Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Jay-Z, Smart Move With American Gangster

Jay-Z is back, oh, but you already knew that. Man, I’m late on this breaking news thing. American Gangster came out 2 weeks ago and landed Hov with his 10th number 1 album, tying Elvis for 2nd all time number one albums. Not bad for a trapper turned rapper.

Jay is a marketing genius; there is no doubt about it. He has a plan before it becomes a plan and sometimes the public doesn’t even notice it. Shawn Corey Carter’s last album, Kingdom Come was released with a video paid for by Budweiser. Remember the car chase with Dale Jr? Yea, Jay didn’t cough up a penny for that. He got sponsors, big ones.

New album, American Gangster. Do you think it is any coincidence that it dropped only a week 3-4 days after the movie of the same name dropped and landed at number 1 in the box office? I think not. Yea, Jay says it is loosely based around the movie, the movie inspired him, blah, blah. Jay worked around a deadline made by himself to get the album shelved at the height of marketing paid for by the major movie studios. Everytime the film was mentioned, a tag line about the unofficial soundtrack was mentioned. Jay was everywhere the movie was. Every interview with Denzel had a question about the Jay-Z album and their thoughts on it. More free press.

This is the ultimate hustler. He not only runs the baddest label in town, Def Jam, but has refueled Roc-A-Fella with a position to succeed just in time to make the 4th quarter king a few bucks and keep his name in that elite John Elway staple. Freeway just dropped Tuesday. Beanie Siegel is next. Kanye is still the king and making headlines through tragedy and triumph.

You want to know what is even funnier from a new media standpoint? This was all done without a Myspace or Facebook campaign. No YouTube battles. No Twittering necessary. It was done through old media and the big corporations pulling the big bucks. Late night TV shows, TRL, MTV and BET. Movie studios, XXL, Rolling Stone.

I don't surf the net
No i never been on myspace
Too busy letting my voice vibrate
Carving out my space

-Jay-Z “Beach Chair” from ‘Kingdom Come’


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