Remember those #NewRules from Jay Z’s alliance with Samsung to release Magna Carta Holy Grail via an exclusive Galaxy 4 app? They may have been the biggest strategic partnership to date. It is all but guaranteed, however, to become ancient marketing history when Eminem’s Marshall Mathers LP 2 is released Nov. 5, with Beats by Dre integral to the marketing campaign from the get-go.
The commercial announcing MMLP2 – the Detroit rapper’s eighth album, seventh on Aftermath/Interscope – aired during Sunday night’s MTV Video Music Awards broadcast. Rick Rubin and Dr. Dre are credited as executive producers, but little else is known about the LP, as the notoriously reclusive Eminem has been tight-lipped in interviews. A snippet of the lead single “Berzerk” is on Slim Shady’s official website Eminem.com, and the full version is promised for release Tuesday.
There are two very brief MMLP2 trailers on Em’s website. In one, a chord is inserted into a set of new Beats by Dre headphones. Of course, this is much more than product placement as the trailer serves as much as an ad for the album as it does as a commercial for #NewBeats. It’s not like we needed a reminder that Eminem is still signed to Shady/Aftermath/Interscope and peddling his boss’s ubiquitous headphones is compulsory – but apparently, we did.
Rick Rubin’s involvement with MMLP2 is certainly major news and bodes well for both hype and substance. After producing classics for the Beastie Boys and Scarface, the venerable producer and Def Jam Recordings co-founder had largely disappeared from hip-hop since contributing the rock-inspired “99 Problems” for Jay Z. But after showing up in the studio with Jay Z, Pharrell and Timbaland in the epic Magna Carta Samsung ads and receiving exec producer credits Kanye West’s Yeezus, Rubin’s participation in Eminem’s new project suggests that he’s in the midst of a full-out comeback to hip-hop, the same genre he helped popularize.
And then there’s Eminem himself. He is a game changer, the most commercially successful rapper of all time. Put him together with Rubin and Dr. Dre, and it’s enough to etch November 5th in the minds of Slim Shady fans across the globe.
In case you need a refresher, Marshall Mathers LP, Em’s sophomore album released in 2000, was certified diamond by RIAA for shipping 10 million units worldwide. With that kind of economic footprint in addition to those pesky Beats by Dre headphones, it’s time rewrite those #newrules again. MMLP2 should be nothing short of an event.
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