holy grail. she.

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Photo Courtesy of C&A

Who better to invoke when discussing the ills and glitz of celebrity than Kurt Cobain. “And we all just/Entertainers/And we’re stupid/And contagious.”  “Smell like Teen Spirit” is the opening track to Nirvana’s Nevermind.  Thus, rightfully so, it assist in opening the curtains to MCHG.  Holy Grail is not as “guttural, nonsensical or slurred” but it’s melodic and has a sort of drawl to it—as if a spell it being cast.

Fans are fickle, the industry lushes after anything with dollars attached to it but if you present yourself as altruistic as possible your “cup will runneth over (Psalms 23:5).”

Jay-Z starts off with telling us what Blue told him to remind us about, then he jumps into the d’evils of fame.  He discusses how heavy hitters amassed millions in one night but how when “the money blows/all pigeons take flight/f the fame, keep cheating on me.”  We all know to well the crevices of crotches, lines in the bathrooms, domestic violence, violence, despair, insecurities and suicidal thoughts of our favorite and most hated celebrities alike because of the extravagant compensation of gossip and photos obtained by intrusive, proficient folks with cameras.  When your craziest desires are excruciatingly accessible, priorities can easily be misplaced and boundaries may become nonexistent.

But you can’t “throw the baby out with the bath water,” quite analogous to the cover of Nevermind. Next, he frankly states “you got the shit that —-die for, dry yours.”  This is Jay telling himself to quit crying (IRIS).  With having a wife and now a child, Jay-Z has new pressures.  Yes, Beyoncé has her own prominence to boast about, but there are these things.  These things called pride, breadwinning and “vanilla wafers in a villa.” If you take away the family life, pressure, fakes and peeping Toms (the icing and cherries), Jay-Z has few reasons not to rap.  As an artist, Jay-Z has not experienced too many instances of retrogression.  Why not keep coming back for more?

It could be argued that the ruthless, competitive nature of the rap game is what keeps him alive, figuratively speaking.   The technique and stamina required to be a lyrical giant requires consistent “exercise.”  I’m not suggesting that he should rap until he’s 100 years old but he did say “longevity until I’m 70.” And ladies and gentleman, words are nothing if not affirmations.

The actual meaning of “Teen Spirit,” is lost in translation, literally, deep in the sea of questions due to its “incomprehensibility.”  I always gathered that Cobain wailed about how the irony and clashes of revolution oftentimes drives you to embrace its perplexity, thus relishing in the invincibility (teen spirit) that comes along with that acceptance.  Jay-Z was once an impoverished boy who graduated to street mathematics and science who studied the dictionary, which paved the way for numerous other business ventures which now includes being a sports agent for the NBA and MLB.  How’s that for breaking glass ceilings and kicking in the door.

“Why [couldn’t] you just enjoy it?” Rest peacefully, KC.

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“WE WAITING FOR THE FIREWORKS LIKE JULY 4TH”

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Magna Carta Holy Grail (MCHG) sounds like freedom.

I’ve been wrecking my brain for the appropriate word to describe this musical masterpiece.  In the way that a devoted Jay-Z fan, long before critics had to eat their words and call “Reasonable Doubt” a classic, can.  The album is weightless and more succinct than “American Gangster.”  It’s chiism in verse.

I’m the girl that spent her last $15 dollars in credit to cop the “Black Album.” Smart? Maybe not, but it was worth it.  I preorder Jay-Z albums and often have more than one copy of the same album.  MCHG is the holy grail of making it out the hood but on a sicka note securing legacy.  When I say legacy, I am not referring to rather or not Jay is the G.O.A.T.—because I already know the answer to that but the point at which the sky is now your foundation not ground.

There is no titillation here.  Honestly, I’ve been waiting for this album for six years.  The boy who grew up on the mean streets of Brooklyn, specifically the Marcy Projects is happy.  “Happiness for a gangsta ain’t no love in these streets/Conspiracy theorists screaming/Illuminati/They can’t believe this much skills in the human body.”  I truly wish not to speculate that the birth of Blue Ivy was the prelude to a more immaculate Hov, from cautionary tales to pursuits of happiness to always sportin’ a smile type of peace.

And it dropped on Independence Day.

After I heard, “Open Letter,” my brain froze, the cursor would not move.  I had to reboot.   I had no idea that an album was in the near future or even a thought for him. Hell, he was still riding the celebratory wave of “Watch the Throne.”  It’s revolutionary, but not just black fist in the air.  Every compilation is like a prayer and in between release dates Jay-Z puts in the work to guarantee the fruition of his aspirations (action).

“Own boss, own your masters, slaves…”

These are my initial thoughts.

Let the dissection begin.

To be continued.

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