Jay Z: Magna Carta Holy Grail
Great chorus by Justin Timberlake. Deep lyrical meanings to ponder upon.
Controversial lyrics; humiliating other celebrities. The usual content about being famous and ultra rich.
Justin Timberlake features in Jay Z’s album Manga Carta Holy Grail
Jay Z is a well-known American rapper, music producer and entrepreneur. He is one of the most successful and richest artists; having sold more than 50 million albums worldwide and winning 17 Grammy awards. The much anticipated Magna Carta Holy Grail is his 12th studio album and was debuted as number one on Billboard 200 during its first week after release. Jay Z teamed up with Samsung to make the album available online for Samsung users by downloading a specialised app. It was heavily marketed by Samsung, selling millions of copies even before its official retail release. Many called it a “media stunt”.
Featuring vocals from Justin Timberlake, Holy Grail is about their love and hate affair with fame and popularity. The song topped the charts instantly but received mixed reviews. It opens with a wonderful choir-esque chorus by J.T with a smooth piano tune playing in the background. The cynical lyrics talk about his addiction and love for fame despite the fact that it knocks him down and brings him misery and humiliation. The lyrics include a reference made from the Psalms mentioning the Holy Grail however the meaning is not clearly understood.
Jay Z starts his verses by boasting about his well acquired fame, mentioning big names like MC Hammer and Tyson who faced notoriety and unlike himself, couldn’t handle being celebrated. The most-talked-about element of this song is the incorporation of Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ and while some take it as a tribute to Kurt Cobain, others think that rather using his own creativity Jay Z resorted to using them in order to make the single more attention-grabbing.
The song has an upbeat tune and Jay Z’s usual double entendre lyrics are no surprise. But singing about the same paparazzi and addicted-to-riches issue he falls a bit short on expectations. Considered and as he calls himself “the king of rap” people expect more from him rather than just featuring popular artists, enforcing his elite status and incorporating legendary lyrics/names.