ProducerSwizz Beatz, Timbaland
Album: n/a
Label: Roc Nation/Universal

Two months before Jay-Z announced Magna Carta Holy Grail, “Open Letter” came as a brief warning shot that signaled he’d been back in the studio with two producers who’d fueled many of his hits since the ‘90s. In two verses that were more fiery and freewheeling than the album it preceded, Hov spends most of “Open Letter” responding to a week of media frenzy over his anniversary trip with Beyonce to Cuba. “Fine, let me commit a real crime,” he sniffs at overreacting pundits and politicians. “I might buy a kilo for Chief Keef.” And then, for some reason, Trey Songz sings an operatic falsetto outro.