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First Listen: Jay-Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail

Jay-Z's Magna Carta.

Jay-Z's Magna Carta…Holy Grail hit Samsung phones yesterday, as a part of a $20 million deal between the two, and predictably leaked everywhere almost immediately. Though it might diminish MCHG's overall sales, Hov is still riding to the bank with his 12th studio album playing in the whip — and it might be playing all summer long.

Admittedly, I have a tendency to vastly overrate an album (or underrate, actually) upon the first time hearing it. Last year I hit Vince telling him Lupe's F&L 2 would be a contender for album of the year, and I've probably played it only a handful of times since (excellent album for a solo road trip though, for real). So when I say MCHG is dope, you can take it with a grain of salt.

With that said, I have a good friend who absolutely cannot stand Hov in virtually any format…and he was bumping this album.

The production is on point, so it's a safe assumption that Kanye and Just Blaze were heavily involved, like they were on The Blueprint, but neither of them get a production credit. That's worthy of a double-take in and of itself. Instead, Timbaland gets a nod on almost every track, while Mike Dean, Mike Will Made It, Boi-1da and Pharrell also earn production credits, quite the all-star cast even without the two legends.


Still, there are things typical Hov haters will find to feast on. He raps about some of the same topics he's always rapped about, and those who complain he bites Biggie's style will use "Jay-Z Blue" as an example. Pardon my youth, but I happen not to care.


It will take time for the dust to settle and the 4th of July drinks to get out of everyone's system, and we'll find out more public opinion next week when the album comes out to the general public (Ed Note: look for columns coming on TSL from Vince Thomas and Bomani Jones), but for now we've got an album full of jams to get us through the weekend.

Let's work.