Rap mogul Jay Z continued to show he only does things on large platforms whether its linking with Samsung to drop new albums or launching his own sports agency with the release of his new “Picasso Baby” music video on HBO.
Instead of taking a viral approach, Jigga resorted to the big-time premium channel to premiere his Magna Carta Holy Grail music video.
While Magna Carta…Holy Grail may not be ranked alongside his greatest albums, Jay Z continues using the project to push the envelope by finding new, innovative ways to market music. The message of exclusivity continues by allowing HBO subscribers to get first dibs on the full video the “performance art film” for “Picasso Baby.” Overall, it’s another great step for the genre, as Hip-Hop keeps stepping further and further away from the conventional album release and marketing cycle. These moves are sure to be scrutinized by the suits. Being yet another alternative revenue source, it just may wind up breathing a little new energy into the music industry. (Smoking Section)
Recently, music video director Mark Romanek spoke on the highly anticipated visual and why they chose New York’s Pace Gallery.
“We wanted to pick a Manhattan gallery. Pace was the right size and I wanted a space with natural light. I didn’t want the filmmaking to drive it, I wanted the filmmaking to be kind of a neutral document of what was going to happen. And the good people at Pace, Andrea Glimcher and everyone there was super accommodating and that was a big factor, too.” (GQ)
Romanek also recently revealed how he convinced Jigga to buy into the visual’s concept.
“The initial thing, what I pitched to Jay was, you regularly perform to 60 or 80,000 people at a time. What if you performed for one person at a time? What if it was like Marina’s piece? And it evolved from there in terms of how to build it, and he got very excited by that. I mean, halfway through me pitching it to him, he said, “Wait, wait, I got chills. That’s exactly what we should be doing.” In terms of notable people, obviously we wanted it to have an art-world slant, but it’s a somewhat democratic range of people. There were bands that were invited that are just Jay Z’s fans, there were people that are just New York people, they’re actors and musicians and other New York people. We wanted it to be a mix.” (Huffington Post)
Buzz behind its premiere heated up the Internet last weekend.
The performance was filmed, and HBO just announced that it will be airing the resulting work, Picasso Baby: A Performance Art Film. The special will debut on Friday, August 2nd at 11 p.m. Eastern time, immediately after the rapper’s appearance on Real Time With Bill Maher. In the trailer for the film, Jay Z can be seen interacting with Alan Cumming, Judd Apatow, and the artist Marina Abramovic, who were all spotted at the gallery during the performance. “Rap is thinking out loud, and you’re putting your fears and your vulnerabilities and your insecurities to music,” Jay Z says in the trailer. “Concerts are pretty much performance art, and a smaller venue is a bit more intimate, so you feel the energy of the people.” (Rolling Stone)
Check out “Picasso Baby”: