Jay-Z ‘Magna Carta…Holy Grail’ Review

MCHG is the soundtrack to the nouveau riche (AP)
• July 10, 2013 12:03 pm


Jay-Z's Samsung Galaxy ad, "Magna Carta…Holy Grail," is a serviceable addition to Hov’s canon, with his usual stellar production. But the album also marks the point where Jay has become too rich. He's so wealthy now, it's hard to relate.

Jay famously admitted he dumbed down his raps to sell records. MCHG is no different. It also repeats themes we've heard before. "Oceans" doesn't say anything about the black experience that Jay hasn't already said in "Watch the Throne."

The only truly "new" content on MCHG is Jay's take on fatherhood in "Jay-Z BLUE."

Jay’s talked about his absent father before, but his past material didn’t quite have the gravitas of Jay speaking frankly about being a father himself.

Whether Jay-Z will be able to rap interestingly again hinges on daughter Blue Ivy. Jay is always going to sell records, but if those records are going to be substantial, he needs new content. After all, if his latest foray into sports management is any indication, he’s only going to get richer. That will widen the disconnect between him and the 99 percent who listen to him.

On "The Blueprint 3," Hov bragged about having Obama’s cellphone number. Perhaps he should have dialed up 44 to get a few pointers on appearing relatable to the public even though you’re anything but. (Then again, with the way Obama's job approval is going, maybe not.) If Jay’s going to continue on this course, the public will view him the same way they viewed the 2012 GOP nominee. And we all know how much people could connect with him.

Published under: Hip Hop, Music Reviews