Magna Carta Holy Grail Image

Mixed or average reviews - based on 42 Critics What's this?

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Mixed or average reviews- based on 251 Ratings

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  • Summary: The rapper's 12th studio album (released five days early to Samsung mobile device owners via an app) features Rick Ross, Justin Timberlake, Beyonce Knowles, and Frank Ocean, with production from Timbaland, Jerome "J-Roc" Harmon, and others.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 42
  2. Negative: 2 out of 42
  1. 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.
  2. Jul 6, 2013
    Jay-Z co-opts and redefines current trends to reassert his ongoing cultural potency.
  3. 70
    It's inevitable that the usual litany of labels and put-downs dominates Jay-Z's concerns; Shawn Carter's wraps-to-riches story is the meta-narrative to all his albums and only fades a little in the umpteenth retelling. ... [But] it's the varied production – the sinuous work of Timbaland, in the main--that really elevates Magna Carta Holy Grail beyond the usual Jay-Z document.
  4. Jul 8, 2013
    Running to an hour long, Magna Carta becomes exhausting, bumping familiar motifs with such frequency that, as the album nears its close, the senses feel entirely numbed.
  5. 58
    I rank this album alongside Kingdom Come, which in a way was a transitional album toward the superior Blueprint III. Like others, I see (perhaps wistfully so) MCHG operating as a sort of stopgap until he releases something great, like a Blueprint IV.
  6. Jul 6, 2013
    This isn't Watch the Throne, full of rich and weighty contributions from a man who is still enormously talented. It's rap music as a transaction, with a host of stars and hip names wrangled together to convince you it's not.
  7. 20
    Magna Carta’s a mess, and not even an entertaining one--it’s simply a dull record by someone who’s in deep danger of going down as a dull human being.

See all 42 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 70
  2. Negative: 12 out of 70
  1. Jul 6, 2013
    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. Expand
  2. Jul 7, 2013
    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. Expand
  3. Jul 15, 2013
    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.
  4. Jan 10, 2014
    Besides the first two tracks, this album is wack...
    Besides the first two tracks, this album is wack...
    Besides the first two tracks, this
    album is wack... Expand
  5. Jul 7, 2013
    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
  6. Jul 5, 2013
    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 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
  7. Jul 22, 2013
    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'. Expand

See all 70 User Reviews