Magna Carta...Holy Grail

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Andy Kellman
Like few other album openers, "Holy Grail" encapsulates what follows it and reflects a particular point in an artist's career. It's a vigorous if not particularly moving track, principally produced by Timbaland and J-Roc, which expresses bewilderment and conflicting emotions about rising from poverty to opulence. The first of a few early-'90s references is made -- the chorus of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" is quoted -- and Jay-Z is as triumphant and as troubled as ever. He doesn't enter until the 80-second mark, preceded by a theatrical verse and hook from summer 2013 tour partner Justin Timberlake. As with a significant portion of Magna Carta...Holy Grail, it has a...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Andy Kellman
Like few other album openers, "Holy Grail" encapsulates what follows it and reflects a particular point in an artist's career. It's a vigorous if not particularly moving track, principally produced by Timbaland and J-Roc, which expresses bewilderment and conflicting emotions about rising from poverty to opulence. The first of a few early-'90s references is made -- the chorus of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" is quoted -- and Jay-Z is as triumphant and as troubled as ever. He doesn't enter until the 80-second mark, preceded by a theatrical verse and hook from summer 2013 tour partner Justin Timberlake. As with a significant portion of Magna Carta...Holy Grail, it has a dashed-off, created between business engagements quality -- maybe there wasn't enough time to ask Timberlake who translated his version of the Hebrew Bible ("Sippin' from your cup 'til it runneth over"). Likewise, the album's remainder is sporadically energized, played safe with just enough timely pop-culture references and sonic curveballs to demonstrate that Jay-Z still has his finger on the pulse. He has Timbaland and J-Roc -- also co-producers of Timberlake's 20/20 Experience -- involved with most of the tracks, highlighted by a pair that sample Adrian Younge's 2011 psych-soul masterpiece Something About April, as well as some brilliantly bleary and prickly work on "F.U.T.W." Significantly lighter lifting is done by a cast that includes the likes of Pharrell and Swizz Beatz, as well as Kyambo Joshua and Mike Dean, who shine on the scuffed-up Gonjasufi-sampling finale "Nickels and Dimes." For all the lyrical flaunting of material wealth -- revolutionary art, designer fashion, yachting, globe-trotting -- the greatest ostentatious display here is in the enlistment of 2012/2013's hottest producer, Mike Will, for a single minute-length track. Unsurprisingly, it's the wildest, most advanced moment on the album. He still drops some casually brilliant reminders that he remains one of the best, as on "Oceans" ("Only Christopher we acknowledge is Wallace/I don't even like Washingtons in my pocket") and on "Nickels and Dimes" ("Pardon my hubris, Stanley Kubrick/With eyes wide shut, I could cook up two bricks"). [A clean version of the disc was also released.]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/9/2013
  • Label: Roc Nation
  • UPC: 857018004151
  • Catalog Number: 001887902
  • Sales rank: 39,270

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Holy Grail - Justin Timberlake (5:38)
  2. 2 Picasso Baby (4:05)
  3. 3 Tom Ford (3:09)
  4. 4 F*ckWithMeYouKnowIGotIt - Rick Ross (4:03)
  5. 5 Oceans - Frank Ocean (3:57)
  6. 6 F.U.T.W. (4:02)
  7. 7 Somewhere in America (2:28)
  8. 8 Crown (4:34)
  9. 9 Heaven (4:02)
  10. 10 Versus (0:51)
  11. 11 Part II (On the Run) - Beyoncé (5:33)
  12. 12 Beach Is Better (0:55)
  13. 13 BBC (3:12)
  14. 14 Jay Z Blue (3:50)
  15. 15 La Familia (3:33)
  16. 16 Nickels & Dimes (5:03)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Jay-Z Primary Artist
Nas Vocals
Ken Lewis Sampling
Timbaland Vocals
Pharrell Williams Vocals
Beyoncé Vocals
Swizz Beatz Vocals
Justin Timberlake Vocals
Brent Kolatalo Sampling
The-Dream Vocals
Taffy Vocals
Travis Scott Vocals
Danny Flam Trombone
Zofia Borucka Moreno Vocals
Technical Credits
Peter Buck Composer
Kurt Cobain Composer
J. Davis Composer
Mike Dean Composer, Producer, Additional Production
Dave Grohl Composer
Freddie Hubbard Composer
Darryl "D.M.C." McDaniels Composer
Mike Mills Composer
Krist Novoselic Composer
Michael Stipe Composer
Ernest Wilson Composer
Jerome "J-Roc" Harmon Composer, Producer, Additional Production
Bill Berry Composer
No I.D. Additional Production
Timbaland Producer, Additional Production
Chris Godbey Engineer
Pharrell Williams Composer, Producer
Malik Taylor Composer
Shawn Carter Composer, Executive Producer
Miguel Collins Composer
Tim Mosley Composer
Swizz Beatz Producer
Christopher Wallace Composer
Justin Timberlake Composer, Additional Production
Kyambo "Hip Hop" Joshua Producer
Kasseem Dean Composer
Brian Roettinger Art Direction
Eric Weissman Sample Clearance
John Meneilly Management
James Fauntleroy Composer
The-Dream Producer
Marz Producer
Ramon Rivas Engineer
Adrian Younge Composer
Hit-Boy Producer
Jordan "DJ Swivel" Young Engineer
Demacio "Demo" Castellon Engineer
Sean "P. Diddy" Combs Composer
Boi-1DA Producer
Stuart White Engineer
Kyambo Joshua Composer
Travis Scott Producer
Terius "The-Dream" Nash Composer
Matthew Samuels Composer
Chris Geringer Mastering
Jennifer Justice Legal Counsel
Chauncey Hollis Composer
Sumach Valentine Composer
Mike WiLL Made It Composer, Producer
Christopher Breaux Composer
Darhyl "DJ" Camper Jr. Composer, Producer
Roc Nation Marketing
Anderson Hernandez Composer
Vinylz Producer
Ebony "Wondagurl" Oshunrinde Programming
Desiree Perez Management
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