Release Date: July 4
Label: Roc Nation, Roc-A-Fella Records
Is Magna Carta Holy Grail a good album? Ehh—in this writer's opinion, probably not. And the broader critical response to it has been tepid. However, if you go on Twitter or ask your friends, you might hear differently. But it is worth a listen. Sure, it's a given that you're going to listen to a Jay Z album, because he's probably the greatest rapper of all time. He's also one of the only rappers to remain relevant this deep into a career. Although the marketing of the album became the main talking point, it still holds weight musically. If the album accomplished anything, it made us appreciate Jay's flow. When we read Jay's lyrics before hearing the songs, we were totally unimpressed. But after actually hearing him rap them into something worth hearing, it's a nice reminder about why Jay is Jay.
So if you haven't listened to it, you should. Why? Because, like it or not, it's what everyone is talking about and you need to have an opinion on it. Don't have time to listen to it? Here's what you say to sound like you know: "I like the beats but Jay Z is so old. I'm tired of hearing Jay rap about Basquiat. Ugh, Yeezus was better." —Insanul Ahmed