Before we get into this I’d like to welcome Dutch Vega: Super MC / Battle Rap personality / writer to the MCMIreport.com family! He’s been doing his thing on the review tip for a minute now and while I find he can be
a bit of an asshole … harsh at times I generally agree with his thoughts on music and when I don’t its STILL a respectable argument, from someone who’s done thier homework! With that being said, here’s his review …
Jay-Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail Album Review
Written By: Dutch Vega
SALUTATIONS MOTHERFUCKERS!!!! Ok, so firstly, let me start this shit out by saying: In NO Way do my asshole comments, views and review reflect the opinions of the good folks over here at MCMIreport.com! Actually, I’m sure the majority of the good folks over at MCMI aren’t gonna agree w/ me and someone might even be like “wtf b, why we publish this dude’s stupid ass review!?” but fuggit … Ok, with that shit out the way, lets dispense with the friendly shit and get straight to it …
(Warning: IF you clicked on this review hoping its a review shitting on Hov’s album so you can feel better ’bout all that hate you have in your blood … I suggest you close this out now, cuz you just gonna get angrier and angrier the more you read this. You’ve been warned, haters!)
Like all my reviews, I want to first attack a few comments and opinions I’ve heard about this album:
1st) I’ve seen people saying this album “lacks lyricality” or “Jay’s writing is lazy on this album“. I even saw someone make a status about how dumb one of Ross’ lines on the album is (I believe the person said it “Didn’t Make Sense”), the line in question is “Reeboks On I Just Do It Nigga”. I don’t WANT to have to break that line down, cuz honestly if you don’t get it, you just gonna have ALL sorts of problems understanding this album. Basically for those of you who were locked in a dungeon for the past year and just peeked your heads out to straight up hate on this album, the line makes PERFECT sense, cuz its supposed to be contradictory, or basically, its a straight up DISS or SHOT at Reebok (Remember that little company that DROPPED Rick Ross’ endorsement deal behind the bitching and complaining about a lyric of his, from a group of well organized white women? Well this is his retort to being dropped). GET IT NOW?! Ok cool.
2) I’ve seen people saying this is his “Worst Album To Date”… lmao … You guys don’t know ya head from ya asses. No way Hov can ever get lower than he did on “Kingdom Come”, let alone “Best Of Both Worlds Pt.2”. (Mind you BOTH Those albums STILL had BANGERS on them that most rappers couldn’t put together on their BEST Day!). The ONLY thing these people are saying that I’d partially agree with is that the production on this album isn’t his BEST. But, I attribute that to Timbaland. I’m sorry, but Tim is a shell of the great producer he once was. “Suit & Tie” is a perfect example of how mediocre his production has gotten over the past few years. Play “Suit & Tie”, then go play any song from Aaliyah’s “One In A Million” album and realize how great he was and how mediocre he is NOW in comparison. Thing is tho, Jay was smart enough to force him to collab with other producers from Pharrell to Boi-1da to Mike Will Made It. So tho i WILL admit the production on this album isn’t MIND BLOWING, its still SOLID production and the standout tracks are still fucking STUPENDOUS! So you’re KINDA right guys, but you’re still also WRONG… So there goes THAT argument. Back to it being his “Worst Album To Date”. NO. It’s NOT. You’re all just upset that Jay & Kanye DIDN’T give you the albums you EXPECTED from them. Try not to be such spoiled lil brats and appreciate what you get when you get it for what it is worth! OK?! Cool…
Now onto exactly HOW WELL WRITTEN this album actually is! First, there’s so many shots being fired, Its amazing and I LOVE Hov for doing it.. Here’s a short list of ppl being dissed:
(I ain’t writing the disses out, go read the lyrics and do your own homework lmao)..
Lil Wayne (On “La Familia”) , Miley Cyrus (On “SomewhereInAmerica”) ,Robert Deniro (On “FuckWithMeYouKnowIGotIt”) , Foxy Brown (On “Picasso Baby”) ,The General Public Who Dislike Him/Every Rapper Who Dislikes Him (On “Versus”) ,Scott Boras (On “Crown) .. (I’m gonna elaborate on this diss a lil further in..)..
The list goes on and on of the people who Hov is calling out. Am I saying that this album is good BECAUSE he’s dissing people?!!? NO. BUT YES YES YESSSS!! Lol, look, when a person of Jay’s stature and status addresses certain people/things happening/current events its a GOOD THING! If Jay doesn’t say what he says about Miley Cyrus, do you realize how many more blackface misappropriations continue happening?!!? I don’t think you do. So Hov taking shots sets a balance to the otherwise unbalanced world we’re living in. So… “Twerk, Miley, Miley, Miley, twerk, Twerk, yeah, ugh-huh, Twerk, Miley, Miley, Miley Only in America” lol… ONLY IN AMERICA INDEED, HOV!
The fact he went at Scott Boras might be my favorite thing about this album. When Jay got his Sports Agency going I had an argument with some random person online via my FB. This person is a baseball fan, and they’re also a Jay Hater, so that made for a fun discussion. Pretty much the person in question was upset cuz Jay would “do things in favor of the Yankees and NY” (In reference to signing Robinson Cano) and he feared Jay would “ruin the sport” by charging sports franchises outlandish prices for his athletes. My problem with that is, why is THAT a Problem NOW?! Scott Boras (for those of you NOT familiar with him) is a Baseball Agent, who has RAPED teams at every turn. Scott Boras is responsible for the HIGHEST PAID CONTRACTS EVER GIVEN IN ANY SPORT! He got Alex Rodriguez not ONE but TWO different 200million+ contracts! That 2nd contract he got with the Yankees is the BIGGEST Contract in the HISTORY of sports contracts! EVER!! ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
The thing I’ve always appreciated and respected about Jay is his honesty in his lyrics. (One of my fav Jay-Z lines of all time is “They’re all actors! Lookin at themselves in the mirror backwards, Can’t even face themselves, don’t fear no rappers! They’re all weirdos, DeNiros in practice! So don’t believe everything your earlobe captures; It’s mostly backwards!!! Unless it happens to be as accurate as ME!!! And everything said in song you happen to SEE!!! THEN, actually, believe half of what you see.. None of what you hear, even if it’s spat by me!!!! And with that said, I will kill niggas DEAD” lol… he pretty much said all these rappers are liars, don’t believe em, shit don’t believe ME half the time and he goes on to do a typical rapper thing and threatens life ending injury lmao).
HONESTY! It’s something most these rappers CAN’T do, they TRY to do it. Jay is honest and that honesty is honestly one of the most tangible reasons people are drawn to him. Like he said on “Versus”, “The truth in my verses, Versus, Your metaphors, About what your net worth is”. You should listen to those lyrics and think of the words like this: “The truth in my verses > Your metaphors About what your net worth is” lol, cuz that’s how he meant it. If you can’t draw inspiration from such a polarizing figure, I dunno what to tell you. Go listen to all the underground rap albums you want to, about a bunch fictitious “super-lyrical-miracle-poet-laureate-cosmic-astronauts-roaming-the-double-helix-galaxy”… lmao, I’m gonna listen to this guy, with his feet firmly planted on earth and vibe out.
Now, onto my specific thoughts on the album… Its GREAT! lol.. No really tho, this album along with Yeezus, will take me through the summer. J.Cole’s album is a Frisbee. HALF of Wale’s album is good. Excuse My French speaks to the lil ratchet guy inside my soul. But, if I had to put it in order for yall, I’d say its: MCHG > Yeezus > Excuse My French > The Gifted > Born Sinner … So for ME this album and Kanye’s will provide a sonic back drop for one HOT ass NYC Summer! THANK YOU BOTH GENTLEMEN! Listen, for all you Jay & Kanye haters, there’s NOTHING I can say that will make you like this album. I don’t even know wtf you guys are doing reading THIS, if you hate them guys so much, honestly. When I don’t like something, I just don’t give it any attention. I don’t like PLENTY of rappers, I Just NEVER speak about them, cuz I don’t wanna unintentionally give them more attention, or new fans! So, personally I don’t understand why haters even opine on music from artists they dislike. Shit makes ZERO sense, b! You just mad and want something else to be mad at.
I don’t usually do track by track breakdowns, but since I’m doing this for MCMI I’ll do that. So, here’s my track by track breakdown on this album after the jump …….
Holy Grail: Jay is really good at opening up albums on a strong note… I still remember how awesome the Volume 3 album opener was to me.. This tracks not as HARD as some of his other album openers but Its FITTING! The PERFECT Song to OPEN up the Holy Grail! Justin Timberlake gives the assist on the hook which is tough to me. Personally I LOVE the “Smells Like Teen Spirit” interpolation right on the heels of his “I know nobody to blame, Kurt Cobain, I did it to myself” line. haha, Jay’s wicked sense of humor.. Point out the dude shot himself then make sure his family or whoever gets checks from his music gets paid for the sample lmao.. The songs tough.. my fav bar from this one is: “The bright lights is enticing, But look what it did to Tyson! All that money in one night! 30 mill for one fight! But soon as all the money blows, all the pigeons take flight” lol.. its a double entendre for the idiots.. he’s referring to the birds/chicks and he’s also referencing Mike Tyson affinity for pigeon racing..
Picasso Baby: Now this is just BARS DUKEY! Bars on top of bars on top of bars.. The beats not exactly like “OMG THIS IS THE GREATEST BEAT I’VE EVER HEARD IN MY LIFE” but its the perfect backdrop to the song.. The beat switches up in the 3rd verse as he goes in on Foxy & Fox lol.. Stand out track just based of lyrics.. most of you don’t even realize you KNOW what a “Hassa” IS, but its gonna just fly over most heads.. “Jeff Koons Balloons, I just wanna blow up”.. BARS DUKEY! lol.. but you won’t think they’re good bars if you don’t know who Jeff Koons IS. Culture baby, Hov’s tryna teach yall summin… Google is your friend, friends! Don’t be ashamed to google search what you DON’T know! Its how you become wiser!.. I’m not gonna lie to you guys, a bar flew over MY head too until i looked it up and found out what he meant (The bar in case you’re curious is: “Bacons and turkey bacons, smell the aroma”… basically he was referencing another artist Francis Bacon, a british painter.. so its Bacons as in the paintings and turkey bacon bitches! lmaoo then he goes on to tell his daughter she can LEAN on a painting in his house, a painting I’m sure is worth a years worth of my rent at LEAST! lmao.. BOSS!)..
Tom Ford: THIS IS MY SHIT!!!! This speaks to my ratchet soul whilst at the same time decrying one of the main ratchet vices (Molly).. “I Don’t Pop Molly, I Rock Tom Ford”.. BALANCE Folks! How many of you die hard underground rap junkies were shitting on Trinidad James and all the rappers popping Molly?! Ok so here’s your hero! lol … Its a fun song imo.. At the same time he put a LOT of you wanna be gangstas/post pics of guns on the web cats on notice.. You’re NOT bout that life.. fuck ya #’s “140 characters in these STREETS!” besides schooling some of you so called “street cats” onto a REAL Gangsta! (Shouts to Wayne Perry)..
FuckWithMeYouKnowIGotIt: THIS SHIT TOUGH!!! Theirs an opener from Pimp C (RIP), The beats on par with what’s hot right now (shouts to Boi-1da, one of the best producers of this generation).. Rick Ross bodies his feature as usual.. Jay’s in rare form (sending the aforementioned shots at Robert Deniro).. the hook is catchy.. DOPE SONG!.. “Not bad for a mulliano” lol
Oceans: Frank Ocean can’t do no wrong when he features with Hov, he gives him some of his best work each and every time (shouts to “No Church In The Wild” and “Made In America”).. The hook is the crowning achievement of this song, the body that the Crown sits on is Hov’s bars.. “I’m anti-Santa Maria! Only Christopher we acknowledge is Wallace! I don’t even like Washingtons in my pocket!”.. Now tho most ppl will think he’s “flossing” or talking that “swag talk”, ur wrong.. He’s anti-American establishment.. He goes on to credit “Shepard Fairey they finally gave me some hope, Can’t believe they got a nigga to vote”.. for those who aren’t aware Shepard Fairey is the guy behind the “Hope” campaign Obama ran on and he’s also the “OBEY” clothing guy.. This track goes hard.. One of my personal favs off the album.. I’m gonna be quoting Franky for awhile “This water drowned my family”..
F.U.T.W.: “Just Let Me Be Great!”… “Don’t Be Good My Nigga Be GREAT”.. Hov just wants the world to be filled with a bunch of ambitious ppl like HIM.. He’s been giving you guys the blueprint to it for quite sometime its just like the old saying goes “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t force him to drink”.. He’s speaking truth and he’s trying to get you to open your eyes to the world.. “America tried to emasculate the greats! Murder Malcolm, gave Cassius the shakes!”.. Bars + Beats are GRADE A! “Make a million another million! let my niggas make a million! ’til we all check a billion! shit it’s just the way I’m feeling, We have yet to see a ceiling!!! we just top what we top, Cause the bars don’t struggle and the struggle don’t stop”… It sure don’t Jay.. (btw that last line is a double entendre… for all those ppl thinking I’m quoting “shit bars”… Goes to show you how much more advanced with his writing than most he is (I’m not breaking down the double entendre, if you can’t figure it out but you’re one of the ppl who’s steady been saying he’s “lyrically lazy” on this album just goes to show you how little you actually know about bars!)..
Somewhereinamerica: This is a REALLY REALLY strong track.. this song goes hard, the thing bout Jay most don’t get is the fact he’s a intricate writer, most times something sounds like a simple line and you THINK you know what he’s talmbout, but you really DON’T! He stacks double and even triple entendres (he’s even got a few quadruple entendre’s in his career btw) into lines that are so simple you don’t even realize what you’re missing.. Take this line for example: “New money, they looking down on me! Blue bloods they trying to clown on me!”, there’s 3 ways you can interpret “Blue Bloods” and its relation to the prior line.. back in the days out there among the Euro elite, they referred to the Noble men and Royalty as “Blue Bloods” as they thought their royalty gave them “Blue Blood”, or you could interpret it as a shot at Wayne again, with the flip flopping of calling himself a blood but being caught wearing blue plenty of times… hence he’s a “Blue Blood”.. Or it could be alluding to the TV show “Blue Bloods” saying the Feds is watching him.. That’s just one bar at the beginning, Its not even my fav bar, I just wanted to point out what I meant.. MY fav bars (BESIDES him shitting all over Miley’s life lmao) is: “When I was talking Instagram! Last thing you wanted was your picture snapped!” .. lmaooo you guys figure that one out on your own.. This a review not “Bar Class 101”.. lol
Crown: Man this shit right HERE?!?! Travi$ Scott is one of my fav up & coming Producer/Rappers (the Kids like a young Yeezy, from his production being so tight to his voice sounding JUST like Yeezy’s).. This tracks got that tough ass vibe that “Blocka” had for Pusha T (Same producer), that tough ass Reggae meets the Block “Shotta” vibe.. This the track Jay goes in on Scott Boras, right after he reminds you he’s never held down a legal job in his life lol.. The tracks just a reinforcement of his position as King Of The Hip-Hop World.. Its just a good braggadocios track.
Heaven: Shouts to Hov dropping that God body talk on this one, he sets the track off with “Arm Leg Leg Arm Head” (which, when you take the first letter from every word and spell it out as an acronym it spells out “ALLAH”), most of the conspiracy theorists who believe Hov is some sort of Illuminati MC are “God Fearing” ppl or they simply believe in a “God” or a “Jesus Christ” or whatever, I’m not gonna push my own religious beliefs via this article but I will say this, I don’t believe in a “God”, same as Hov i believe in the teachings of the Nation Of Gods & Earths (feel free to get familiar w/ their belief system here: http://www.
Versus: Now this shits my SHIT! This tracks the track dedicated to EVERYONE who dislikes Hov, he’s talking to YOU guys: “Hey sucka nigga, Wherever you are! I thought about you, fool, While I was driving my car.. I wonder if you fools, Realize how far, You are, You’re no where in my rear mirror!! Your last shit ain’t better, Than my first shit! Your best shit, Ain’t better than my worst shit! The truth in my verses, Versus, Your metaphors, About what your net worth is! Ha ha ha” Yeahhhhh Pretty Much he just shitted on you guys.. You’re never gonna be on Hov’s level and this is your notice, similar to what he did on Takeover with the last bar being a shot to Everyone, this time he gave them a interlude..
Part II (On The Run): This is where the album slows up for me.. The obligatory “Me & My Wife” track, I ain’t mad at Jay, this is how you keep money in the family, this is how you both eat.. They pretty much do the whole “I LOVE YOU” .. “NO, I LOVE YOU” thing for 5 mins, the ladies will appreciate this track, I’ll just skip it.. Beyonce fans will like it too (Wife’s cousin was over here when I was listening to the album and she was asking bout this track cuz she a Beyonce fan, by the time she was leaving she was saying she gonna check Jay’s album now just cuz of this track so hey, Jay still knows what he’s doing when marketing to Women who don’t give a flying fuck bout hip-hop lol)…
Beach Is Better: Now THIS is some tough ass “My Wife A Bad Bitch” Shit talking namean.. “I brought sand to the beach, Cause my beach is better!!! You can keep ya beach, Cause that beach whatever!!” lmaoo bodybags..
BBC: like i said, this is where the album slows up for MY tastes.. Its a Billionaire Boys Club track, Pharrell, Timbaland, Jay and a verse from Nas.. Poor Nas lol… He’s got a endorsement deal with Hennessy yet Jay gets him to endorse D’usse lol.. This tracks a throw away and it’s not even as good as the previous Jay/Nas colllabs (Shouts to “Black Republicans” now THATS that shit!), this a skipper to me..
Jay-Z Blue: idk wtf that intro is about, I’m sure its got some sort of metaphorical reason to it but ehh.. I’m a movie buff and I don’t recognize that movie.. fuggit.. I don’t have a child and I don’t EVER want to have children, so to me I can never relate to these “MY Daughter” songs.. Not from Nas, not from Kanye, not from Jay.. Sorry.. Some of us think of Kids like a disease we don’t wanna catch namean.. so this another skipper to me..
La Familia: This his track for “The Team”.. This is the track where he goes at Wayne too.. The bars going at Wayne through out the song are tough.. Its a good shit talking track.. Not a STAND OUT track but good..
Nickels And Dimes: NOW THIS SHIT IS TOUGH!!!! Jay ends on a STRONG Note, its hard for me to say which songs are the lyrically BEST, but I’d venture to say this song and Picasso are the tracks he went fucking HAM on.. There’s MORE for SURE, but these two are the ones that are like Upper Echelon of that rappity rap shit that the “true heads” love so much.. This is the way you close an album out..
All in all I like the album, I mean I like it from beginning all the way until he goes all Super Hubby on us, but I ain’t mad at him for that.. You gave me 10 strong songs before you gave me anything weak, then you dropped the ball for a couple tracks then you pick it back up and end strong.. What more can I say, another great Jay album. DEF DEF NOT his “Worst Album” like some been saying and DEF DEF NOT “Lyrically Lazy” like others have said.. I’d say for all you ppl who just THINK you understand Bars but don’t really, listen to the album and read the lyrics off here: ( http://rapgenius.com/albums/
All in all I’d say depending on what ya grading system is… This albums a XL or a 4 star album out of 5 or an 8 out of 10 or its gonna be 4 Zeus slaps lmaoo or its a 4 1/2 Mic’er or its … look, its a GOOD FUCKING ALBUM! PERIOD!
aka Dutch Vega