If you're a Twitter user, you might have noticed that "Jay-Z" and "The Black Album" are both trending today. It was 15 years ago that the artist released The Black Album, claiming at the time, that it would be the final album of his career. The "final" album was quite a huge event, with many different companies partnering with the artist to celebrate the release.
At the time, Nokia was one of the largest phone manufacturers and created a special version of its Nokia 3300 Music device to celebrate the album. The "Black Phone" not only had a unique design that catered to those that were heavy into text messaging but also had dedicated music controls. It also came preloaded with Jay-Z's The Black Album on a supplied memory card and had exclusive ringtones and wallpapers. Taking things a step further, those that purchased the phone would get weekly text messages from Jay-Z and also one monthly voice mail.
Nada Usina, who was the general manager of Nokia’s Entertainment and Media division, stated:
“The Black Phone represents Nokia’s commitment to music and developing devices that match the lifestyles of consumers, this relationship pairs the leader in mobility with a leading artist to deliver music and the full fan experience in a unique new way. Jay-Z has always been a trendsetter and he is continuing that by being the first artist to distribute his music and connect with fans in a mobile environment. This is a move to watch.”
A decade later, Jay-Z would once again link up with a mobile phone manufacturer but would deliver a different kind of experience. Today, Nokia no longer produces phones, instead, it has sold the rights to HMD Global, which has continued to carry the torch, releasing a variety of new phones every year.
Did you own the Nokia 3300 or Nokia 3300 Music? If so, what did you love or hate about it? Let us know in the comments.