Ever since the initial commercial teasing his forthcoming Magna Carta Holy Grail album aired during the NBA Finals, Jay-Z has had a stronghold on the hip-hop media game. Not only has he continued to release trailers for the album, he’s taken to his website to unveil song lyrics from tracks featuring the likes of Frank Ocean and Justin Timberlake. As details on the project continue to emerge, Vibe caught up with one of the album’s rumored producers, Swizz Beatz, a longtime Jay-Z collaborator who’s seen vibing in the video with Jay and his crew of super-producers.
In the interview, Swizz discusses the album’s ingenuity, explaining, “Jay is just ahead of the times… The album represents Jay. It’s like… how do you give somebody something authentic that they can go back and pull from and give them something that’s ahead of its time? I think he summed that up very well. When you hear someone’s album, you always want to go back to the classics. It’s always going to be that. For the first time in a long time, I think someone solved that problem and I think he did that with this album.” Swizz continues, touching on the creative process, “Me and Jay got an ongoing working relationship, so there’ll be tracks here [and there]. He’ll send something. You just never really know what he’s working on. You just go to the studio one day and he’ll unfold the whole thing.” And how did he end up in the commercials? “Luckily, it was at my studio [Laughs].”
When asked about the album’s controversial rollout and Jay’s innovative sales technique of exclusively providing Samsung Galaxy users with the first million copies of the LP, Swizz argues, “It just means that we’re all on the right track of forward thinking… A lot of people don’t get it, they’re just so used to following the same train. So for Jay to take his power and create his own train I think it was genius. That’s something I would love to do.” He goes on, “He was being innovative. So people they can’t relate to innovation. It’s his album, he can do what he wants to do. He’s earned the rights to do whatever he wants to do. He’s put enough time into this game with Billbord and any other outlet. He’s is his own boss and there’s a reason why he did it like that.”
Magna Carta Holy Grail coming July 4th.