Jay-Z – Magna Carta Holy Grail: Album Review

July 11, 2013 § 3 Comments

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After the game-changer that was Watch The Throne, no one was expecting another Jay-Z album for a while. But the ever-unpredictable rapper made a major announcement of his twelfth studio album Magna Carta Holy Grail. The way the album was advertised (thanks Samsung) says a lot about how Shawn Carter has grown from drug dealer to business man to record label founder to label flop back to CEO and now a new father. It deals with a variety of old (money, art, politics) and new (fear, fame, fatherhood) subjects, which all make for a well-rounded (and borderline insanely produced – Yeezus holds the insane title) project.

The most captivating track on the album is the opener: “Holy Grail.” It begins with Justin Timberlake crooning over a haunting piano-driven melody, which is definitely one of the best vocal performances of his career. The song talks about the perils of fame, where these celebrities are walking a fine line between hope and destruction. The sample of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is madly genius yet unsurprisingly fitting – Kurt Cobain was famously anti-fame. “Holy Grail” is a truly beautiful song, an adjective that’s rarely used in relation to the rapper. It sets the tone for the grandeur of the album.

“Picasso Baby” seems to be Jay-Z’s current favorite off the album, as he recently performed it for six hours as a performance art display. It has typical crazed Hova tongue-twisting wordplay albeit it’s more sloppy than exciting: “I just want a Picasso, in my casa / No, my castle / I’m a hassa, no I’m a asshole”. He spits numerous art references on the track – something to be expected from the avid art collector. Timbaland’s influence is all over this record, especially in “Tom Ford.” The lofty percussion mixed with untamed synths instantly makes you want to bop – it’s just nasty. And what makes it better is the little taste of Beyonce a la “I Been On” towards the end.

“Oceans” (featuring Frank Ocean) is one of the standout tracks off MCHG. Ocean’s voice is always welcome, this time his velvety voice has an interesting reggae/southern tinge to it. The song picks up where Watch The Throne left off, with its important message of us Blacks taking back our culture (“The only Christopher I acknowlege is Wallace”). Keep reading!

Justin Timberlake’s “Tunnel Vision”: Watch The Super-NSFW Video

July 3, 2013 § Leave a comment

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After announcing that “Tunnel Vision” is the next single off The 20/20 Experience, Justin Timberlake has finally released an accompanying video. The Uprising Creative-directed video is completely steamy -both literally & figuratively- and features a cameo from Timbaland (who produced the track) as well as nude women.

The single’s cover art was a definite hint, but the clip seems to be explicit just for the sake of being explicit. Take away the models and you’re left with a boring video. Still, the song is strong enough to hold its own. Watch it below.

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Video Throwback Fridays! Jay-Z ft. UGK – “Big Pimpin'”

May 24, 2013 § Leave a comment

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Jay-Z has always been in my top list of favorite rappers, but I do enjoy his older catalogue more than his new joints. So for today’s video throwback, we’re going back to 2000 for his hit “Big Pimpin'”!

Produced by the master Timbaland and featuring UGK, both the song and video (which was shot during Trinidad’s carnival) will have you begging for the summer to come – so you swag on ’em in your drop top.

Get ready to bounce after the jump! more…

Listen Here: Beyoncé – “Grown Woman”

May 20, 2013 § 1 Comment

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After months of excessive teasers, the full version of Beyonce’s “Grown Woman” is finally here! Produced by Timbaland, the funky track finds the diva boasting about her best assests and why she can do whatever she wants. Aside from the lyrics, the African-inspired production is incredible. The drum-heavy rhythm laced with flutes and horns is perfect for a carnival.

Groove to it after the jump! More…

New Music: Jay-Z – “Open Letter”

April 11, 2013 § Leave a comment

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“I done turned Havana to Atlanta”…Someone must have pissed off The Carters!

After Beyonce’s brash buzz single “Bow Down/I Been On”, her other half just dropped a pseudo-diss track titled “Open Letter”.

The couple has recently caught some heat after speculation that their visit to Cuba was illegal, as well as the uproar of Jay-Z selling his share of the Brooklyn Nets.

Listen to the Swizz Beatz & Timbaland-produced track below:

Music Bite: Justin Timberlake Announces Volume 2 of ‘The 20/20 Experience’

March 19, 2013 § 7 Comments

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It’s officially Timberlake Tuesday!

The singer’s third studio album The 20/20 Experience is out today, and just when we’re getting used to Timberlake being back in the game he confirms that he has a second album on the way!

On  his website, he reveals there are 10 more songs to come on part 2 of the 20/20 Experience. 

Watch his announcement below:

Click here for my review of The 20/20 Experience!

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