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Jay-Z - Magna Carta...Holy Grail (Review)

buttuh_bbuttuh_b Posts: 13,043 ✭✭✭✭✭
This shit took me over an hour to write while I was listened to it. Check this out if you have time on your hands because it's long. I'm sure plenty of people will disagree with things but that's fine.


Holy Grail → Not a good way to start the album. This song is bullshit. Worst Jay-Z intro ever probably. Jigga is usually good for at least a hot intro. Can’t remember any of them ever being wack. He’s off beat. First thing you hear on the album is Justin Timberlake struggling to carry notes for over a minute. You can damn near hear Frank Ocean’s reference track on all of Timberlake’s part. He’s talking about the pitfalls with fame but it just doesn’t resonate. Lyrics are subpar, he borrowed the currently popular Tity Boi flow (not sure if it was inadvertent or a direct influence). Long, awkward pauses between every bar with his signature “Uh” adlib. The beat is nothing special. Best part was the part where the beat switches up on the breakdown and the shit Jay was sayin was kinda catchy until he said “vanilla wafers at the villa”. Good idea, poor execution.

Picasso Baby → Vol. 2/3 esque with a modern ting. I can’t help it, I love it. As tired as I get of Jay’s braggadocio rhymes and obsession with Euro-centric culture and neglect of his own roots, the song is too reminiscent to me. If you’re gonna stunt at a high level, this is the way to do it Jay. Don’t mind hearing 3 or 4 of these per album. I could visualize all the shit he was talking about and he tied all his art fetishes with a hood vibe. Glad he chose it as a single. Epic beat switch. Second part is closest to the Jay-Z I love he comes on the album. Almost reminds me of some Reservoir Dogs or Coming of Age Sequel type shit. They used some nice sounds with the riff sounding shit. Ironically, this was the least hard hitting song on the album. Honestly, he wasn’t really saying anything lyrically and he didn’t get crafty with it but I loved his energy and he had some nice lines in there. Ayo Jigga.. We don’t believe you, you need more people about Fox though. Haaa!

Tom Ford → Hot unique beat. Could be a We Off That sequel but it’s better. Timbaland really seems to be diversifying his sounds. This shit will probably get substantial play in the club. He should produce for more artists. Stale content and lazy chorus for Jay though. Don’t really expect anyone to try to kill this record so I won’t hold lyrics against him. But it’s kinda like doggy, you’re almost 50 years old, why do you need to tell us you don’t pop mollies?? And how does this correlate with Tom Ford? Most people who listen to Jay don’t even know what Tom Ford is, let alone own any items. Tity Boi cadence once again. Also, he was using Kanye’s style of rapping. “Wayne Perry flooooow”. Actually, if you think about this, the song is better suited for Kanye and he woulda probably done a lot more with this record. I wasn’t feeling the H-Town bridge. He needs to leave Texas shit alone, last time he pretty much ruined the Get Throwed remix. Could have done more with it. Jay is better than this. But I’m sure I’ll enjoy it in the club or whatever.

Fuckwithmeyouknowigotit → Very underwhelming lyrically. Stellar production that could easily be on the MMG Self Made series. It actually sounds like a Ross song featuring Jay if we’re being honest. But back to the beat, shit is tough as fuck especially if you playing it in the car. Bass is thumpin. Jay with another Tity Boi flow. But I can’t front, I kinda fuck with the second part of his verse. Ross coulda went harder than he did as well. Hook is catchy as hell, I can see this being a single also.

Oceans → To be honest, the first time I heard this it didn’t capture me sonically. Still I don’t think it’s that good production wise even coming from Pharrell. I was expecting a lot after seeing how everyone said it was so smooth. However, the beat actually fits the theme of the song well. Frank Ocean’s hook is amazing lyrically. Can’t front, I rapgenius’d that jawn to make sure I caught everything. This actually sounds like it could have been from his Nostalgia, Ultra tape which apparently was recorded around the same time of this track. But anyway, I give Jay props for trying to talk about something on this and using his own flow (albeit it seemed to be a bit of a struggle). Does he finally realize what we’ve been saying forever that no matter how much shuffling and pandering you do, they always gon look at you the same? Lots of imagery in his verses. My only gripe is not delving any deeper than materialistic surface shit when connecting to slave plight. He slowly but surely diverted back to pretty much just stuntin’. I know his intentions were well but this type of record might just not be his thing. Leaves me curious to what Ocean would have done with the record himself.

FUTW → Well this is a more “hip hop” sounding record. I don’t know if the drums really match the sound as Jay’s voice kinda gets drowned out. Anyway, Jay ain’t really saying nothing we ain’t heard before. More stuntin’ and using overcoming his upbringing to big himself up. He had a shining moment in the middle of the second verse only to drop cringe worthy redundant bars in his 3rd verse.

Somewhere In America → I like the beat. Never heard Jay rap on anything like this before. Horns sound nice. Goddamn his flow was wack as fuck on this though. Which makes me realize that I’ve yet to hear the finesse flow Jay used to style with on this album. I understand the purpose of what he’s saying and like it. This like some terri cloth type version of Ice Cube. He’s talking about infiltrating white culture and they can’t do nothing about it right?? Either way, poor execution. He could have been much more effective and said something significant. Again, it comes off as pretentious.

Crown → GODDAMN this shit knocks!! I mean for real for real. Unfortunately, Jay didn’t do anything memorable on the record. This must be the Chief Keef flow yall were talking about. Kinda embarrassing. I mean I guess the title of the song is self-explanatory. You knew what Jay was gonna do with this. Don’t care for it. I would prefer to hear Kanye on this.

Heaven → Good production. Nas would body this. Didn’t come fully hard. The religious theme is not as good as Lucifer or D’Evils as someone else mentioned. Second verse used A$AP Rocky cadence and I’m dead ass. It’s a couple bars sprinkled through out that I fucked with. Breakdown is fly. The religion angle comes off as insincere in my opinion. It’s just a marketing ploy. It’s like doggy, you’re agnostic. Enough is enough. You could just say “I’m sooo good that yall think I’m in Illuminati” or whatever dumb point he’s trying to get across.

Versus → It served its purpose. Not sure why people are so hyped about this. It’s nothing special.

Part II (On The Run) → Favorite song. Nice sentimental record that expresses the great lengths this “perfect” couple would go to for one another in the name of love. One of their better collaborations. Bey stole the show. Could be a great solo track for her. Flow isn’t prime Jay but I like what he’s saying. He probably would have bodied this 10 years ago. Still a high point of the album.


BUTTUH B - 2013 REASON DEBATES VI CHAMPION

Lakers, Eagles, Mets, Capitals, Buckeyes (CFB), Bruins, (CBB), War Rigondeaux, War Crawford!
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CJDisciplined InSightesco sopranokingblaze84Rap_RatingMD_PROPER jee504
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Replies

  • goldenjagoldenja Posts: 6,301 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2013
    coo ass review man

    soo. out of 5, what would you give it overall and replay value?

    I'm only asking cuz I haven't even listened to it yet
    goldentouchphotography.com
  • buttuh_bbuttuh_b Posts: 13,043 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I don't think it would be fair for me to rate it yet. It's too fresh. But I mean I haven't taken it out my car in over a week.

    But I recommend you at least check it out. I didn't go into detail about the topics and content of the middle of the album but I can say it was filled with a fair amount of substance especially for Jay standards.
    BUTTUH B - 2013 REASON DEBATES VI CHAMPION

    Lakers, Eagles, Mets, Capitals, Buckeyes (CFB), Bruins, (CBB), War Rigondeaux, War Crawford!
    #VegasLight #SwagShow #PopeyesHive
  • rip.dillarip.dilla ... push up the fader... bust the meter... shake the tweeter Posts: 17,255 ✭✭✭✭✭
    buttuh_b wrote: »
    The album was sequenced well but it’s clear that Jay has fallen off and he’ll never return the way true fans know and love him. His flow has literally deteriorated and he doesn’t even try to construct a bar structured chorus on one song on this album. Lyrically, his redundancy is exposing that he was never as nice as people like to believe. There was not one point he spazzed out on this entire album. The most he could string together was maybe 6 epic bars consecutively. No face scrunching bars, no amazing silencers. Shining moments were few and far between. The album isn’t wack but it’s a far cry from the rapper who is widely hailed as the GOAT. When you’re held to a higher standard you will be criticized the same. It’s crazy, for the first time in my life I have to say my favorite part about Jay’s album is that it makes my trunk slap. Simply, Jay isn’t doing anything at this point that many of his peers can’t do. He is no longer above the competition and hasn’t been for a while.

    I applaud Jay for attempting to be more animated and creative in certain aspects. I’m not even mad at him for this album. On first listen, it sounded like the same superficial rubbish we have grown accustomed to but has reached unmatched annoying levels over recent years. Yes, “sometimes I brag like Hov” was exemplified by this body of work. But I have come to the realization and grown at peace with the fact that he’s not an innate deep or brilliant musician. He will never be socially conscious (which is nonchalantly looked at as lame in hip hop) artist. But I gotta give him credit for making an effort to touch on issues that were conflicting and true to him. It’s not his fault that his lack of creativity prevents him from going in depth on anything other than his wealth. No matter how you cut it, he’s a very talented rapper with an ear for production, a grasp on what’s currently hot always, a great team and ability to appeal across generations. So while it’s easy to dislike him based on his many character flaws and his mindless fans who overhype anything he does, it’s best to just take it for what it’s worth…..Alright.

    ETHER


    Brilliant review all the same . ..
    ... always immediately go for my boobs ... She feelin me up like "are those your nipples?" I'm like "don't touch there. my money is there." So she's running my hips and thighs ...
    Solitary Soldieresco sopranoilledout
  • Soprano27Soprano27 Posts: 16
    I have no idea how people can say this album is lyrically weak. The second verse of Holy Grail is GREAT...the way he talks about his relationship with fame in a mature and candid manner is a nice breath of fresh air from all the celebrities who moan about how Hollywood has ruined their lives. Instead of ranting about all the pitfalls of fame, he actually embraces it and acknowledges that it's a HELL of a lot better than his past life. Celebrities often sound whiny when they bitch about their fame (see Eminem on The Way I Am)...this was a much better approach.

    I can also tell you misread the intentions of Picasso Baby. If you honestly believe it was just a mere laundry list of all the paintings he owns, you're misreading the music. The song is about limitless ambition and never being content with what you have. It's about always wanting more...the last line of the second verse is also quite telling. Even though he's interested in all this art, he's a family man first. How can you say he's not saying anything in the last verse?

    Tom Ford is a party track, it doesn't need profound lyricism...and it seems you acknowledged that. Although Jay's 140 characters line >>> *

    I have no idea how you can say Jay did nothing memorable on Crown. That second verse is classic Jay.

    "bulletproof love, niggas down since the yolk"..."wasn't for the caine, wouldn't be able"..."you already know what I can do with the coke. made it disappear, made it reappear, I had that bitch on the ropes!"

    I'm not gonna go through everything, but Jay was lyrically good to great on this album. I won't say he brought his A game, cause he didn't...but it sure as fuck wasn't 'weak' either. Jay DID bring his A game on Watch The Throne though, so I can understand if people are a bit disappointed.

    PiffyHaze
  • buttuh_bbuttuh_b Posts: 13,043 ✭✭✭✭✭
    You're entitled to your opinion. Yea, on Holy Grail I know he was talking about the pros and cons of fame. I just didn't like the way he was rapping and I wasn't impressed lyrically. Plus the beat and hook were weak to me.

    As for Picasso Baby, all you're telling me is he's aspiring to acquire more material shit. Where did he talk about family in the song? For the second half when I say he wasn't saying anything I meant lyrically it wasn't potent.

    I'm sure I'll rock with Tom Ford when I'm out but he seems to be trying to hard to fit in with 20 somethings.

    Crown still ain't memorable. That Caine Abel line sounded like some Pusha T shit. More 88 talk. Ja and 50 bodied that sample more.


    Jay was lyrically good to great for Jay standards?? Either the lyrics or flow was the most underwhelming part of the album for me.
    BUTTUH B - 2013 REASON DEBATES VI CHAMPION

    Lakers, Eagles, Mets, Capitals, Buckeyes (CFB), Bruins, (CBB), War Rigondeaux, War Crawford!
    #VegasLight #SwagShow #PopeyesHive
    illedout
  • Soprano27Soprano27 Posts: 16
    buttuh_b wrote: »
    You're entitled to your opinion. Yea, on Holy Grail I know he was talking about the pros and cons of fame. I just didn't like the way he was rapping and I wasn't impressed lyrically. Plus the beat and hook were weak to me.

    As for Picasso Baby, all you're telling me is he's aspiring to acquire more material shit. Where did he talk about family in the song? For the second half when I say he wasn't saying anything I meant lyrically it wasn't potent.

    I'm sure I'll rock with Tom Ford when I'm out but he seems to be trying to hard to fit in with 20 somethings.

    Crown still ain't memorable. That Caine Abel line sounded like some Pusha T shit. More 88 talk. Ja and 50 bodied that sample more.


    Jay was lyrically good to great for Jay standards?? Either the lyrics or flow was the most underwhelming part of the album for me.

  • Soprano27Soprano27 Posts: 16
    Soprano27 wrote: »
    buttuh_b wrote: »
    You're entitled to your opinion. Yea, on Holy Grail I know he was talking about the pros and cons of fame. I just didn't like the way he was rapping and I wasn't impressed lyrically. Plus the beat and hook were weak to me.

    As for Picasso Baby, all you're telling me is he's aspiring to acquire more material shit. Where did he talk about family in the song? For the second half when I say he wasn't saying anything I meant lyrically it wasn't potent.

    I'm sure I'll rock with Tom Ford when I'm out but he seems to be trying to hard to fit in with 20 somethings.

    Crown still ain't memorable. That Caine Abel line sounded like some Pusha T shit. More 88 talk. Ja and 50 bodied that sample more.


    Jay was lyrically good to great for Jay standards?? Either the lyrics or flow was the most underwhelming part of the album for me.

    ugh, my response got deleted. I'll write it back later, gotta go.
  • Soprano27Soprano27 Posts: 16
    edited July 2013
    buttuh_b wrote: »
    You're entitled to your opinion. Yea, on Holy Grail I know he was talking about the pros and cons of fame. I just didn't like the way he was rapping and I wasn't impressed lyrically. Plus the beat and hook were weak to me.

    As for Picasso Baby, all you're telling me is he's aspiring to acquire more material shit. Where did he talk about family in the song? For the second half when I say he wasn't saying anything I meant lyrically it wasn't potent.

    I'm sure I'll rock with Tom Ford when I'm out but he seems to be trying to hard to fit in with 20 somethings.

    Crown still ain't memorable. That Caine Abel line sounded like some Pusha T shit. More 88 talk. Ja and 50 bodied that sample more.


    Jay was lyrically good to great for Jay standards?? Either the lyrics or flow was the most underwhelming part of the album for me.

    No, Picasso Baby conveys the IDEA that he always wants more and his aspirations are limitless. To claim he's only saying 'I want more paintings' is a grossly literal interpretation of the song. When he tells his baby to lean on all the possessions he was just boasting about, he's really saying those possessions are not THAT important to him, and that he's a family man above everything else.

    Have no idea how anyone can say Jay didn't kill the second verse of Crown. The yoke/yolk line, the abel/cain line, having coke 'on the ropes' line...it's classic Jay. I don't even need to listen to the 50 Cent version to know Jay killed it better. Jay on his worst day > 50 Cent at his best.

    What about Nickels and Dimes where he says he feels survivor's guilt? How about when he questions his motivation for giving out charity? What about Oceans where he's basically saying his past accompanies him wherever he goes? The picking cotton line is brilliant. What about Jay-Z Blue where he admits to being afraid of raising a child? What about Heaven where he talks about his theological beliefs (or disbeliefs)? Jay has ALWAYS been the guy to blend bravado with introspection...this album is no different.

    Yes, I think it's good/great lyrically. Blueprint 3 was weak for Jay standards...but not this.
  • mike06mike06 Posts: 2,612 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yeah where is the "Chief Keef flow" on Crown?...sounds like he rode the beat in normal Jay double time form.
    almighty breeze
  • DOC H0LL!DAYDOC H0LL!DAY Posts: 1,539 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I'm getting mixed views on this album. Makes me reluctant to buy it.
    2aqm9y.gif
  • willhustlewillhustle Posts: 6,503 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I actually bought this album first Jay album I bought since Kingdom Come (and I sold that shit back) for some money. I was surprised he put together a decent album if he would have gotten rid of Heaven, Crown, La Familia, & Tom Ford or found other tracks that fit the flow of the album he would of had creep up on a classic again.
    esco sopranoalmighty breeze
  • Dave2one6Dave2one6 Posts: 1,669 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I ripped this album from youtube. I dont know none of the titles and only listen to it when i be workin out. i did the same with kanye's album. Personally, i like the bitch boy from the chi's album better. he's an asshole in real life, but his music, he always comes correct. Jay's album was nice because it was better than the blueprint 2 and vol 3. if he can top those two albums, its always gonna be a solid jigga album.

    and thats how u do a review. motherfuckers. lol.
    esco sopranoilledoutalmighty breezeinfamous114
  • DarthRozayDarthRozay Posts: 20,067 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Dave2one6 wrote: »
    I ripped this album from youtube. I dont know none of the titles and only listen to it when i be workin out. i did the same with kanye's album. Personally, i like the bitch boy from the chi's album better. he's an asshole in real life, but his music, he always comes correct. Jay's album was nice because it was better than the blueprint 2 and vol 3. if he can top those two albums, its always gonna be a solid jigga album.

    and thats how u do a review. motherfuckers. lol.

    Don't quit your day job
    willhustleesco sopranoilledoutchoppa_style
  • TrockmTrockm Posts: 1,117 ✭✭✭✭
    Don't really fuck with Jay anymore but, I have to say I like this album better than his last
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  • CracceRCracceR ૐ☯★♑☮⌘ Posts: 4,346 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Trockm wrote: »
    Don't really fuck with Jay anymore but, I have to say I like this album better than his last

    ayee this album is a certified classic compared to his last solo effort

    Miss RubyTheBoyRo
  • TrockmTrockm Posts: 1,117 ✭✭✭✭
    CracceR wrote: »
    Trockm wrote: »
    Don't really fuck with Jay anymore but, I have to say I like this album better than his last

    ayee this album is a certified classic compared to his last solo effort

    I'll have to keep listening, I can't just call something a classic just like that
    1366ee6f2d56.gif
    esco soprano
  • CracceRCracceR ૐ☯★♑☮⌘ Posts: 4,346 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Trockm wrote: »
    CracceR wrote: »
    Trockm wrote: »
    Don't really fuck with Jay anymore but, I have to say I like this album better than his last

    ayee this album is a certified classic compared to his last solo effort

    I'll have to keep listening, I can't just call something a classic just like that

    i said classic compared to his last solo effort, becos bp3 was wacc as fucc

    esco sopranoilledout
  • Miss RubyMiss Ruby Posts: 0
    I did a full album review on my YouTube channel but I would go back if I could and add to it because MAN, every listen this album gets better!

    illedoutDave2one6
  • Miss RubyMiss Ruby Posts: 0
    I did a full album review on my YouTube channel but I would go back if I could and add to it because MAN, every listen this album gets better!

    TheBoyRoDave2one6
  • esco sopranoesco soprano Jersey bredPosts: 2,818 ✭✭✭✭✭
    LOL you could not wait to write this review. TL, DR this bullshit.
    2013-11-1013_54_10.gif

    Suggs100.jpg
  • buttuh_bbuttuh_b Posts: 13,043 ✭✭✭✭✭
    You upset b?

    FuckwithmeyouknowIgotit has grown on me a lot. BBC, Pt. 2, Beach is Better, Oceans, Picasso Baby are all songs I can fuck with. So I mean 6 songs ain't bad for a regular artist but we're talking about Jay. The expectations are higher for him. Don't think you can argue that any of his other albums are worse than this one lyrically. I think BP3 had higher high points and lower low points, especially skill wise. We'll see how this album stands among the rest of his catalog in due time. People's opinions change a lot over time. Some people cape hard for some shit initially like @usmarin3 did with BP3 only to admit later that it wasn't really good after the smoke clears.
    BUTTUH B - 2013 REASON DEBATES VI CHAMPION

    Lakers, Eagles, Mets, Capitals, Buckeyes (CFB), Bruins, (CBB), War Rigondeaux, War Crawford!
    #VegasLight #SwagShow #PopeyesHive
    illedout
  • terry1982terry1982 Posts: 17
    This album is garbage. Jay-z need to step his content or lyrism up
    That album was str8 garbage.
  • terry1982terry1982 Posts: 17
    Now a days its the underground artist that has the talent. Its what I like to call hungry.
  • kingblaze84kingblaze84 Bronx, NY birthplace of hip-hopPosts: 14,153 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2013
    Album was pretty good overall, but I honestly felt something was missing. The stand out songs for me are Somewhereinamerica, Crown (second best song on the album), BBC (best song on the album), La Familia, On the Run Part 2 and Beach is Better.

    The intro with Justin Timberlake is the worst intro Jay has ever made, agreed........I don't ever wana hear another Justin Timberlake song again after hearing that track. The song with Rick Ross is wack as hell too....overall, the album gets a B+ from me. Definitely worth buying. Jay was a little lazy on this though, too many songs have him dropping only two verses
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