The-Dream previews unheard version of Jay-Z’s ‘Holy Grail’ minus Justin Timberlake

He played the track during an online songwriters battle with Sean Garrett

The-Dream took part in a songwriters battle last night with Sean Garrett – and during the set he played a previously unheard version of Jay-Z‘s ‘Holy Grail’.

Coming after last week’s producer battle between Timbaland and Swizz Beatz, the two prolific songwriters, who collectively have written for the likes of Beyoncé, Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Chris Brown, Destiny’s Child, Usher, and more, faced off on Instagram Live late last night (March 28).

“This one is going to be Crazyyyyy hits only!!!!!” Swizz Beatz said, sharing the news ahead of the event.


As each songwriter took turns in playing records they had written, fans, friends and fellow artists logged on and shared their thoughts on who they felt won each round.

Famous names in attendance included Usher, T.I., Travis Scott, Kelly Rowland, Kehlani, Jermaine Dupri, Charlamagne Tha God, Wiz Khalifa, JoJo and NBA basketball player Draymond Green.

After a few false starts, Garrett kicked things off with Donell Jones‘ ‘Better Start Talking’ featuring Jermaine Dupri and The-Dream countered with an unreleased H.E.R. song.

As the night progressed the pair played a range of songs by Drake, Destiny’s Child, Rihanna, Beyoncé, Jay Electronica, Ciara, Justin Bieber, Mario, The Pussycat Dolls, and more.

One of the biggest talking points came when The-Dream played an unheard reference track for Jay-Z’s 2013 single ‘Holy Grail’.


Taken from the rapper’s ‘Magna Carta Holy Grail’ album, the released version of the song featured Justin Timberlake. However, in the original version played last night the ‘SexyBack’ singer’s vocals were instead sung by The-Dream.

“Jay’s probably gonna kill me for playing this,” The-Dream said before pushing play on the record.

Listen to the original version of ‘Holy Grail’ below:

After playing about 90 seconds of the track the pair’s Instagram Live video paused. “Boy got that call,” one viewer wrote, joking that Jay-Z had called The-Dream to get him to stop playing the record. Another wrote: “jay texted dream like ‘its HOV’.”

Jay-Z recently surprised fans by restoring his entire discography to Spotify to mark his 50th birthday.

The rap icon, who owns streaming service Tidal, had previously removed the majority of his work, leaving behind ‘Reasonable Doubt’, ‘In My Lifetime, Vol. 1’ and ‘Vol. 2…Hard Knock Life’. Fans were also able to stream ‘Collision Course’, his 2004 album with Linkin Park.

Now, fans can head to Spotify to stream seminal records like ‘American Gangster’, ‘Watch the Throne’ and ‘The Black Album’.

Meanwhile, Stormzy has revealed how he turned down the chance to feature on a song with Jay-Z.

The grime star was working with Ed Sheeran and the rap icon on ‘Take Me Back To London’, which featured on Sheeran’s ‘No 6 Collaborations Project’ album.