Magna Carta Holy Grail

User Score
5.9

Mixed or average reviews- based on 318 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 60 out of 318
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  1. 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
  2. Aug 11, 2014
    6
    Thus far, it certainly isn't the most amazing effort of Jay Z's career, but despite what so many are saying, I don't think its half bad either. I will happily say there are moments that I thoroughly enjoyed.
  3. Jul 5, 2013
    6
    Disappointing overall, though still good and very much all over the place. Songs such as "Picasso Bay" (until the beat change), "Tom Ford", "BBC", and "La Familia", were horrible. There were songs with great hooks (which were also my favorite songs) such as "Oceans" and "Heaven", and then songs with horrible hooks such as "FUTW", though the song was still good. The beats were greatDisappointing overall, though still good and very much all over the place. Songs such as "Picasso Bay" (until the beat change), "Tom Ford", "BBC", and "La Familia", were horrible. There were songs with great hooks (which were also my favorite songs) such as "Oceans" and "Heaven", and then songs with horrible hooks such as "FUTW", though the song was still good. The beats were great throughout, especially on songs such as "F***WithMeYouKnowIGotIt" and "Crown", though the former is not that great as a song and the latter is on of the best. In addition, Jay got upstaged big time by Justin Timberlake on "Holy Grail" and Beyonce on "Part II (On the Run)". It's a good album, but likely one without lasting power. Expand
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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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  7. Mar 26, 2015
    6
    6.2/10................................................................................................................................................
  8. 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.
  9. Jul 17, 2013
    1
    Is it bad that a collaborator is better than the actual artist? Yeah, that's what I though. When the over-powering flair of Justin Timberlake and Frank Ocean dominate Jay-Z's minuscule talent, you know there isn't much to look at. On Jay-Z's most recent effort, he tries to pull out all the stops, making his album comparable to the likes of Kanye West's Yeezus. I'm sorry my friend, youIs it bad that a collaborator is better than the actual artist? Yeah, that's what I though. When the over-powering flair of Justin Timberlake and Frank Ocean dominate Jay-Z's minuscule talent, you know there isn't much to look at. On Jay-Z's most recent effort, he tries to pull out all the stops, making his album comparable to the likes of Kanye West's Yeezus. I'm sorry my friend, you missed the mark by about a mile. To be honest, I couldn't even listen to the album completely. It lacks creativity, originality, and the ability to actually sound good.

    The first track, "Holy Grail (feat. Justin Timberlake)" is a mixed bag. Seriously, who becomes so desperate that they need Courtney Love's permission to use Nirvana lyrics? You can't write anything yourself? I'm sorry, but if you borrow the chorus from "Smells Like Teen Spirit", you've hit rock bottom. Plus, Justin Timberlake runs circles around Jay-Z. At first, I thought the song was a new Timberlake song. The rest of the album drips with self-loathing and spite. It's almost unbearable to continue your listening experience. I could go on and on criticising the crap out of the talentless shell of a man, but I don't want to put you through all that.

    I will leave you with one final comment. Magna Carta... Holy Grail is my least favourite album of 2013 so far. It has nothing good about it. From the shady lyrics to the repetitive, overplayed beats, Jay-Z has become the anti-Yeezus.
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  10. Jul 25, 2013
    4
    In Magna Carta Holy Grail, Jay-Z demonstrates his lack of inspiration now after more than 15 years of career. The production of this album (Timbaland) is trivial and confusing. PLEASE save Jay-Z from himself.
  11. Jul 22, 2013
    0
    T of Toilette, R of Rigg, A of Astonish, S of Sucker and H of Horrible. This album is a perfect T-R-A-S-H, fans shoulda deal with it. Kiss kiss I'm leavin'.
  12. 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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  13. Jan 6, 2016
    7
    I don't understand why there's so much hate on this album. OK it's not his best album, but it's modern and nice album. It's just Hova, what more can I say?! Best track: 'Heaven' :)
  14. Jul 7, 2013
    3
    The beats are semi decent, but the lyrics are some of the dumbest Hov' has ever done. My favorite song has to be the Holy Grail one specifically because of JT who kills it. However Jigga still fails to even try to one up any of the features on this. This would be an okay album, but I will not accept this from an artist who released The Blueprint and Reasonable Doubt.
  15. N10
    Jul 13, 2013
    6
    I'm a Jay fan but this.. was just not what I expected from all the trailers. It seemed all epic and filled with stuff to love. Lyrically and flow wise it's really weak at times coming from Jay, feels often too lazy.

    To be honest, Hov's title as the greatest as many claims seems to have split, he's lost it. Lyrically Jay shine's on "Picasso Baby" and "Oceans" which both are probably my
    I'm a Jay fan but this.. was just not what I expected from all the trailers. It seemed all epic and filled with stuff to love. Lyrically and flow wise it's really weak at times coming from Jay, feels often too lazy.

    To be honest, Hov's title as the greatest as many claims seems to have split, he's lost it. Lyrically Jay shine's on "Picasso Baby" and "Oceans" which both are probably my favorites from the project.
    The beats are an A+, the production team did an outstanding job to this, and could actually see Timbaland or Pharell take home a grammy for this years work.
    I really enjoyed tracks like the opening one "Holy Grail", "FUTW", "Crown", "Part II" and the massive track filled with featues "BBC". Some of these I found great, but a shame that the tracks I really loved like "Versus" and "Beach Is Better" only run around 30-60 seconds. Got to say, "Somewhereinamerica" was a funny ass song.

    Overall, I was dissapointend on MCHG. Tough it had great tracks, the delievery from Jay-Z just did'nt seem matching up to his earlier works or even much released in the recent time of Hip Hop.
    Light three out of five, thank the men behind the music Hov rapped over!
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  16. Jul 7, 2013
    5
    Oh, Jay-Z.... This album wouldn't be so bad if Jay-Z had more to talk about than his success. Unfortunately, though, he doesn't and whenever he tries to make something serious, he'll follow a clever line with another line reminding the listener about his success. We get it, Jay, you're rich. The JT track was over hyped. The Beyonce track should have been titled, 'We Need To Get A Room',Oh, Jay-Z.... This album wouldn't be so bad if Jay-Z had more to talk about than his success. Unfortunately, though, he doesn't and whenever he tries to make something serious, he'll follow a clever line with another line reminding the listener about his success. We get it, Jay, you're rich. The JT track was over hyped. The Beyonce track should have been titled, 'We Need To Get A Room', and the overall feeling of this album felt like it was purposely put out there to scam his listeners. 5.9 average score? Let me put it down with the most overhyped album of the year. That Oceans track was aight, though. Expand
  17. Oct 23, 2013
    6
    The problem with this album is failed expectations. When Yeezus first came out I was spell bounded by how different it was from his work on Watch The Throne with Jay Z. Then as the Yeezus reviews were piling high with praise Jay comes out with overly hyped Samsung commercials that hinted at "new" rules, reflective tracks about family, Rick Rubin, Pharrell, Timbaland and descriptions ofThe problem with this album is failed expectations. When Yeezus first came out I was spell bounded by how different it was from his work on Watch The Throne with Jay Z. Then as the Yeezus reviews were piling high with praise Jay comes out with overly hyped Samsung commercials that hinted at "new" rules, reflective tracks about family, Rick Rubin, Pharrell, Timbaland and descriptions of hip hop and internet as the "Wild West". At some point he says "Hip Hop is about emotion". The thing is that this is what the album lacks. Tracks like "Tom Ford" and "Picasso Baby" both reiterate his wealth and opulence but have really, really great instrumentation and beats. But look Jay Z, we get it you're filthy rich, you've said it millions of times. "F*ckwithmeyouknowigotit" has terrible flow, "F.U.T.W" *sigh* (geez the hook on this), and "La Familia" is, sorry, not really intresting lyrically and musically. Another point that I did not enjoy was the hype over "Jay Z Blue". I'm sorry but a song that was hyped to be a reflective piece about fatherhood, didn't come off towards me as memorable or emotional, fabricated would be a better word for it. The "Mommie Dearest" references were a bit overused and creepy the song overall didn't really mean much, even the Notorious B.I.G samples came off as a nuisance, and the attempt to bring in acoustic guitars to make himself appear vulnerable comes off as an artificial plea for "emotion". At this point, track 14, the running time of the album begins to take its toll as more meaningless raps and catchy beats begin to feel tired, dull and uninteresting. It is evident by this point that Jay Z hasn't grown much musically from Watch The Throne.

    In all brutal honesty, I just was not feeling this LP. The production is a really strong, great instrumentation and great cameos from Frank Ocean, Justin Timberlake and Beyonce. However, Jay Z plays the lyrics safe and narrow minded about wealth and his pretentiousness of him being "the sh*t." The only reason this album went platinum the day it was released was because Jay Z sold 1 million copies to Samsung. No comment. Remember in the beginning when I said, there hasn't been a memorable Jay Z album with widespread acclaim like his previous works? Don't expect it to come any sooner or now.

    Follow @PRTYNTGRVS for more music reviews
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  18. Jul 6, 2013
    6
    I think its better than Kanye's new one. Not all the tracks work, but I love BBC. Hearing Jay and Nas was easily the biggest highlight of the album for me. Production is good but it just seemed like the album was too hit and miss. Makes sense Timberlake is on it since Jay is touring with him this summer (!?!).

    Pros some hot tracks, some quest features work (Frank Ocean, Nas) Cons
    I think its better than Kanye's new one. Not all the tracks work, but I love BBC. Hearing Jay and Nas was easily the biggest highlight of the album for me. Production is good but it just seemed like the album was too hit and miss. Makes sense Timberlake is on it since Jay is touring with him this summer (!?!).

    Pros some hot tracks, some quest features work (Frank Ocean, Nas)
    Cons album feels like there is a bit too much filler. Sounds at times like Jay is going through the motions (doesn't he have some sports agent stuff to do?!?). Some features don't work (Rick Ross)
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  19. Jan 16, 2014
    2
    Take a handful of decent instrumentals, and basically brag about the buttload of money you have for an album. Welcome to Magna Carta Holy Grail.
    Jay-Z has made up for the materialism of his albums on past projects by cutting the filler out of his raps, collaborating with high quality artists, and throwing in a few personal tracks. Everything I just mentioned, is absent from MGHG. 90%
    Take a handful of decent instrumentals, and basically brag about the buttload of money you have for an album. Welcome to Magna Carta Holy Grail.
    Jay-Z has made up for the materialism of his albums on past projects by cutting the filler out of his raps, collaborating with high quality artists, and throwing in a few personal tracks. Everything I just mentioned, is absent from MGHG. 90% of the rap is filler, including "HUH!" after every line to aid his lazy flows. He collaborated with Rick Ross (talentless fraud) on perhaps the most pitiful song he has ever made. "Jay Z Blue", his attempt at being personal, features desparate BIG samples thrown in at complete random. Not to mention he sounds like a whiny rich parent who needs, "at least three weeks in the hamptons" and therefore the baby is a problem (boo hoo)! La Familia could be mistaken for 2 Chainz.

    This album, if it weren't by Jay, would be a career wrecker.
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  20. 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.
  21. Jan 10, 2014
    4
    Before MCHG had hit the shelves, I viewed a trailer which previewed the production of the album and I was blown away by how the album was going to sound. I was definitely hyped. After I had heard the album, I felt like the trailer ruined the album for me. Much like how Kanye West released the best tracks of Cruel Summer. Holy Grail was the intro song which I was looking forward to the mostBefore MCHG had hit the shelves, I viewed a trailer which previewed the production of the album and I was blown away by how the album was going to sound. I was definitely hyped. After I had heard the album, I felt like the trailer ruined the album for me. Much like how Kanye West released the best tracks of Cruel Summer. Holy Grail was the intro song which I was looking forward to the most but I felt like it was Justin Timberlake's song. I was hoping it'd be an aggression filled banger but it was a story-telling journey with a hard beat. The album did redeem itself with bangers like Tom Ford, BBC and Picasso but overall, the album was filled with corporate theme songs about wealth and making business. The album was a sellout.. and I mean it by selling out to what the non-Jay Z fans wanted. Expand
  22. Jul 5, 2013
    4
    Overall, a colossal disappointment. I enjoyed Jay's last album, Empire State of Mind, and his duo with Kanye West "Watch The Throne. It had been about 4 years since Jay Z's last solo album, so naturally I was very hyped for this. Also, there were all those galaxy promotions and videos that gave inside looks on the album, and it sounded very soulful and personal. But then, (after aOverall, a colossal disappointment. I enjoyed Jay's last album, Empire State of Mind, and his duo with Kanye West "Watch The Throne. It had been about 4 years since Jay Z's last solo album, so naturally I was very hyped for this. Also, there were all those galaxy promotions and videos that gave inside looks on the album, and it sounded very soulful and personal. But then, (after a ridiculous, unprofessional delay) I head MCHG. I listened to all of it while working out today and didn't really like too much of it. There were a few tracks that were fairly decent, but overall, this was a true disappointment. If you're into buying music, by the tracks Holy Grail, Tom Ford, Jay Z Blue, Picasso Bay, and if you have some to spare, Oceans. Maybe this album is good, and maybe the outstanding Yeezus(quotation forthcoming) is just making me really harsh on this. But it's just not up to Hov's standards, and there is not one track on here that I will put on a playlist or into heavy rotation. If you're looking for good rap albums that dropped this year, I recommend Yeezus by Kanye, and Born Sinner by J. Cole. I'm hoping that when this album goes wide on tuesday that the averages stay green, because there was a clear amount of effort put into this record, but it's just not for me. In terms of Jay Z, wait for the reported Watch The Throne II. Expand
  23. Dec 27, 2013
    6
    Upon first listen of MCHG, I was thoroughly refreshed by the refined, acclimated, modern sound of it. The more and more I listened though, the more and more disappointed I became with his dull, uninspired lyrics. Hov's lyrical dexterity was one of the characteristics that made him a legend to begin with and this album is completely bereft of any lyrical substance at all, except on a fewUpon first listen of MCHG, I was thoroughly refreshed by the refined, acclimated, modern sound of it. The more and more I listened though, the more and more disappointed I became with his dull, uninspired lyrics. Hov's lyrical dexterity was one of the characteristics that made him a legend to begin with and this album is completely bereft of any lyrical substance at all, except on a few stand out tracks; "Heaven", "Oceans", "Jay-Z Blue", and "Nickles and Dimes". Not that I can't admire the man Sean Carter has built himself to be, but he says a whole lot of nothing and does a whole lot of bragging. Which is something Jay-Z is definitely above, but unfortunately he conforms to the norms of mainstream rap nowadays. The production is mostly extravagant and very energetic but again, what Hov is saying doesn't necessarily do his wise production choices any justice. It's an enjoyable album for the lazy listener, but for a Jay-Z fan, it's a disappointing piece of work and it unfortunately raises the question of when will he finally put down the pen and pad. Expand
  24. Jul 9, 2013
    3
    It's just not very good. I keep seeing mentions of how this was knocked out in 2 weeks. Yeah, you can tell when you listen to it. It's not nearly on par with any of his previous work, sounds half hearted, and frankly the content is just dull and boring.

    Give me more Shad please.
  25. Jul 15, 2014
    5
    B- "I left feeling like Jay-Z almost threw together an album just because. Some songs on it had absolutely no reason to be on it, let alone exist. Some had potential but were supported with little dedication and much creativity. There were bright spots. I hope Jay-Z takes the time to actually generate an album worth buying here soon instead of developing what is really just a lazy attemptB- "I left feeling like Jay-Z almost threw together an album just because. Some songs on it had absolutely no reason to be on it, let alone exist. Some had potential but were supported with little dedication and much creativity. There were bright spots. I hope Jay-Z takes the time to actually generate an album worth buying here soon instead of developing what is really just a lazy attempt at bringing his name back into the spotlight."

    M- "Jay-Z is back with more of the same, minus some production changes for the most part. That’s the thing though, for an album with this name and cover, I wanted (or at least expected) something more conceptual based on it’s source material. What I got here was some interesting concept ideas, thrown on-top of basic trap style rapping and some weak features and hooks. Jay-Z had the chance to bring some needed change to the table, and make a rap album worth remembering, but as a whole, this is a let down with a few memorable tracks.
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  26. Jul 7, 2013
    5
    Proving yet again that sometimes it's best to let sleeping dogs lie, Grey-Hova steps back in the rap ring with another lackluster, expensive effort that veers wildly from his classic nimble raps to inanity, backed by sometimes thrilling, sometimes plodding beats from an army of talented of producers. His batting average between 2003's "Black Album", 2007's "American Gangster" and nowProving yet again that sometimes it's best to let sleeping dogs lie, Grey-Hova steps back in the rap ring with another lackluster, expensive effort that veers wildly from his classic nimble raps to inanity, backed by sometimes thrilling, sometimes plodding beats from an army of talented of producers. His batting average between 2003's "Black Album", 2007's "American Gangster" and now "MCHG" finally take him to his own savage "one hot album every ten year average" diss from "Takeover". Expand
  27. Nov 3, 2013
    4
    I'm a fan of jay z. I loved watch the throne which he did with fellow friend Kanye west. I was anticipating Magna Carta because of this. The first single holy grail I was impressed me. I loved Justin's performance. And I Also loved the beats. But the problem with the album is that I feel jay z's writing and the beats of this album come across tired and lazy. A lot of Timbaland and mikeI'm a fan of jay z. I loved watch the throne which he did with fellow friend Kanye west. I was anticipating Magna Carta because of this. The first single holy grail I was impressed me. I loved Justin's performance. And I Also loved the beats. But the problem with the album is that I feel jay z's writing and the beats of this album come across tired and lazy. A lot of Timbaland and mike will made it overflow this album as well. The three stand outs are holy grail, beach is better which is a creative song only at 55 seconds, and Picasso Baby. The three worst songs are fu** with me you know I got it a terrible verse with Rick Ross, la familia is lazy and boring, and part 2 on the run beyonces voice is nice but god that song is a snooze fest. Other songs like Tom ford and heaven are only ok. So unfortunately jay Z does not bring us the rap album of the year Expand
  28. Jul 10, 2013
    5
    For anybody else this might be a great album, but let's face it, the bar is raised for Jay-Z, a man who has put out some of the greatest hip hop albums of all time. Unfortunately Magna Carta doesn't live up to the highs of Jay-Z's career. Magna Carta is frankly too long. Jay has little new or interesting to say. There's only so many times I need to hear him rap about being married toFor anybody else this might be a great album, but let's face it, the bar is raised for Jay-Z, a man who has put out some of the greatest hip hop albums of all time. Unfortunately Magna Carta doesn't live up to the highs of Jay-Z's career. Magna Carta is frankly too long. Jay has little new or interesting to say. There's only so many times I need to hear him rap about being married to Beyonce or his new side gig representing Robinson Cano. Halfway through the album it just becomes a boring slog. Maybe we'll get lucky and Dangermouse can mix it with Sgt. Peppers or something. Otherwise this is a bore and not worth paying for. Expand
  29. Jan 6, 2016
    6
    Magna Carta Holy Grail is a mediocre Jay Z album. Jay Z, for the most part, just rambles on about his wealth, and talks about "rich people problems." The album would be better served if Jay Z was spitting effective bars, but many lines were flat, uninspiring, and lazy. There is still some gems on the album like "Heaven", "Nickles and Dimes", "BBC", and the interludes. The productionMagna Carta Holy Grail is a mediocre Jay Z album. Jay Z, for the most part, just rambles on about his wealth, and talks about "rich people problems." The album would be better served if Jay Z was spitting effective bars, but many lines were flat, uninspiring, and lazy. There is still some gems on the album like "Heaven", "Nickles and Dimes", "BBC", and the interludes. The production salvages many of the songs that Jay Z under performs in, making the album better than it should be. Expand
  30. Jul 23, 2013
    5
    "I left feeling like Jay-Z almost threw together an album just because. Some songs on it had absolutely no reason to be on it, let alone exist. Some had potential but were supported with little dedication and much creativity. There were bright spots. I hope Jay-Z takes the time to actually generate an album worth buying here soon instead of developing what is really just a lazy attempt"I left feeling like Jay-Z almost threw together an album just because. Some songs on it had absolutely no reason to be on it, let alone exist. Some had potential but were supported with little dedication and much creativity. There were bright spots. I hope Jay-Z takes the time to actually generate an album worth buying here soon instead of developing what is really just a lazy attempt at bringing his name back into the spotlight."

    "Jay-Z is back with more of the same, minus some production changes for the most part. That’s the thing though, for an album with this name and cover, I wanted (or at least expected) something more conceptual based on it’s source material. What I got here was some interesting concept ideas, thrown on-top of basic trap style rapping and some weak features and hooks. Jay-Z had the chance to bring some needed change to the table, and make a rap album worth remembering, but as a whole, this is a let down with a few memorable tracks.
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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. The Source
    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. Q Magazine
    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.