Jay-Z already made headlines with his Samsung deal, giving away a million free copies of his recent release, Magna Carta Holy Grail, to some of the company's users. Heavily promoted and anticipated, the new album has already been a #1 title, but it looks like Jay-Z isn’t ready to stop the promotional spots. On Friday night, the rapper premiered a 10-minute performance art video from a gig at New York City’s Pace Gallery that happened in July.
Except for the crowds of people, the space is fairly small and stark. We get to see a few displays highlight Jay-Z and Magna Carta Holy Grail, as well as a small platform stage and bench, before Jay-Z pops onstage to plenty of applause. That part is not the most exciting portion of the video, but then we get to see Jay-Z begin to rap “"Picasso Baby,” a track off of his latest album. The setting is really intimate and one by one people get to come up to the bench and take a closer look. Even if you are not always the biggest Jay-Z fan, you can see the charisma the rapper has onstage, and it’s easy to tell the people in the room are down for the performance.
Humorously, Alan Cumming pops up in the video to spend some time on camera, but the more interesting moments come from some of the random audience members, who dance, groove, sit in silence, mop their brows, and in one crazy moment, go forehead to forehead with the 43-year-old rapper. If you are into Jay-Z or performance art at all, the "Picasso Baby: A Performance Art Film" video is worth a watch. The clip is directed by Mark Romanek and has also popped up on HBO, as per THR.
Jay-Z’s been doing a lot of unconventional stuff to promote Magna Carta Holy Grail.Through his partnership with Samsung, the man put together a few spectacular promos that took audiences behind-the-scenes and into the recording studio.
Next, the prolific music producer (or at least one of the people who work for him) managed to install a Magna Carta Holy Grail display next to the actual copy of the Magna Carta in order to celebrate the release of the cover art. While I’m not certain that Jay-Z and nearly 800-year-old historical documents have the same audience, the stunt was pretty epic and newsworthy, considering not many artists would have the balls or the clout to be able to pull something similar off.
While the Magna Carta Holy Grail display was set to be taken down at the end of July, taping this performance art ensures that fans will be able to catch Jay-Z in action in a very small setting for years to come. You can order Magna Carta Holy Grail over at iTunes.