Jay-Z’s ‘Oceans’ Commercial Sees Rapper Tracing His Life Story For Rick Rubin, Pharrell & More

Jay-Z released another Samsung promo ad on Thursday, and it’s easily the best one yet. While his previous bits saw the rapper offering a smattering of lines that sounded interesting but didn’t really offer much in the way of insight (“The idea is to really finish the album and drop it — giving it to the world at one time and letting them share it”), the “Oceans” commercial reveals Jay-Z’s intricate, multi-layered style of songwriting.
“Oceans” is a song featuring Frank Ocean, who does not appear in the ad (Beyonce appears elsewhere on the album). Instead, Jay-Z explains the concept behind the track to Rick Rubin, Swizz Beatz, Timbaland and Pharrell Williams. Take a look above, but here’s the transcript:

It’s like me, now, no matter where I go in life, and the things that I accomplish — when you walk in that room, your past still comes in with you. You hear people talking like, “Oh, that guy was the dealer from the projects and doo-doo-doom-doom.” Back again to that duality — it’s a celebration of where we are now, on some big yacht, throwing champagne in the water. But the undertow of the thing is like the same water that brought us here, originally. I slaved, so it has this whole duality. And how we all rewrite history — even the stories that we were told about the history of America… I’m like an anti-Santa Maria, talking about these stories – the only Christopher we acknowledge is Wallace (that’s Biggie Smalls). Silk and fleeces lay on my Jesus, oh my God, I hope y’all don’t get seasick. You know, we’re playing the theme with of being sea sick or seeing things and being jealous of it.

Pharrell is especially impressed, and Timbaland’s jaw remains on the ground at the end of the clip. You? “Magna Carter Holy Grail,” which first ships to Samsung phones via an app, will be released on July 4.


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