HYPEWORTHY: Jay-Z “Magna Carta Holy Grail” Review
Written by S.Renée
As if I needed another reason to spend countless insomniac hours trolling the interwebs for downloadable versions of the summer’s latest releases, one of my all-time faves offered up one of the most highly anticipated albums in years…and I was all ears. Roc Nation Founder and Hip Hop frontman Jay-Z released Magna Carta Holy Grail July 4th, in an almost unprecedented partnership with mobile company Samsung. The plan included releasing free versions of the album to the first 1 million Samsung Galaxy users to download the associated phone application. As the clock struck midnight this Independence Day, myself, along with other music lovers, writers and/or skeptics all over the blogosphere, celebrated its release by streaming the tracks live from several online broadcasts, and feverishly searching for those mp3s to download and add to our multiple iDevices. After an hour of thanking God that I had a Mac and was less likely to get a virus from one, or all, of the several solicited MCHG download links floating around the web that I decided to try, I finally came across one version that saved and played with success, and I’ve been listening ever since. Not only does Jay display effortlessly why he’s a billionaire dollar entity, but his intelligence, worthiness and talent seep through like smoke, proving why he is the head and not the tail, how he got there, and why he deserves every second of his swanked out life.
My immediate thought: the beats knock, which, anyone who watched the now infamous 3 minute long promo commercial initially aired during the NBA Finals, is not surprised by. With heavy hitters Timbaland, Rick Rubin, Pharrell and Swizz Beatz making appearances alongside Jay, we expected nothing less than excellence in the production department…and that’s exactly what was delivered. The real hook, line and sinker though, is the incredible lyrical content delivered by the Hip Hop veteran. From gritty
NY bravado relaying his “rags to riches” journey, to snippets of a softer, more personal injection, to amusing tongue-and-cheek delivery (“twerk Miley, Miley, twerk…”) and everything in between, MCHG, takes summer car ride stunt-ability up a few notches, while keeping our mental compass gridlocked on the bigger picture: that success is possible, no matter where you started, or your current circumstance. If a guy that used to be the neighborhood dope boy can eventually have his album cover appear next to one of the most important documents in Western history (the MCHG cover was revealed next to one of only four remaining original Magna Carta documents), then you, sir or madam, can also achieve greatness.
Overall, and simply based on the fact that I can play it straight through from beginning to end, the album is worth every advertising & marketing effort put into its release, all the hype surrounding Mr. Carter and the album itself, and all the bum links I clicked on searching for the moment when my insatiable desire for good music could finally be satisfied. As far as favorite, this entire album gets a green light from me. I can’t bare to take myself through the suffering trying to name which tracks fare better than others, as they all have an element of attraction for me. Whether I can’t stop my head from moving to the beat, or I’m entranced by the lyrical gameplay of the experienced lyricist, or I’m impressed by the sense of maturity behind the message, MCHG delivers, in every way possible. I’ve read some that say the project is good, but not of Jay’s “classic” status. I beg to differ, as I’d easily compare this to the “Reasonable Doubt”s and “Blueprint 2″‘s, even the “American Gangster”s of Hov’s discography. The advantageous combination of several professional elements create a whole that is successfully conceptualized, executed & delivered. I, obviously, couldn’t ask for more.
Magna Carta Holy Grail releases today in stores worldwide.