Third Man Records to Head Up Jay-Z's Magna Carta ... Holy Grail Vinyl Release

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What do Jack White’s Third Man Records and Samsung (the cell phone folks) have in common? The answer: Jay-Z. Or more to the point, Hova’s latest full-length colonial chalice of tracks Magna Carta … Holy Grail, which the “99 Problems” rapper released last week digitally through a lucrative, exclusive deal with the South Korean electronics conglomerate, who furnished a million Samsung subscribers with a free download of the album via an app ... or something. By sharp contrast, Third Man will handle the vinyl release of MCHG.

In an announcement on the ever crafty and mysterious local label’s site, TMR announced it has “something very special for the vinyl edition, which will be made available in the coming weeks,” without offering a specific release date or any other deets — other than the fact that the label will also release the MCHG outtake “Open Letter” as a vinyl-only exclusive. No word yet on whether or not the first million people to show up at TMR's Nashville HQ will get tri-colors.

In related news Jay-Z news, the rapper’s Samsung deal has apparently become his 100th problem, as millions of fans crashed the app at midnight when it dropped July 4, leaving them unable to do the download thing. “That’s not cool,” Jay told New York’s Power 105 The Breakfast Club radio show this morning.

And in related Third Man news, the label also recently announced its 17th subscription-series Vault Package installment will include a triple-LP live album capturing Shotgun Willie’s recent birthday bash/CMT Crossroads taping in TMR’s yellow room. And speaking of colors, the album — creatively titled Willie Nelson & Friends Live at Third Man Records — will be pressed on “smokey grey” and “bio-diesel green” vinyl, begging an obvious question to boggle the mind: What else is smokey, green and makes you think of Willie Nelson?

If the thing that’s the answer to that, uh, burning question hasn’t totally depleted your long-term memory, you might recall that, in 2010, Jay-Z reportedly peeped Third Man’s Nashville HQ and pow-wowed with White when he was in town to headline Bonnaroo. Glad to see that was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Maybe Jigga will be in town with better half Beyonce this weekend. That would be tight.

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