’13 Best Albums #2: Jay Z Magna Carta Holy Grail

Written By: @Elliottwilson January 10, 2014 @ 5:02 PM EDT

Blue Told Me Remind You Niggas.

Is he gonna ever fall off? Apparently not. Dropping unexpectedly like bird shit, Shawn Carter shook up the world with Samsung who allowed him to release his 12th solo album on the fourth of July to a million of their mobile customers. Pardon him Billboard, that’s already platinum in our book. A few days later, Hov’s old buddies at Universal Def Jam distributed the disc the old fashioned way leading to SC’s 13th No. 1 album, which now puts him 6 behind The Beatles. Can that record be broke? Shit I wouldn’t count him out.

Tell Toure to tuck his comment in, MCHG is still impacting our culture in a major way. You can’t turn your terrestrial radio on without being tantalized by Justin Timberlake’s singing on “Holy Grail”. And if pop crossover tunes aren’t your cup of tea, Hov’s got two bangers resonating through the streets and urban clubs. The irresistibly-catchy “Tom Ford” is a force and the gritty “Fuckwithmeyouknowigotit” with Rick Ross will leave you yearning to step your passport game up.

Even at this elder stage of his career, Mr. Carter entices you by sharing and vividly detailing his lifestyle. He can rattle off about his art collection (“Picasso Baby”); go dirt road moped racing with buddy Ty Ty (“Oceans”); and even finally unashamedly gush over his better half Beyonce on “Part II (On The Run).” Welcome to the good life as “BBC” serves as the sound of a celebration in the studio coming to life with Hov and former rival Nas playfully sharing bars. Where was my invite that night? Ha!

It’s not all fun and games tho. Boldly addressing the racism that still exists in the world, Hov snarls at the blue bloods (“Somewhereinamerica”); poignantly professes his paranoia on being a father to his child (“Jay-Z Blue”); and fires back at Harry Belafonte for comments made that he deemed offensive (“Mr. Day O/Major fail/Respect these youngns boy/It’s my time now/Hublot homie/Two door homie/You don’t know all the shit I do for the homies”). With understanding, we can all get along.

For so long, Shawn Corey Carter has aimed to be recognized as the best. The GOAT. When it’s all said and done, MCHG is just another satisfying chapter in the journey. Hov remarkably continues to set the bar and raise the standards. Nah, I didn’t ask who your favorite is. He ain’t bigger than Hov. And there’s no closest one.—YN

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  • skinny

    Album was Def better than I expected fits well in his catalogue

  • peezy

    So I guess we are passing the crown of hip hop over now officially? Nwts was a good album but best of the year?? Not even close! But of we are talking sales and chart toppers drizzy is that guy but he gets points deducted for the way he handled himself with k dot lol

    • Sam Robilotta

      yup it was the best of the year. Sorry bro you’re wrong.

  • hahaha

    Thank god

    NWTS #1

  • Alex

    This album is way overrated.

    • Sam Robilotta

      huge Jay-Z fan, sadly I agree. doesn’t have replay value in my opinion. Maybe a few cuts.

      • That Square-Head Nigga Batman

        That’s the best sum up about MCHG I’ve heard so far…tottally agree word for word

  • 3hunna

    Foh this album was easily Jays laziest, only good verse was Picasso baby. This whole album was something something BASKIYAT Something something WARHALLS something something AUTOMAR

    • Garry

      did u know u spelled those words wrong. I think u may need spell check & listen again. #300

  • RTH

    Hovs most uninspired album. RR is a joke

  • Caposet303

    MCHG, MNIMN, & Born Sinner are all better than NWTS. I’m sure ya’ll would agree.

    • Sam Robilotta

      not me, but it’s your opinion.

  • Smh

    YNs dick riding ways are well documented and his infatuation with Jay z has reached borderline stalking status and now he seems to have added Drakes dick to the many in his mouth

    • Sam Robilotta

      hate in this comment is real. Don’t like the site? stay the fuck off it

  • RTH

    YN= groupie

    • Sam Robilotta

      RTH = hater

  • starzzzy

    elliott wilson is 80percent right with his picks but honestly, i think wale has the best album of 2013.

    • Sam Robilotta

      go check the comments on there. Some dude called it trash and said only reason I liked it was cause I was white and I wanted to fit in lol.

  • Fiyah

    You fools are crazy! You WANT this album to be worse than it is. Is it The Blueprint? No, but just because it’s not his BEST album, doesn’t mean it can’t still be a good album.

  • bumpy johnson

    yuall cud say wat u want but magna carter is full of bangers ……. he did not rap much ….. but the old man can still pull hits out of the bag …………..

    • Sam Robilotta

      was that english?

      • bumpy johnson

        @ sam robilotta bruh you commented like 9 times saying the same shit over and over we get your point … you can move on now ….

  • marty mcfly

    HOLY GRAIL – DOPE song
    Tom Ford – its alright but its pretty good in the club but its whatever (kanye shrug)
    FUCKWITMEYOUKNOW…. – FIRE and you know it is
    OCEANS – Almost damn near classic
    FUTW – DOPE song
    CROWN – FIRE !!!!!!!
    HEAVEN – Really DOPE song
    PART 2 – Good song
    BBC – Good song
    JAYZ BLUE – DOPE song

    now Versus, Beach Is Better and La Familia was not that dope but two of those is just interludes.

    OVERALL its a reason why Magna Carta Holy Grail is still own of the best albums from last year. The majority of it contains songs that are good songs. Alot of other artists made the same old cliche easy sounding records that just float by cause its not much to them but some simplified lyrics and some easy listening beats. Jay mixed some modern art with some religious ideology with some iconic artist status politics with some fatherhood emotions with some gangsta/business mogul mentally with some historical reference points about how the past gives the present a deeper context and meaning beneath the surface with some party just have a good time as you live Somewhereinamerica seeing and experiencing the culture here. MCHG balls out that material up in one mass and releases it in a way that make sense. MCHG is not the AOTY imo but its better then alot of other albums for sure.

    • marty mcfly

      Years from now when the sound of the culture is on some other shit whatever that may be. You will go back to Magna Carta Holy Grail and listen again and realize this is a pretty good album.

      • loser

        I swear you are the only cornball who replies to himself. did you not type enough already bruh? ha!

  • yorapper

    Real Jay Z fans listened to this album once. No way is this the #2 best rap album of 2013. No fucking way!

    • eastpointvet

      I’m a real fan and I enjoyed it and still listen to it in regular rotation.

      • yorapper

        I will wait for your taste level to improve.

    • bigfoot2011

      First 9 tracks are fire. You don’t qualify to judge hiphop

      • yorapper

        Actually I do, been running my own site since 2007. Yorapper.com.

        • bigfoot2011

          So having ur own site makes u have good taste? Foh.

          • pick

            haha true





  • true story

    Danny Browns album was better than this. Don’t Hate.

  • Rick DeHonney

    A lot of people really like this album but I just don’t get it. I’m convinced people made themselves like yeezus and mchg because I’m a die hard fan of both and I hated both albums besides a few song. To each his own though. Pusha T album of the year, Chance and Krit mixtapes of the year

  • Kay

    Better than pusha?

  • K

    YN I know you have to post this cause he’s your boss, but do you really believe the album was this good?

  • MrSkeezyMak

    This album has about 4 replayable tracks… come on…

  • Base God

    B. dot sucking this nigga Jay meat dumb hard, c’mon man even if you faggie you still a man

  • SpaceGhost

    i am not certain what some of you listened to, but this should have been tied for number one with Kendrick. I don’t even listen to Drake even though I ourchased it and attempted to.

    • SpaceGhost

      **purchased** correction.

  • RBS

    This shit sucked. Y’all fail like shit at these fuck ass lists.

  • I like this album and i still bang this shit now, listening how can ppl say its wack or uninspired? Its not his best but its good. I dont know what ppl are expecting from hov nowadays but i got what i figured i would get.

  • Public Hairs

    Where was my invite that night? Ha!
    ^^^You’re no legend YN. Nothing you’ve ever published will ever amount to what Jay and NaS created artistically. Stay in your bitch ass lane.

  • GetDaRebelGee

    Remember when I could relate to Jay Z, you cant be a king without the common touch. He lost that.

  • Just sayin’

    I struggle to understand what makes this the number 2 album of the year. Must be sales… It’s also interesting the number of artists on the list in heavy radio rotation given RRs appearance on hot 97 recently

  • will

    I fucks with RR and hov heavy but this is a joke

  • sway-z

    There’s a difference between not being able to rap, and knowing how to chill your lyricism out to craft good songs. Hov isn’t uninspired, fallen off or none of that dumb shit you niggas sayin. He’s simply making good songs without trying to rap you niggas to death. Until you get to La Familia, this album is banging. I know he’s won too much in front of you niggas to get unbiased opinions anymore, but MCHG is legit, like it or not…

  • That Guy


    it’s come to the point of laughability

  • Wendell

    RapRadar stop riding Jay Z’s dick. Hov was good but with an all star line up of producers this should have been the greatest album of all time. Watching cartoon with the sound off was better

  • this album was full of art, Jay-z is a artist and never failed in my eyes, i feel some albums aren’t meant for everyone. i got this album as one of his top3. most people commenting wouldnt understand how deep a jay-z metaphor is even if they listened 50 times in a row. the guy is a genius #FactsOnly