Magna Carta Holy Grail

Magna Carta Holy Grail Image
Metascore
60

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

User Score
6.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 347 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.
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Top Track

Holy Grail
You'd take the clothes off my back, and I'd let you You'd steal the food right out my mouth And I'd watch you eat it, I still don't know why Why I... See the rest of the song lyrics
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
    80
    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
    60
    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
    50
    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: 33 out of 83
  2. Negative: 14 out of 83
  1. 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.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. 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 seeJAY 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! Expand
  3. 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 hisAnother 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
  4. Apr 19, 2017
    6
    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 howMagna 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
  5. Jul 5, 2013
    5
    A typical modern day Jay-Z album. Nothing changes. Obviously there's nothing wrong with Hov, but he hasn't switched things up since The BlackA typical modern day Jay-Z album. Nothing changes. Obviously there's nothing wrong with Hov, but he hasn't switched things up since The Black Album. It's as simple as that. Like The Blueprint 3, it's a decent album at best. Production by Mike Dean and songs like "Somewhereinamerica" and "BBC" gave it an edge. But mistakes like putting Frank Ocean's vocals over a Pharrell beat is just an enormous misuse of the greatest singer of our time. Major disappointment. Expand
  6. 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 hadOverall, 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. Aug 1, 2013
    0
    Ok. The first few songs were listenable. Then he kept the same verse scheme. "blah blah (hustler) blah...(pause)...blah blah blah-blah"Ok. The first few songs were listenable. Then he kept the same verse scheme. "blah blah (hustler) blah...(pause)...blah blah blah-blah" through the whole album. He even had Nas do it for a few bars. It was bad...real bad. Expand

See all 83 User Reviews