Jay-Z reveals ‘Magna Carta Holy Grail’ artwork and tracklist

Plus; Rick Rubin reveals he has not worked on the rapper's new album

Jay-Z has revealed the simple artwork to his new album ‘Magna Carta Holy Grail’.

The album is due for release this week (July 4) and the rapper has revealed a tracklist for the record and black and white artwork including the initials of each of the four words in the title. The tracklist confirms guest appearances from Rick Ross, Beyoncé and Justin Timberlake. Scroll down to see the full information.

Meanwhile, it has been confirmed that producer Rick Rubin did not work on the album, despite appearing in a promotional advert earlier this year. Rubin, who most recently worked with Kanye West on ‘Yeezus’, appeared alongside Timbaland, Pharrell and Swizz Beatz in a brief clip launched when Jay-Z first announced ‘Magna Carta…’. However, speaking to XXL, Rubin admitted he didn’t work on the album and was invited to the studio for the purposes of the advert. “The point of me being in the commercials was that he was filming a documentary and he asked me to come listen to the songs with him and just talk about the songs. Just listen to it and talk about it, and that’s what we did,” said Rubin. He adds: “It was fun.”


Confirming that ‘Magna Carta Holy Grail’ has a ‘traditional’ sound, Rubin said: “I liked what I heard, but it was a little difficult – after just coming from the Kanye sessions – to listen to Jay’s album, because they’re so different. I was in a very alternative and progressive headspace, and Jay’s record is a more traditional hip-hop record.”

Additionally, the Record Industry Association of America have confirmed that they have changed their rules for gold and platinum certification, inspired by Jay-Z and his deal with Samsung. The rapper has signed a $5m deal which will see the mobile phone giant purchase 1m copies of his new album before distributing them for free to existing customers. Liz Kennedy, the director of the RIAA’s Gold & Platinum Program, has confirmed that digital album sales will become eligible on their release date, as opposed to the 30 days physical album sales must wait to be classified. “Going forward, sales of albums in digital format will become eligible on the release date, while sales of albums in physical format will still become eligible for certification 30 days after the release date,” says Kennedy. “Not only do we believe it’s sensible and logical to align digital album rules with those we have maintained for digital singles since the program’s inception, we also consider today’s move in line with our larger efforts to modernise the Gold & Platinum Program to reflect the new music marketplace.”

As revealed last week, Jay-Z’s new album will use lyrics taken from REM‘s ‘Losing My Religion’ and ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ by Nirvana. The lyrics to the REM hit will feature on new song ‘Heaven’, which was revealed via Jay-Z’s Samsung app on June 25. The chorus of “That’s Me in the corner/That’s me in the spotlight/Losing my religion” is used repeatedly, while Jay-Z’s own lyrics include the line, “Conspiracy theorist screaming/lluminati/They can’t believe this much skill is in the human body“. Jay-Z also uses lyrics from Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ on ‘Holy Grail’, a collaboration with Justin Timberlake. It was revealed on June 27 that Frank Ocean features on the aptly-named track ‘Oceans’.

The ‘Magna Carta Holy Grail’ tracklist is:

‘Picasso Baby’
‘Tom Ford’
‘Beach Is Better’
‘F**kWithMeYouKnowIGotIt’ (Feat. Rick Ross)
‘Oceans’ (Feat. Frank Ocean)
‘Part II (On The Run)’ (Feat. Beyonce)
‘La Familia’
‘Jay-Z Blue’
‘Nickles & Dimes’
‘Holy Grail’ (feat. Justin Timberlake)
‘Open Letter’