Thanks to a sponsorship with Samsung, Jay-Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail has already sold a million albums before it even hitting stores. Clearly Jay-Z ‘the business man’ is on top form here but what about Jay-Z ‘the rapper’?
Musically Magna Carta sounds great, the album leans heavily on Timbaland productions, with occasional input from the likes of Pharrell, Swizz Beats, The-Dream, and Hit-Boy. Most rappers don’t have the luxury to call upon any of these super producers for one track, let alone a whole album.
The production on these tracks is what makes MCHG shine. ”Somewhere in America” is my stand out track, I instantly hit replay after the first listen. ‘Cause somewhere in America… Miley Cyrus is still twerkin’, HA! … Twerk, Miley, Miley, twerk… Only in America!.”
The biggest surprise on here is ”Crown” Jay introduces a new producer on MCHG… A 16-year-old teenage girl from Canada, named Wondagurl. Who does that?!! “Crown” wins on that alone.
At this point you should know what to except from a Jay-Z album and this is simply that… a Jay-Z album. No more, no less. Not to say this is a negative. MCHG is good, sometimes great even.
But at times Jay sounds like a rapper that has nothing interesting to about rap about. Some might say its just an old guy bragging, on the surface, yes, but if you dig a little deeper you’ll find him questioning his faith in God, his love/hate relationship with celebrity, admitting his terror at the prospect of becoming a bad dad. He mixes his trade mark fun, witty boasts with some introspection and deep thoughts.
Magna Carta… is a good album by a great artist, who is playing it safe and sticking to the formula that got him to where he is and I can’t fault him for that. I’ll probably have MCHG on heavy rotation for the rest of the summer. 7.5/10.
Favorite Tracks: Holy Grail, Oceans, Tom Ford, Somewhere in America, Heaven, Jay-Z Blue.
Least Favorite: F*ckwithmeyouknowigotit, La Familia, Beach is better (why is it so short!), Versus.