Even though the coverage seems to have gone on for years, a mere five days have passed since users of a particular brand of smartphone (and anybody willing to illegally download music) first heard “Magna Carta Holy Grail,” the 12th solo album by Jay-Z. The record, which has received fair reviews, has been the focus of a massive TV ad campaign, voluminous Twitter and Facebook comments and many, many opinion pieces.
And through it all, Jay-Z’s been mostly silent, save for brief moments when he’s opined during the smartphone commercials. That changed Monday night, when the artist born Shawn Carter made himself available for questions through Twitter.
For about three hours Jay, who’s relatively inactive on the social media platform, shot back quickie responses to an avalanche of questions that ranged from simple to clever. He commented on old music and new rhymes, on songs’ themes and whatever else was on the fingertips of fans and detractors.
For example, one early tweet from @aqua174 called out Jay and collaborator Frank Ocean for their song “Oceans,” which features a lyric describing an elephant tusk on the bow of a yacht. “Wait, isn’t poaching elephant tusks illegal, though? #oceans.
@Aqua174 yeah, so is lying about American history but, I def digress. *my laugh— Mr. Carter (@S_C_) July 8, 2013
Many of the Brooklyn-born rapper’s answers featured the tag, #factsonly, suggesting that this sort of communication is his way of eliminating distortions. For example, some may have thought the man was a Wheaties kind of guy. Not true at all.
He addressed the controversy about the invasive nature of the "Magna Carta Holy Grail" smartphone app:
RT @DylanByers What's your reaction to Times charge that your MCHG rollout was invasive in its surveillance of your fans[sux must do better]— Mr. Carter (@S_C_) July 8, 2013
He offered business advice:
He commented on urban renewal in his hometown.
At one point Miley Cyrus jumped in, and Jay-Z retweeted her.
He offered Zen advice on the perfect life:
And then, just like that, Jay-Z descended back into the mist.
That was fun, Peace all #factsonly— Mr. Carter (@S_C_) July 8, 2013
Twitter / @liledit