Ads for Magna Carta Holy Grail, the surprise new Jay-Z album that’ll arrive later this week, had Jay in a room with four of the greatest rap producers ever: Timbaland, Swizz Beatz, Pharrell, and Def Jam co-founder/megabearded guru Rick Rubin. Those ads sure made it seem like Jay had a dream lineup of beatmakers in his back pocket. As it turns out, though, that’s not the case. Rubin, who recently executive produced Kanye West’s Yeezus and helped pare the album down into postmodern fight music, actually had nothing to do with the making of Magna Carta Holy Grail, and in fact he was something of a prop in those commercials.
Talking to XXL, Rubin, who first worked with Jay when he produced “99 Problems,” says that he just talked to Jay about the album, nothing more:
The point of me being in the commercials was that he was filming a documentary and he asked me — I imagine he’s just comfortable talking to me — to come listen to the songs with him and just talk about the songs. Just listen to it and talk about it, and that’s what we did. It was fun… I liked what I heard, but it was a little difficult — after just coming from the Kanye sessions — to listen to Jay’s album, because they’re so different. I was in a very alternative and progressive headspace, and Jay’s record is a more traditional hip-hop record.
That’s almost kind of a dis? Regardless, Magna Carta Holy Grail goes out for free to Samsung Galaxy users 7/4, and Jay has already made so much money for it.