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The 'Legends': Jay-Z vs. Justin Timberlake

Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z perform at the Grammys.

Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z perform at the Grammys. (Getty) Credit: Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z perform at the Grammys. (Getty)

One was a return to music after a seven-year hiatus. The other arrived via a phone app. Both albums came with overwhelming publicity, television spots and high-profile performances. Now, Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z are on the road for the “Legends of the Summer” tour and they’re bringing their new, respective albums — “The 20/20 Experience” and “Magna Carta Holy Grail” — with them.

But in a showdown of the heavyweight releases, who wins?

amNewYork has your tale of the tape:

BETTER COLLABORATION

JAY-Z -- WINNER
Jay-Z featuring JT: The first voice heard on Jay-Z’s album is … Justin Timberlake’s, on the album opener, “Holy Grail.” It’s almost like he’s Jay-Z’s opening act. Well played, Mr. Carter.

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE
JT featuring Jay-Z: Hov’s verse on “Suit and Tie” could not have been more mailed in if it had arrived by pony.

BETTER PROMOTIONAL TIE-IN

JAY-Z
The first million copies of “Magna Carta Holy Grail” were distributed via a Samsung-specific smartphone app, though the launch of the program was buggy for many.

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE -- WINNER
The Target-Timberlake marriage produced one of the best viral commercials of the year, when the singer surprises his fans on the set of the spot.

IDEAS

JAY-Z
Not enough. Hey, did you know Jay-Z is rich? Because he’ll tell you. Often.

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE – WINNER
Many of the album’s songs seem to switch gears completely at their midpoints.

HOME LIFE ON RECORD -- DRAW

JAY-Z
“Jay Z Blue” is quite clearly about Mr. Carter’s daughter, Blue Ivy. While the language makes it less than nursery friendly, the sentiment behind a line like “Looking in your eyes is like a mirror, have to face my fears” is sweet enough.

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE
“Mirrors” could easily be interpreted as a love letter to Timberlake’s wife, Jessica Biel, and with lines like “I’m looking right at the other half of me,” get ready for it to be played at a generation of weddings.

WHERE DOES IT RANK – DRAW

JAY-Z
Better than “Collision Course,” the crossover EP with Linkin Park.

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE
Better than ’NSYNC.


Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake present the Legends of the Summer Tour at Yankee Stadium on Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., 718-293-4300, $49-$279.50.

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