Jay-Z’s New Greatest Hits Site Proves Why He is King of All Media

by Chikodi Chima Posted Nov 12th 2010 11:15AM

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With the launch of the new website for his greatest hits anthology, Jay-Z has created an authentic experience for longtime fans as well as new listeners, and proved that he really understands the way people are using the Internet.
Through his albums Hov has already left an indelible mark on a generation of hip hop fans who have grown up watching the man cut a swathe through the recording industry, only to retire return to the game, and own it again.

In anticipation of the release of his anthology ‘The Hits Collection,’

slated for Nov. 22 Jigga Man aka S. Carter aka Young Hov aka… you get the picture, has launched a splashy new website that has utterly failed if it doesn’t leave you with your jaw on the floor.
Built in Flash and decked with with gorgeous black and white images from the various chapters of Jay-Z’s career, ‘The Beginning,’ ‘Marcy to Madison Square, ‘Corporate Takeover‘ and ‘I Run The Map,’ it’s what is under the hood that proves why Jigga is the king of every medium he touches.
‘Tweets is Watching’ is a tool baked into the site that funnels Twitter activity with from users right into the galleries, and displays them at the bottom of the page in real time. Appearing on an EQ user comments blend seamlessly with the layout, contributing to the conversation without interrupting the experience. It’s as if fans have a mic.

“Jay-Z is the greatest rapper of all time and people are already sharing his lyrics, said Alex Morrison, vice president of consumer brands at Agency Net, a digital firm with offices in New York, Fort Lauderdale, that built the new page for Jay Z.

“We wanted to give people a canvas to share those lyrics and be recognized at the same time,” Morrison said.

Because Jay Z lyrics are already so ubiquitous on social sites like Twitter, and with Agency Net capitalized on the trend to deliver a product that feels intuitive, but promotes the album at the same time.

“We wanted it to be like a living museum,” said Richie Cruz, an Agency Net digital strategist worked on the project. Cruz also said that the maintaining cultural authenticity was one of his top priorities.

Cruz went to Jay Z’s Manhattan office to shoot one of the scenes and to the Marcy projects to get night shots of the Manhattan skyline. “I put my life on the line shooting in Marcy,” said Cruz, who fretted about traveling with such expensive cameras in the dead of night. But Cruz added that he sees the risk as the kind of dedication you should expect from your creative team in order to get the job done right.

“The ultimate success is how the album does, so we’re keeping an eye on that, said Morrison. “We’re really pleased with how the site has been received so far.”

Don’t sleep on the Agency Net website either. One look at it and you’ll know why they got the gig.