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Jay-Z's 'Magna Carta Holy Grail' hits Samsung first

A million Galaxy device owners will get the rapper's new album three days early, and for free.

Jay-Z has already sold a million copies of his next album... to Samsung.
Screenshot by Eric Mack/CNET

Samsung just got its hands on the holy grail of hip-hop. Actually, it's "Magna Carta Holy Grail," the new album from rap icon Jay-Z that will be made available for free to the first 1 million Samsung Galaxy S3, Galaxy S4, and Galaxy Note 2 owners who download a special app.

The app, which can be downloaded starting on June 24, is said to provide an "unprecedented inside look into the album personal stories and inspiration," and will also unlock the new album on July 4, three days before it officially goes on sale for the non-Galaxy owning world.

The partnership between Samsung and Jay-Z, both known for their rather bold approaches to marketing, was kicked off with a three-minute television ad that aired during the NBA Finals Sunday night.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Samsung paid $5 apiece for the million copies of the album it plans to give away, perhaps making "Magna Carta Holy Grail" the first album to go platinum weeks before being released.

Clearly the huge Korean company sees it as a price worth paying to gain a little extra credibility in the U.S. in its ongoing battle with Apple for mobile market share. And, oh yes, there was another notable competition that followed Samsung's escalation of the smartphone wars: The San Antonio Spurs beat the Miami Heat 114 - 104.

Watch the three-minute ad below and let us know in the comments what you think about Samsung's $5 million bet on Jay-Z.