Ever since Jay-Z dropped the epic, three-minute commercial for his new album during the NBA Finals, the clip has been the source of costant Internet debate and speculation. What is Rick Rubin doing lying on the couch? When did Jay-Z get so good at air piano? How did he get Swizz Beatz to not say a word? And perhaps most importantly, why the hell is he releasing Magna Cara Holy Grail early through Samsung Galaxy phones?
Indeed, on the heels of Kanye’s “f**k you and your corporation” album (*Kanye shrug*), Jay has been under fire for his all-business approach, in which every aspect of the album is neatly packaged and sold through corporate partners. Frankly, we don’t really care how Jigga distributes his music as long as it’s good, and we’re not quite sure why people are so up in arms about “selling out” when the music is already made (here’s a good piece from Pigeons & Planes about the whole thing).
Still, product placement is always an awkward game, and the commercial got us thinking of how much more corporate branding it could have included—for example, why are Jay, Pharrell, Timbaland, and the rest of the crew not eating a shit-ton of McDonald’s throughout? How profound would it have been if, instead of saying “I just want a Picasso,” Jay had said, “I just want an Extra Value Meal.” Don’t leave money on the table, Jigga! Click through the gallery above to see our vision of how the Golden Arches would have fit right into Jay-Z’s Samsung ad.