All things entertaining in Westchester, Rockland and the Hudson Valley
BloggersChris Serico Kirthana Ramisetti Georgette Yacoub Kristin Taveira Anne Machalinski Estelle Lander
Jay-Z's 'Magna Carta Holy Grail' album: 3 things to expect
Talk of Jay-Z's new album, "Magna Carta Holy Grail," has taken over the Internet since a three-minute ad for it (and evidently a Samsung product) ran during Sunday night's broadcast of the NBA finals.
But what can we expect from the self-proclaimed "best rapper alive," who secured his marriage license in Scarsdale, on his 12th solo opus when it's released on July 4?
1. According to the man himself, "We need to write the new rules." If it's possible to develop a new sound while collaborating with old reliables, Jay-Z could do a lot worse than super-producers Rick Rubin, Pharrell Williams, Timbaland and Swizz Beatz. Timbaland and Beatz know how to push the envelope; Rubin is famous for getting the most out of his artists; and one could argue Williams has owned the summer before its official solstice, with memorable featured vocals on Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" and Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines."
Based on the samples in the ad, the new rules, in one case, mean pianos paired with aggressive beats and heavy basslines that could bounce a low-rider without custom hydraulics. On another song — one that sounds like a Timbaland track — it sounds something like "Space Invaders," if it were melted down into vinyl and paired with a Latin beat. "That ain't supposed to work," Jay-Z is heard saying. "Not against these lush sounds and this live instrumentation."
If all of that sounds ambitious, that's because it is. "I just want a Picasso," Jay-Z says at the 2:14 mark.
2. A sound that remains distinctly Jay-Z. Production innovations aside, it wouldn't be a Shawn Carter album without his swagger, authority and word play. Through the years, Jay-Z has always been able to view his success with lyrical perspective, and this endeavor appears to take the same approach. Or, in his words, "How do you navigate your way through this whole thing, you know — through success, through failures, through all this — and remain yourself?"
3. A top-secret collaboration or two. While Jay-Z clearly worked with heavyweights in the studio for "Magna Carta Holy Grail," there's no sign that he teamed up with anyone on the mic for the project. Could it be Justin Timberlake, with whom he's touring this summer and chipped in for Timberlake's "Suit & Tie"? Could it be Beyoncé, who teamed up with her eventual husband on hits like "'03 Bonnie and Clyde" and "Crazy in Love"? Or could it be someone no one could see coming, like David Bowie or Lady Gaga? (Before you laugh at those last options, who's going to say no to Hova?)
Which scenario would you get most excited about: The new Jay-Z album? A new Beyoncé album? Or a new Jay-Z and Beyoncé baby? Vote in Newsday Westchester's poll and explain your answer in the comments section below.