How Would You Rate Jay-Z’s ‘Magna Carta Holy Grail’?


Jay-Z crushed the Internet on Wednesday when his twelfth studio album, Magna Carta Holy Grail, debuted on Samsung phones at midnight. The following morning, a leak spread like wildfire, and now everyone can’t stop talking about it. Jay claimed he has rewritten the rules and there’s a lot on the album worth dissecting.

While we had over 24 hours to digest the album, there are already a slew of reviews giving their opinions on it. Of course, we at XXL are still letting that bitch breathe a bit. (See what we did there?) Before we give it our official rating, we are opening the discussion to the fans. What would you give Hov’s album? Is it a #classic? Or is this another one of his prized possessions that just falls short? Vote for your rating and give us your reasons behind it in the comments below.

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  • Shamon Temple

    XXL this is a classic and pretty modern age dope ass album .

  • real

    XL he’s rappin’ about ballin’ and mafioso rap nothing new

  • Chevan Jacobs

    XXL Thats why Jay stays on top because he always pushes the bar and releases an album thats different all the time..and the album still sounds amazing!!!

  • P.M.

    I can’t get into this, it’s like he and Kanye are on some new new shi but Jay didn’t go as far off the deep end like Kanye. It’s a summer album with no riding tracks, I got it off the Samsung app listened to it once and won’t go back. Next please…

  • Datguy

    It’s an XL. Really his first album of “mature” rap (like what Nas did with LIG). He succeeds in some places and comes up short at others. Beats and flow are good as always

  • datpancake

    It wasn’t better than Born Sinner and that got an L. According to XXL’s ratings, it should be no higher than an L.

    • vanchi

      you dumb as hell

  • Doud

    no more than L wack album. Only few songs are nice like somewhere in America or Versus but no great lyrics no matter the song. Yeezus had great beats so lyrics were not needed but Timbaland’s production is so poor and unoriginal that it is a very average rap album. Expected much more…

    • Depo

      dude said it had great beats so lyrics were not needed.youre never supposed to full retard

  • yosef

    I think its EXACTLY as good as Life is Good by Nas, deserves an XXL on that hand

  • mistahdubs

    I think Life is good is just a notch above since a few songs seem like minor missteps such as beach is better since its mad short and the ross feature seems out of place just like it did on nas’s accidental murderers however Nas felt much more focused on his album despite the Summer on Smash joint in my eyes though I think it still deserves a XXL but it is not quite as stellar as Life is Good since Nas fully came through and went in where as jay kinda gets a little unbalanced here and there overall still killing a lot of shit out right now and it’s great to see him come through the way he did you can tell he wants to get back to the battle for NY and that’s what music really needs but Nasty still has him though

  • Jay DeLuca

    I love this album just the sounds on this project r intoxicating. like J said album its about this duality how do u navigate your way threw success threw failures…….deff. wrth my $…thank u j and all made this project come 2 life needed album in a very needed time in my life…#greatness starts @ 4:45am…

  • titan

    fuck your polls: i bet the guy who rated born sinner still works for y’all.

  • Christian Fox

    Holy Grail damn near had me crying. Niggas giving it a L must have never listen to that shit through no Beats by Dre

  • AO

    Classic! The production, the lyrics, the features that don’t consume the entire track. J, is Jay throughout the entire album. No Drake assisted hook that is the only highlight of a song. JT on Holy Grail was perfect and Jay put those verses on. He didn’t come out with a single in Jan/Feb/Mar with a push backs and delays. He told us a few weeks ago that MCHG was coming and we went crazy before we even knew any tracks.He crashed the internet with 1-5min videos talking about the album and each song. In those videos you never heard these new songs, Holy Grail instrumental played on everyone. WE STILL WANTED IT!

    Jay Z(@S_C_ ) “when I was talking Instagram/ last thing you wanted was your picture snapped” #MagnaCarta #MCHG #NewRules #SomewhereInAmerica

  • DLloyd1985

    L No dick riding here, sorry.

    • woodyblack

      I agree. Its ok, but JUST ok.

  • rootsunda

    This Jay album knocks

  • James Johnson

    Gave it XXL because the production is flawless, and Jay’s lyrics were on point. I also LOVED the fact that this album had a more raw feel to it; kind of like a throwback to his earlier albums, in particular the Vol. series is what came to mind. It’s really good to see Hov really spittin’ again. He sounded inspired, like on American Gangsta, just with MUCH better production to match his vocals.

  • Jo-Blaze

    Classic!!! XXL for sure


    There was a track or two that I thought were just good but overall I think this is a great album. I think where Jay edges out Ye is the fact that Jay is much more lyrically adept than Kanye>

  • Don Del Lechero

    Well at his age, time and status he cannot rap like back in the days. He is mature and he is a multimillionaire with other business ventures. Basically, for me it was an epic album and his best tracks are SOMEWHEREINAMERICA, OCEANS, PART 2, BBC and HEAVEN (I forgot to mention PICASSO) for the rest…hum…it is questionable but it seems that he had fun making this album. Not much features and the beat with Rick Ross was disappointing. Rick Ross was not in his comfort zone with that type of beat. Frankly, this album helped me understand the nuances he portrays between many groups trying to take over the world and him caught up in the middle. He has many problem with people trying to control all his every moves (i.e: his trip to Cuba), like to government, shady FBI and CIA and the people pulling the strings in the world
    (since he has a lot of money and a large audience)
    . Even though we might see him as something big…these control freaks wants to corner him and make him stay put. I guess he understand how Micheal Jackson felt and why he had to disappear. Jay-Z won’t accept pressure from no one and the MAGNA CARTA charter (only four authentic in the world) is the center piece of this whole tale where he feels that those who control the world, should be limited in their powers as they they did to King John in the 13th century because of abuse,control and heavy taxation. This album is a message to those who are in thirst of deeper understanding and those wanting to know how it feels to be a black entrepreneur multimillionaire in 2013. Jay-Z is the new Jean-Michel, an artist that speaks his mind in riddle and beauty…RIP BASQUIAT.

  • magnus opus

    Let’s keep it 1000…..there’s nothing special about this album ‘L’ seems like a fair assessment….timbo said it was better than blueprint foh…..he did say anything we havent heard him say before and every beat imo which timbo didnt make was amazing….jay swung and missed with this one

  • Anonymous

    “Arm, leg, leg, arm, head (ALLAH) — this God body
    Knowledge, wisdom, freedom, understanding — we just want our equality
    Food, clothing, shelter — help a nigga find some peace
    Happiness for a gangsta, ain’t no love in these streets”

    “Like Magic in his prime when Kareem sky hooked, yeah
    Y’all not worthy, sometimes I feel like
    Y’all don’t deserve me, my flow unearthly”

    “Only Christopher we acknowledge is Wallace
    I don’t even like Washingtons in my pocket
    Black card go hard when I’m shopping
    Boat dock in front of Hermes picking cotton
    Silk and fleeces, lay on my Jesus
    Oh my God, I hope y’all don’t get seasick/see sick”

    Wouldnt expect any one under 23 to like this album. but jay found some deep points of lyricism on this album. S/O to wayne perry too.

  • disappointed fan

    L for lazy.. thanks for bbc, heaven an futw.. dude who rips off adrian younge loops an steals fiddys crown beat an absolutely destroys it with this new age trap bullshit .

    • Bruno G. Mate

      whatever…dope album stop hating

  • dbadax

    lol scurred to review the album before knowing what everyone thinks of it

    • E

      Not at all. We just want to know your thoughts!

      • dbadax

        oh ok…just for no reason…just becuz

  • Minimalist

    Jay Z fell off lyrically a long time ago. People just dick riding. I gave it an S

    • vanchi


  • bobby

    Haha! XXL is afraid of giving a review the readers wont agree with(Born Sinner anyone?)
    This is the most pathetic “journalism” I’ve seen in a while.

    • vanchi

      u dum af

  • Dashing28

    I wouldn’t be mad if you gave this a XXL rating. There are no skippable tracks. It’s experimental enough(Crown, Versus) without being too weird. It’s got some throwback moments (Picasso Baby), but also has a nod to contemporary trap/southern sound (FuckwithmeyouknowIgotit, Tom Ford, Beach is Better), some hit records (Holy Grail, BBC, PartII) some lyrical beasting (Heaven, FUTW), some introspection (Nickels and Dimes, Oceans, Jayz Blue) with a lot left to unpack lyrically. In short, it’s a complete album, one that doesn’t just have Hov keeping up with the new breed but still the best in the game after all these years. And this coming from someone who didn’t like BP3 and thought WTT was just okay.

  • Bruno G. Mate

    Simply the best hip-hop album I’ve heard in recent years. Truth be told this is a classic and jay-z brought nas slaughtered hip-hop to life. XXL not really but yes an XXXXXXXXL. Not even damon dash could hate on this, jay-z is the best rapper alive no doubt. he deserves a grammy on this one and born sinner is cool but its just not MCHG

  • Bruno G. Mate

    Jay deserves a Grammy on this one

  • NJH

    XL for the production; Timbaland has still got it. To me, Somewhereinamerica is the by far best track on the entire record. Whoever engineered “Holy Grail” should consider a new profession. Terrible mix, total waste of an otherwise fantastic instrumental – but the record’s biggest downfall was Jay-Z himself. Sounded as though he was too lazy to re-record and instead, just kept the first take of everything. The lyrics themselves were okay, but his delivery was appalling. The only thing that will save this record now would be an instrumental version being released. My rating: M.

  • setforcee

    I think the production is tight, and as a vet I can’t dis Jay-Z’s, I have to assume that the man knows what he is doing. Though I have to admit that I think this album in hella WEAK. I have to force myself to listen to it, just to see what people think is so great about it. I’m a thinking man and I don’t get it when people say this album is mature, and introspective. I wouldn’t compare this album to Nas’ nor J. Cole’s. JZ doesn’t construct a single coherent premise for any of his songs. And the allusions that he makes to himself, B, and Blue are just simply superficial – Mona lisa, Picaso, are just empty Praswell gimmicks. Especially the kurt Cobain reference to suicide that shit ain’t introspective that’s a gimmick. I’m sorry, it just could not hold my attention…

    • setforcee

      oh yeah I give this album a S