User Score
5.9

Mixed or average reviews- based on 292 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 57 out of 292

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  1. Jul 29, 2013
    8
    On initial hearing, this album may sound as if it hasn't lived up to the Jay Z (formerly Jay-Z) name. However, the more I listen to this album, the more it grows on me. The first time I listened to 'Tom Ford', I dismissed it. After the 2nd or 3rd time, I started liking it. I had the privilege of going to the first performance of Legends of Summer at the Wireless Festival in London and sawOn initial hearing, this album may sound as if it hasn't lived up to the Jay Z (formerly Jay-Z) name. However, the more I listen to this album, the more it grows on me. The first time I listened to 'Tom Ford', I dismissed it. After the 2nd or 3rd time, I started liking it. I had the privilege of going to the first performance of Legends of Summer at the Wireless Festival in London and saw Jay Z perform some of the songs on this album live. They were performed very well and the audience definitely seemed to be enjoying them, hopefully this album is a slow burner and this album grows on the public. On a side note, some negative reviews of this album are written because they didn't receive the free album through the Magna Carta app on the Samsung devices. It's not the fault of Jay Z that these people didn't understand that only (ha!) 1 million were being given away for free, and that demand was 20 times higher than the supply. Expand
  2. Jul 8, 2013
    7
    This album was somewhat a huge disappointment. When i saw all the promotional videos and stuff on youtube i was expecting something beyond incredible. The album's production is incredible. The beats are something that you could listen to over and over. The lyrics however are beyond weak. Especially for someone as amazing as Jay-Z. This album is by far his worst in my opinion. I listenedThis album was somewhat a huge disappointment. When i saw all the promotional videos and stuff on youtube i was expecting something beyond incredible. The album's production is incredible. The beats are something that you could listen to over and over. The lyrics however are beyond weak. Especially for someone as amazing as Jay-Z. This album is by far his worst in my opinion. I listened to it a couple of times and thats it. It has already become bland. Expand
  3. Aug 31, 2013
    8
    To say the least I'm confused as to why the user score is so low for this album. I'm far from a big Jay-Z fan, in fact I really didn't start getting into his music until The Black Album came out (not saying any of his albums before then aren't good). I think the problem people have with this album is that they expected a Reasonable Doubt or Blueprint type album and were extremelyTo say the least I'm confused as to why the user score is so low for this album. I'm far from a big Jay-Z fan, in fact I really didn't start getting into his music until The Black Album came out (not saying any of his albums before then aren't good). I think the problem people have with this album is that they expected a Reasonable Doubt or Blueprint type album and were extremely disappointed. My one question to people that thought this is why get your expectations so high? BP3 is easily in the bottom half of Jay's long catalog, after a lack luster effort why would you expect him to release an album of the caliber of BP1 or The Black Album? It just doesn't make sense to me.

    The production on this album is top notch. It's hypnotic, it's loud, it's aggressive, it's everything you want to hear from a Jay-Z album. The features are all excellent with the exception of Rick Ross (I'll get to him later). JT does an incredible job on Holy Grail delivering what I think is the best Hook in a hip hop song so far this year. Frank Ocean also delivers one of my favorite hooks of the year on the song Oceans. Nas delivers a solid guest verse on the track BBC and Beyonce does a pretty good job on the song On The Run though the track as a whole sounds a bit dated. Rick Ross was the only guest appearance on this project that failed to deliver while Jay did pick out a good track for Ross to be featured on, it was a very mediocre and forgettable effort from Ross. Ross's whole "I'm the boss" persona didn't live up to it's expectations on in fact every time I listen to it I find myself zoning out till Jay's verse comes on. Which brings me to my next point Jay-Z's writing. Like I said before, people expecting Jay to come out with a BP1 or TBA are going to be disappointed but that doesn't make the writing of this project bad or mediocre. Jay-Z is his braggadocios self on this project with lines like Yellow Basquiat in my kitchen corner, go ahead lean on that Blue, you own it" but also touches on controversial social matters with bars like "Feds still lurkin, they see i'm still puttin work in, cuz some where in America, Miley Cyrus is still twerkin". Jay also goes on a more introspective note with songs like Jay-Z Blue where he talks about the struggle of having to learn to become a father when he never grew up with a father himself. Overall this is a very good effort from the rap veteran, at 43 years of age and heading towards the end of his career, it's very unlikely we will hear another Blueprint or Black Album for Jay but that doesn't mean he still can't make great and enjoyable music.
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  4. Aug 12, 2013
    9
    Magna Carta Holy Grail is very much a fundamentally sound rap album. It doesn't try anything new, isn't experimental, but that doesn't make it underwhelming. Every track is full of energy and confidence, and the production is excellent. Jay keeps his signature style while appealing to the younger audience. Consistency plays to the album's advantage, and overall the project is very much atMagna Carta Holy Grail is very much a fundamentally sound rap album. It doesn't try anything new, isn't experimental, but that doesn't make it underwhelming. Every track is full of energy and confidence, and the production is excellent. Jay keeps his signature style while appealing to the younger audience. Consistency plays to the album's advantage, and overall the project is very much at Jay Z's par, if not higher. Expand
  5. Aug 21, 2013
    10
    Nothing progressive in the hip hop world, but it is full of hits that never seem to get old!! If you like the fusion of rap and r&b, or just love catchy hooks then this album is for you.
  6. Jul 25, 2013
    10
    I'm not quite sure why so many people are hating on this album. I think alot of people put so much energy into worshiping idols they get disappointed when an ARTIST makes a piece of art that isn't their favorite or tries to do something different they just get thrown under a bus. I remember when people used to say Jay Z sucked because he wouldn't switch his flow up then he does and theyI'm not quite sure why so many people are hating on this album. I think alot of people put so much energy into worshiping idols they get disappointed when an ARTIST makes a piece of art that isn't their favorite or tries to do something different they just get thrown under a bus. I remember when people used to say Jay Z sucked because he wouldn't switch his flow up then he does and they hate it...You just can't win with people....Hov they really just want to wake up in the morning and see you died on the news then 5....10 years from now....people are going yo miss JayZ Expand
  7. Jul 5, 2013
    7
    This album is great but its not his best album. The album starts off with an great track. Jay z is an intelligent artist that is also an gifted lyricist. The commercials for this album was great. I like the album but i did expected much more from it, i expected the best jay z album when i watched the commericial from this album.

    The thing that i love about the album is the guest
    This album is great but its not his best album. The album starts off with an great track. Jay z is an intelligent artist that is also an gifted lyricist. The commercials for this album was great. I like the album but i did expected much more from it, i expected the best jay z album when i watched the commericial from this album.

    The thing that i love about the album is the guest apperance is less than your average hip hop album. Most albums have a ton of guess artist on it but this album doesnt which is a step up from his previous album "the blueprint 3"

    If you are a jay z fan or a fan of hip hop you should def buy this album. I am a hip hop fan and a jay z fan so i did enjoy this album but its not outstanding or impress me in anyway.
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  8. Jul 6, 2013
    10
    This is Jay's best album since American Gangster, it has great production and it shows a growth in his lyrical ability. I am not comparing it to classics like Reasonable Doubt and The Blueprint, but the album is simply a great Jay-Z album and it's an album that will be played in the next 5 years.
  9. Jul 5, 2013
    7
    Overall this album is very good. Easy to listen the production was great and so was Jay-Z if you can catch his metaphors and understand the meanings to his songs.
  10. Jul 15, 2013
    8
    It's no Blueprint, Vol 1 or 2 but Jay-Z for the first time since the Black album has combined that street sound while sounding innovating at the same time.

    If someone can convince him to stop singing....permanently and play 'Marcy' than he might recapture that magic. It's not going to get the good ratings since there are no 'pop' hits here as he had the last 4-5 albums. This one is
    It's no Blueprint, Vol 1 or 2 but Jay-Z for the first time since the Black album has combined that street sound while sounding innovating at the same time.

    If someone can convince him to stop singing....permanently and play 'Marcy' than he might recapture that magic.

    It's not going to get the good ratings since there are no 'pop' hits here as he had the last 4-5 albums. This one is for the people he dropped in '05 and hopefully he'll shake the mall-rap punks with this effort.
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  11. Jul 7, 2013
    8
    This album should be getting more love than it is. Even though I don't think it is a great album, I think it is an important one for Jay-Z's career and hip hop in general. The production and sound takes you back a little bit and even shows some new possibilities. This is honestly the best produced album I've heard in a while, but the lyrics just couldn't take it to that next level. TheThis album should be getting more love than it is. Even though I don't think it is a great album, I think it is an important one for Jay-Z's career and hip hop in general. The production and sound takes you back a little bit and even shows some new possibilities. This is honestly the best produced album I've heard in a while, but the lyrics just couldn't take it to that next level. The lyrics aren't great by any means, but they have FEW great MOMENTS and are good enough to keep this album at that important status in hip hop history. The features work for the most part. This album is a major improvement upon his previous album "Watch The Throne" that he made alongside Kanye. Magna Carta Holy Grail is important for multiple reasons. One for Jay-Z, because I think he maxed out his ability to put out a significantly good album at the perfect time in his career. He's rapped 17 years and put out 15 albums, 12 solo and 3 tandem albums which is just about the maximum that any artist should really do. Not to mention he's 43. And two for hip hop, because this album sonically almost brings hip hop full circle, lyrically seems to attempt to stay in touch with typical mainstream fans taste, which is the only negative about this album, while re-introducing an old-school style/theme and both expand ever so slightly to again introduce new ideas, and is a last contribution/gift to hip hop to point the genre in the right direction... Or at least it should be. Expand
  12. Jul 6, 2013
    8
    Another classic by JAY Z. Jay Z has always been one of my favorite artists because of his ability to soak listeners in by the message of his lyric. The catchy beats are awesome and they help the album to give that vibe that is expected from Jay Z. Was it his best? No, but it is definitely a Jay Z product that is right in sink with his God given ability to catch the eyes and the ears of theAnother classic by JAY Z. Jay Z has always been one of my favorite artists because of his ability to soak listeners in by the message of his lyric. The catchy beats are awesome and they help the album to give that vibe that is expected from Jay Z. Was it his best? No, but it is definitely a Jay Z product that is right in sink with his God given ability to catch the eyes and the ears of the hip hop scene. I don't think that we will ever hear something from Jay Z that will be classified as mediocre. Expand
  13. Jul 7, 2013
    8
    When I first listened to this album I enjoyed it thoroughly, now I have listened to it a lot more and I still really enjoy it. I am shocked by the negative reviews this has gotten and am convinced this album is going over a lot of people's heads. Some of the lyrics on this album are very sick, just check rapgenius and you will see that they deserve more than just a surface listen. He rapsWhen I first listened to this album I enjoyed it thoroughly, now I have listened to it a lot more and I still really enjoy it. I am shocked by the negative reviews this has gotten and am convinced this album is going over a lot of people's heads. Some of the lyrics on this album are very sick, just check rapgenius and you will see that they deserve more than just a surface listen. He raps about new subjects like history, his daughter and religion while not losing his personality. There are braggadocious tracks, more social conscious tracks, emotional tracks and they all blend together well. I think this is album is a lot better than bp3 and almost as good as, or as good as the underrated American Gangster. Expand
  14. Jul 7, 2013
    8
    THis is not a classic like his first albums and i do not think as lyrically tight as watch the throne. But, I do like the stetch JayZ seemed to make this album sound different than the others-and different from most things out. The production perfectly fits his lyrical style on almost every track. Although S Beatz and Timbo are not my favorite producers (i.e. same sound EVERYTIME) evenTHis is not a classic like his first albums and i do not think as lyrically tight as watch the throne. But, I do like the stetch JayZ seemed to make this album sound different than the others-and different from most things out. The production perfectly fits his lyrical style on almost every track. Although S Beatz and Timbo are not my favorite producers (i.e. same sound EVERYTIME) even their tracks were agreeable. Expand
  15. Jul 7, 2013
    9
    Magna Carta May Be Jay's lyrically dumbed downed work to date but it delivers a personal message in the album. The message that no matter how much you accomplish in life, you should never lose sight of where you came from. Personal songs like "Jay-Z Blue" and "La familia" shows Jay-z drive what keeps his drive and his insecurities about fatherhood. As A Unit "Magna Carta" Is a solid album.
  16. Jul 8, 2013
    10
    Ok, so I am a huge fan of true (and rare) hip hop Artists. Jay-Z & Kanye West are my personal favourites of all time and I've been their fan since the turn of the century, so I am biased like hell and take notice of all work done by them together or separately. But even though, I can admit that Jigga had his musical bumps along the way, some are obvious like "Kingdom Come", which was wayOk, so I am a huge fan of true (and rare) hip hop Artists. Jay-Z & Kanye West are my personal favourites of all time and I've been their fan since the turn of the century, so I am biased like hell and take notice of all work done by them together or separately. But even though, I can admit that Jigga had his musical bumps along the way, some are obvious like "Kingdom Come", which was way below par on every level, or "Blueprint 2" (which I liked, really, but it was too light & pop for his own standarts). Now Jay at his highest was at early works of "Blueprint" & "Reasonable Doubt", then the "Black Album" and his true comeback work of "American Gangster", which is an instant classic, by my taste. Now this here album "Magna Carta..." may not be "instant", but still I rate high enough to name it a classic too. After downloading it on 4th of July, I just cannot get enough of it, every song opens up something different with every other listen. So much context, so much themes are brought up (with usual bravado and all that what is associated with hip hop, ofcource), be it fame, religion, love, parenthood, politics... Something we can all relate and/or aspire to. I love this album and would recommend it to every hip hop fan. P.S. give "Yeezus" a try too... you never heard anything like it. Madly interesting and provocative. Expand
  17. Jul 13, 2013
    10
    Great album, lyrics were on point mostly, production was amazing, guest appearances were limited but meaningful and subject matter varied. Overall his best post-retirement release #go Hov!
  18. Jul 8, 2013
    8
    critics make my d!ck hole itch. This album is 10x better than Kanye's garbage album. There are plenty of songs that i keep on repeat. It's a solid 8/10. Jay's best album since American Gangster.
  19. Jul 6, 2013
    9
    Jay through out this entire album is telling us he's the "king", and rightly so. We're gonna need to come up with some sort of Magna Carta to stop him from putting a beating on everyone in the game as he sips from his holy grail.
  20. Jul 12, 2013
    8
    This album really got panned and I think it's undeserved. The production is stellar and the songs themselves are well put together. The album is well sequenced and I enjoy listening to it. I guess a lot of people are griping about the lyrics and delivery and I'll admit those are the weaker points of the album but they aren't awful and IMO they don't drag the record down too much. I wasThis album really got panned and I think it's undeserved. The production is stellar and the songs themselves are well put together. The album is well sequenced and I enjoy listening to it. I guess a lot of people are griping about the lyrics and delivery and I'll admit those are the weaker points of the album but they aren't awful and IMO they don't drag the record down too much. I was expecting better given all the hype but it's still a solid effort. Expand
  21. Jul 6, 2013
    10
    Genious! The LyricalKing of rap strikes again. Great melodier on nearly every track. He is able to use other great artists in an amazing way. Personally I would put in a top 3 of his studio albums together with reasonable doubt and The blueprint.
  22. Jul 6, 2013
    10
    Honestly I don't understand all the hate on this album. I'd say this is in the top 3 albums released of 2013. If you actually listen to his flow and lyrics then get the album.
  23. Jul 7, 2013
    7
    I'm not a big fan of Jay-Z, I only know his big hits and I listened to the Watch The Throne collaboration with Kanye West so in this review you're not going to read comparisons about his classic albums or Blueprint III.
    I enjoyed this album, just a little bit. It was a fun listen, and that's what this album is..fun.
    This album feels like Jay-Z is having as much fun as he did on Watch
    I'm not a big fan of Jay-Z, I only know his big hits and I listened to the Watch The Throne collaboration with Kanye West so in this review you're not going to read comparisons about his classic albums or Blueprint III.
    I enjoyed this album, just a little bit. It was a fun listen, and that's what this album is..fun.

    This album feels like Jay-Z is having as much fun as he did on Watch The Throne.
    It kind of gives me the same vibe I got from Kanye's latest LP "Yeezus" where the beats are stripped down, colorful but simple, and you get some aggressive braggadocios rhymes from the MC, except on Jay-Z's album it sounds like he's going harder with the multiple rhymes he's spitting out, but still not as egotistic and like Kanye.
    A more laid back version is what I'm trying to say.
    Lyrically it seems like Jay-Z is rapping from his *ick, with some Laugh Out Loud, unthoughtful lines but it does sound more comical then stupid. (There are just a few slick lines on this album)
    There are some songs where he's rapping outside his ego and is getting introspective like on Oceans, Jay-Z Blue, and Nickel's and Dimes, but that's basically it.
    If you're gonna be rapping about money, at least have a nasty flow and interesting production, and it is present here on the majority of the tracks. Like I said the production is very simple and beautiful but not as glamorous and expensive as Watch The Throne which is something I prefer because the production is not drowning the MC's bars. Picasso Baby is one of the more catchier tracks, same with Tom Ford, where it sounds like he's going hard, and he's making references to fashion designers/artists behind some really hard hitting simple beats, and towards the end of Picasso Baby it kind of reminds you of 99 Problems.
    My favorite track has to be Somewhere In America though. Not only is Jay-Z funny in this track but the beat is so awesome and has this contradictory kind of feel to it with the soft piano chords, and the quirky street horns, pianos smash at a certain point, but then violins fade in. It mashes so well with what Jay-Z is rapping about especially when he brings up the "Instragram, Miley Cyrus twerking" line which can be taken mostly in a funny way, but it has this underlining drug/corruption meaning.

    My only gripe is half of the hooks are just bland, not interesting, and some of Jay-Z's verses. The collabs did not do much for me, even with Frank Ocean on this, and I actually loved Justin Timberlake's singing, but like Justin Timberlake's "Suit and Tie" it kind of goes off beat with Jay-Z rapping.

    Overall, another one of those bump in the whip albums. Interesting production, some comical and persona's with Jay-Z's flow and rhymes. Take a listen.

    Recommended Tracks: Picasso Baby, Tom Ford, F.U.T.W., Somewhere In America, Nickels And Dimes
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  24. Jul 31, 2013
    7
    The entire album is a grower with a couple of classic tunes, but record itself is miles away from the consistent richness of his previous albums.
    Buy Tom Ford, Nickels and Dimes on iTunes, don't waste your money on the album.
  25. Jan 27, 2014
    7
    Between all the ups and downs in Jay Z’s career, his latest release, "Magna Carta… Holy Grail", is about in the middle and therefore, it’s only fitting that the rapper himself named it the sixth-best of his twelve solo albums (although I’d actually put it up one position, since I wasn’t the biggest fan of Vol. 2). Stylistically, the now unhyphenated Jay Z doesn’t notably change, but ratherBetween all the ups and downs in Jay Z’s career, his latest release, "Magna Carta… Holy Grail", is about in the middle and therefore, it’s only fitting that the rapper himself named it the sixth-best of his twelve solo albums (although I’d actually put it up one position, since I wasn’t the biggest fan of Vol. 2). Stylistically, the now unhyphenated Jay Z doesn’t notably change, but rather puts all his different musical experiments – that aren’t all too much, admittedly – in a blender, garnishing it with a newly gained father point-of-view, as his first child Blue Ivy was born a year and a half before "MCHG" dropped and it is his first album since then. What that means for the 16 tracks on the album is that there is a fair share of fine rapping and reasonably meaningful lyrics and a smaller portion of outstanding compositions in all levels. This smaller portion consists of the elaborately sophisticated Frank Ocean collaboration "Oceans" and the more old-school while still thought-evoking "Heaven", Jay Z’s first take, if I’m not forgetting anything, on religion. That isn’t to say that the rest of the LP are disposable goods, but that these two songs are some of his all-time best and deserve multiple listens. Though the prevailing mediocrity isn’t exactly a positive attribute for an album, the lacking of a bad song is – something rather rare on a Jay Z album. The result of all of this is an entertaining hour of well-made hip hop and an assurance that Shawn Carter is still not to be counted out of the rap game. Expand
  26. Feb 5, 2014
    7
    Only reason I'm giving this a 7 is because of a couple very good songs and great production throughout. Honestly, don't buy this album. I got a consistent feeling that Jay was trying to pull a Kanye with the samples, imagery, and grandiose production. It didn't work. For most rappers it'd be good, but it's a huge disappointment coming from Jay Z. The worst part about this album is thatOnly reason I'm giving this a 7 is because of a couple very good songs and great production throughout. Honestly, don't buy this album. I got a consistent feeling that Jay was trying to pull a Kanye with the samples, imagery, and grandiose production. It didn't work. For most rappers it'd be good, but it's a huge disappointment coming from Jay Z. The worst part about this album is that there's several songs that sound like filler, that Jay clearly put a lot of effort into. I've always been a big Jay Z fan, but coming from someone who's still listening to Reasonable Doubt, The Black Album, and the first Blueprint, MCHG is pretty pathetic. Jigga's gone soft; it's time to retire.

    Low points include awkwardly featuring Justin Timberlake, "Picasso Baby" where Jay pathetically tries to convince listeners he's a badass, and "Jay Z Blue" where he goes from the "I'm rich and cool" message of most of the rest of the album and raps about his kid's Pampers. ~ 7.3/10

    Best track: "Heaven" -- note: This track is what this album should've been about. With the title Magna Carta Holy Grail he could've taken on subjects like the New World Order, the establishment, religion, and his legacy and created something legendary. Instead, as mentioned, he raps about Pampers.

    Other notable tracks: **** "Oceans", "Crown", "Part II (On The Run)", and "Beach Is Better" -- note: Why is "Beach Is Better" not longer?
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  27. Jul 11, 2013
    7
    I had really high hopes for this album because Jay-Z's previous album came out in Late 2009 and was very disappointing for Jay-Z fans because it just wasn't on the same level as Jay-Z's albums before that like the original Blue Print album and Reasonable Doubt. This album had some good tracks, but I felt as if some of Jay-Z's verses in songs were cheesy, not good and him bragging aboutI had really high hopes for this album because Jay-Z's previous album came out in Late 2009 and was very disappointing for Jay-Z fans because it just wasn't on the same level as Jay-Z's albums before that like the original Blue Print album and Reasonable Doubt. This album had some good tracks, but I felt as if some of Jay-Z's verses in songs were cheesy, not good and him bragging about money. Not all of it was like that but just some lines in the verses. In some songs like ''Part II (On the Run)'' ft ''Beyonce'' and BBC ft ''Nas'', I felt as if the person featured in the song had a good verse but Jay-Z half of the verse was Great but the rest is okay and isn't very good. For the production, I have to say that the beats are amazing, Jay-Z really got amazing producers to make the beats. My favorite songs in the album were ''Jay-Z Blue'', ''La Familia'', ''Nickles and Dimes'' and ''Picasso Baby''. I think most critics are hating on this album and giving mixed reviews because it was a huge disappointment because people were expecting is album to be amazing and a classic. But the album actually isn't one of his best work, and this is not a classic.

    Overall Score: 7/10
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  28. Aug 25, 2013
    7
    My favorite songs from this album were:

    * Holy Grail
    * ****
    * Somewhere in America
    * Heaven
    * Nickels and Dimes

    The rest of the songs were pretty meh. This album doesn't really come together the way Blueprint 3 did. Holy Grail has some really low replay value, while makes for some great running music (I could listen to it all day).
  29. Oct 8, 2013
    10
    All the songs in the album aren't well-done, but Holy Grail is definitely the best. I give a 10/10 for that song alone. It has a personal message and is very exhilarating. Normally I don't appreciate that type of music, but there's something about this song that stands out from the rest of the bunch.
  30. Sep 25, 2013
    9
    The production definitively is the major attraction of this album, while Jay Z might have dumb down his flow and lyrics on some tracks, but he makes up for those ones on several tracks such as Heaven, Nickles and Dimes and Jay Z Blue.
  31. Nov 4, 2013
    9
    JAY Z once again pushes the envelope with this album. He succeeded once again to sell me the dream with this album! I never thought I'd see Justin Timberlake and the king of rap make emsemble collaboration. JAY Z keep it up bro!
  32. Apr 29, 2015
    7
    For longtime Jay-Z fans and critics, I have almost no doubt that this album would be a disappointment. And yes, it's probably one of the lowest points in Jay's career. He made this album at age 43, and that is most likely the reason why this was such a low point. He's been making music for so long now that he doesn't have anything more creative to come up with (I think I've seen thisFor longtime Jay-Z fans and critics, I have almost no doubt that this album would be a disappointment. And yes, it's probably one of the lowest points in Jay's career. He made this album at age 43, and that is most likely the reason why this was such a low point. He's been making music for so long now that he doesn't have anything more creative to come up with (I think I've seen this written somewhere before, either on here, on iTunes or a professional review). But, overall, I honestly thought this album was decent. It might not be up to what Jay has done before, but this is actually a somewhat decent album in terms of hip hop in general. The first thing I, and many other people, can say in favor of this album, is that its production is great. Jay-Z enlisted some great producers on this album, such as (almost entirely) Timbaland, as well as Travis Scott and a new, on-the-rise, young female producer named WondaGurl. The second thing I can say in favor of this album is that he's "still got the best flow" (as he says in "Tom Ford"). However, the things that made this album one of Jay-Z's worst include the lyrics and originality. He combines an awesome flow with lyrics that are repetitive over the course of the album (um... why would you do that???) and the originality... I could see just about anyone rapping this album... his flow is still different and all but these lyrics are so repetitive that I could even see 2 Chainz rapping this album. However, these poor lyrics are made up for by his "best" flow and production. Grade: B. Highlights: "Crown", "BBC", "Somewhereinamerica", "Tom Ford". Worst songs: "Holy Grail", "Nickels and Dimes" Expand
  33. Apr 24, 2015
    8
    Hova may be giving his weakest lyrical performance of his career on this album, by the redundancy of his verses, but still, all the songs are well crafted and very enjoyable.
Metascore
60

Mixed or average reviews - based on 42 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 42
  2. Negative: 2 out of 42
  1. Dec 19, 2013
    80
    Despite lackluster showings on the title track, and the anti-climactic first two verses of "Picasso Baby," a track presence that has stood the test of time for almost two decades eventually shines though. The second half of the aforementioned "Picasso Baby" shows off Jay-Z at his peak. [Sep 2013, p.97]
  2. Aug 20, 2013
    40
    Magna Carta... Holy Grail isn't a dreadful record but it's a redundant one. [Sep 2013, p.103]
  3. Give it up to the one where Beyonce pledges gangsta devotion and, best of all, the one where the "billionaire" (he says) looks back at the betrayals of his own departed head of family with something that feels like dread.