Review: Jay Z – Magna Carta Holy Grail

Posted: July 29, 2013 by arkayem1 in Review
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Jay Z's Magna Carta Holy Grail was released July 9th 2013 via Roc Nation/Roc-A-Fella/Universal Genre: Hip Hop

Jay Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail was released July 9th 2013 via Roc Nation/Roc-A-Fella/Universal
Genre: Hip Hop

Jay Z once proclaimed, …so in summation I don’t know who you racing I’m already at the finish line with the flag waving. Well with the release of Magna Carta Holy Grail, his arms have apparently become tired. Long gone are the tales of life on the gritty streets of Brooklyn and stories of a young man’s struggle to keep his head above water. In their stead are stories of a more mature, accomplished rapper turned business(, as well as his not so subtle lamentations amidst the daily grind of being successful. While these themes may not be totally unfamiliar, this album has a tone about it that makes it almost unbearable to sit through in one uninterrupted listen. From the oddly placed sample/quote of Nirvana’s chorus to ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit‘ in the album’s “title” track ‘Holy Grail‘ to his reference to the ever popular “Jay is Illuminati” conspiracy theories in “Heaven“, Jay wants to make it perfectly clear how success has its price..

Aside from all of that nasty stuff, the album may have some saving graces. From the superb production from the likes of Timbaland, and Swizz Beatz, to the star-studded guest appearances (including one from wifey), there is enough here to satiate the appetite of his loyal fans and even win over a couple new ones…ok maybe not. There are a few standouts on the album but they’re few and far in between. “Jay Blue” comes across as an incredible forthcoming ode to his baby daughter, as well as a thoughtful reflection on fatherhood. Sadly the electronics giant Samsung might have given away more albums than Jay Z would have sold on the basis of the album’s musical content…take a moment to imagine if such a world exists.

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