samsung Galaxy III, Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note II users will get them for free three days before the album release.

    With a name like Magna Carta Holy Grail, Jay-Z sounds like he’s ready to lay down the law, but the commercial reveals that he’s more into trying to figure out “this duality of how do you navigate through this whole thing, through success through the failures, through all this and remain yourself?”

    Blame it on the Internet; Jay-Z does. The old music industry rules are gone, he notes. The ‘net has turned the business into the wild, wild, west. “We need to write the new rules,” he says.

    In the early days of rock music, this was known as selling-out. But hip-hop has always been about the money. His 12th solo studio album will hit the streets July 4. Check out the spot below.