Quick Hits: Jay-Z, Pitbull, Katy Perry, Pharrell Williams & will.i.am, Kriss Kross
July 2, 2013

Jay-Z has revealed the minimalistic cover art for Magna Carta Holy Grail (seen at right). As reported yesterday, the album's unconventional rollout via a Samsung smartphone app has forced the RIAA to review its policy of rewarding Gold and Platinum albums. The new LP will be available to Samsung users on July 4 and then to the rest of the world three days later. In a recent interview with Vibe, producer Swizz Beatz, who worked closely with Hov on the album, assured fans that Magna Carta Holy Grail will live up to Jay-Z's classics. "When you hear somebody's album, you always want to go back to the classics," Swizz told Vibe. "It's always going to be that, [but] for the first time in a long time I think somebody solved that problem and I think he did that with this album for sure."

Pitbull will guest host the syndicated American Top 40 this weekend, July 6 and 7. In addition to counting down the Top 40 songs, the Miami native will answer questions directly from fans and talk about his seventh studio album, Global Warming, as well as his current tour and his appearance in the animated movie, Epic.

Katy Perry is working on new material with pop singer/songwriter Bonnie McKee, who also helped Perry write "California Gurls" and a slew of other hits. "We were just in Santa Barbara and we wrote three or four songs, I guess. So I have four songs with her coming out," McKee told MTV News. "I think it's a little bit more grown up and it's really interesting. I'm really excited for the world to hear it because she's taking a new approach. I don't want to say too much about it, but it's definitely different. It's definitely a little more mature than the 'California Gurls' of yesterday."

In the ongoing copyright battle between Pharrell Williams and will.i.am, Pharrell has now filed papers in a New York City federal court asking a judge to declare that his "i am OTHER" trademark is not infringing on the "I AM" trademark owned by will.i.am. Previously, Will had taken legal action against Pharrell, saying that his new mark is "confusingly similar" to will.i.am's. Pharrell's lawyer, Brad Rose, then issued a statement saying, "The plain truth is that Will has obstructed every overture made by Pharrell to amicably resolve this matter and has steadfastly refused to engage in a dialogue."

It has been officially revealed that the death of Kris Kross rapper Chris Kelly was caused by a drug overdose. The 34-year-old was found unresponsive in his Atlanta home on May 1, passing away at a hospital shortly after. A toxicology report from the Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office found Kelly to have a fatal combination of drugs in his system, according to MTV News, although the specific drugs were not revealed.

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Manny Simon
VP/Adult Formats,
Republic Records

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