Jay-Z Says Most Of "Magna Carta Holy Grail" Was Recorded In Three Weeks

Jay-Z says that The-Dream wrote the lyrics on "Holy Grail" for someone else to sing. Jigga also says that he recorded the majority of his "Manga Carta Holy Grail" album in three weeks.

Back in 2011, Jay-Z knew that he wanted the song "Holy Grail" to be the centerpiece of his next album. The Brooklyn rapper also thought that The-Dream, who wrote the lyrics to part of the song, likely wasn't going to appear on the track. "I think Dream wrote it with the intent of someone else singing it," Jay-Z says during an interview with "The Truth." "He didn't write it for himself. He wrote it with the intent of someone else singing it. Being in the studio, we was in Jungle [City Studios] together, working back and forth with Justin [Timberlake], I was like, 'Yo. Just hop on that.' I mean, he loved the record, so it makes sense."

Timberlake ended up appearing on "Holy Grail" the first track on Jay-Z's Magna Carta Holy Grail, which has been the #1 album in the country for two consecutive weeks and also features Timberlake singing in a style other than his typical falsetto. Timberlake also sings on the LP's "Heaven," another instance where he altered his usual vocal style.

Jay-Z says that Timberlake was driven by the music itself to deliver different vocal presentations. "Just by the nature of the songs," he says. "It just dictated that he step out of his comfort zone. I think he pushed himself on 'Holy Grail,' which to me, he's [got] a million great vocal performances, but in my opinion is his best vocal performance."

Jay-Z has said that he and Kanye West fought over whether "Holy Grail" would appear on their collaborative album, 2011's Watch The Throne, or on Hova's next album. Jay-Z won that battle, but Magna Carta Holy Grail would not arrive for nearly two more years. 

Jay-Z says that his album-making process and his recording timeline have changed from the 1990s and the early 2000s, when he released an album every year. "I'm not on a schedule, so it'll start, then it'll stop," he says. "Like for this album, I had 'Oceans' recorded, lyrics on it and everything, for over a year. Like when as soon as Watch The Throne was finished. I had the track and the hook to 'Holy Grail' way back then, so I can't say I officially started [Magna Carta Holy Grail] then. I had pieces of music and ideas and then with Timbaland and we caught that vibe, then it was a pretty short period of time. It was over a couple of weeks. It was over maybe two weeks, maybe three. Let's just say three weeks and it was done."

The-Dream echoed to Revolt TV the timeframe in which Magna Carta Holy Grail was made. "That was literally about—the body [of Magna Carta Holy Grail]—two weeks of work," the singer-songwriter-producer says. "The significant part of this album, the body: two weeks." 

RELATED: Jay-Z Says Kanye West Wanted "Holy Grail" & "Oceans" On "Watch The Throne"

37 Comments

  • Anonymous

    Once the promotion run is over, we won't hear from this guy until it's time for another album..next year.. year later....they try so hard to make it seem genuine that they are talking to US...but it's crystal clear when every actor, actress, musician etc only talks when a project drops, some even seem bothered by it..lol... UPS is hiring, or oh no..its 2013..probably not. follow at noles506 if ur music related / sports / active / ill follow back

  • Rizz

    Magna Carta sucked like your fat lips

  • jasonnn

    http://i1.ytimg.com/vi/0KHCqYCyWD4/mqdefault.jpg

  • Anonymous

    J. Cole wrote an apology letter to Autism Speaks for his "retarded" line. Various groups and fans have been more vocal recently about being outraged and offended by offensive lyrics from rappers. Most recently we have the Lil Wayne Emmett Till line, and the Rick Ross date-rap reference, and the most recent, J. Cole's line on his "Jodeci" freestyle with Drake about autistic people. Now Cole has penned a heartfelt letter apologizing for the line. There was a petition filed by the Anti-Bullying Alliance shortly after the track was released, but the NC native wanted to be clear that the letter had nothing to do with pressure, and it was just when he listened to the line again, "Im artistic, you niggas is autistic, retarded," and saw how it truly negatively affected some people he knew he had to apologize. In the letter he insists this was not to appease anyone, but just make right something he felt was wrong. He posted a link on Twitter and put up the letter which you can read below. Recently theres been a trend that includes rappers saying something offensive, only to be attacked for it in the media and pressured to apologize. I have to be completely honest and say theres a part of me that resents that. I view rap similar to how I view comedy. Its going to ruffle feathers at times. Its going to go too far. I do not believe that an apology is needed every time someone is offended, especially when that apology is really only for the sake of saving an endorsement or cleaning up bad press. With that said, this is not the case today. This letter is sincere. This apology IS necessary. In a recent verse on the song Jodeci Freestyle, I said something highly offensive to people with Autism. Last week, when I first saw a comment from someone outraged about the lyric, I realized right away that what I said was wrong. I was instantly embarrassed that I would be ignorant enough say something so hurtful. What makes the crime worse is that I should have known better. To the entire Autism community who expressed outrage, Im moved and inspired by your passion, and Im amazed at how strong you are as a unit. I have now read stories online from parents about their struggles and triumphs with raising an Autistic child and I admire how incredibly strong you have to be to do so. Its touching. It also makes what I said even more embarrassing for me. I feel real shame. You have every right to be angry. To anyone suffering from Autism, either mildly or severely, I am sorry. Im bound to make mistakes in my life, but in my heart I just want to spread Love. I want to educate myself more on Autism, and Ill gladly own my mistake and serve as an example to todays generation that theres nothing cool about mean-spirited comments about someone with Autism. People with this disorder and their loved ones have to go through so much already, the last thing they need is to hear something as ignorant as what I said. I understand. To the parents who are fighting through the frustrations that must come with raising a child with severe autism, finding strength and patience that they never knew they had; to the college student with Aspergers Syndrome; to all those overcoming Autism. You deserve medals, not disrespect. I hope you accept my sincere apology. Much Love -Cole [Update: Drake Issues Apology] After J Cole made his heartfelt apology over the weekend, Drake decided to follow suit and take to his OVO blog this evening to state his apology. He also added that the lyric will be removed from the song. Drake's statement read: "J.Cole wrote a beautiful and moving apology to individuals and families affected by autism who were understandably hurt by a verse in Jodeci Freestyle. I share responsibility and offer my sincerest apologies for the pain this has caused. Individuals with autism have brilliant and creative minds, and their gifts should not be disparaged or discounted. This was a learning lesson for both of us, and Im grateful for the opportunity to try to right this wrong. J. Cole and I believe that it is the right, responsible, and respectful decision to remove the lyric from the song." [Via]

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  • Anonymous

    Oh so thats the reason why the album sucks bigtime

  • FUCK JAY

    BIG DICK SUCKING LIPS

  • Anonymous

    the lyrics sounded rushed and wack

  • Anonymous

    hova dosent know wat to rap about its over

  • sxxx9

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExH5VU5iq9Q

  • sxxx9

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mH-cIzI4iQA

  • sxxx9

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZwsdW6TAl8

  • fam

    do people even listen?pay attention? Greatness rushed or not..and a artist/business person should seek more than one or two crowds..evolve ,expand experience change and alla dat good stuff.

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  • sxxx9

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6W1tG-m4NSU

  • Anonymous

    No shit? Garbage sounds like it was recorded in three fucking days... nigga lucky white people accept him as Front Negro, otherwise the bum would actually have to WORK again.

  • Anonymous

    Manga Carta Hentai Grail

  • Anonymous

    expected with the garbage lyrics and camel dickriding faggots

  • Recorded in 3 weeks

    ...and that's why the album feels rushed.

  • Anonymous

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  • Nuff said...

    Three weeks huh?....That explains a lot...

  • THA REAL

    Why does everyone think that they're Tupac? Bragging about how little effort they're putting into their craft... When u rush ur album like that and rely on the production to sell => Music that will soon be forgotten.

    • Read a Book

      @pacisM.O.R.E I have to agree. Pac was no lyricist whatsoever. He lacked punchlines, wordplay, metaphors, flow; you name it. What he brought to the game was impact. He rapped in an era when Hip Hop was primarily from the East/West Coast side,and he was the West Coast leader. He basically had half a nation behind him. He managed to impact many people's life with his simple lyrics (why do you think some rappers dumb themselves down). Although a natural born leader fighting for a good cause, MC skills were sub par in his arsenal compared to the East Coast in the 90's.

    • pac is M.O.R.E

      2pac is M.O.R.E Most Overrated Rapper Ever. 10.000 songs have the same subject: thug in heaven, thug in jail, i smoke weed, i drink henessy He never was lyrical! In the beginning he was a Chuck D clown then he became a gangster rapper Before 1995 he was just an average to good rapper. His only classic is MATW. He wasnt a master of the flow he didnt had dope punch lines His wasnt a good frestyler. But all you peopel born after 2000 think he is the goat. Go kill yourself

    • Anonymous

      Oh, and Jay better thank the Illuminati Pac's not around, otherwise, his career would be non-existent.

    • Anonymous

      2 days to write the album, 2 weeks to record. Pac did all that in 7 days and still had the superior album. "Hail Mary" alone was better than the entire BP. Jay even jacked the beat to "Me and My Girlfriend" for BP2, one of his bottom-tier albums. Now piss off, before I take my belt off, punk!

    • Read a Book

      Jay Z made a masterpiece in 2 days (The Blueprint). You lose

    • Anonymous

      2Pac made a masterpiece in 7 days. Jay-Z made a weed plate in 3 weeks.

    • Anonymous

      2pac was an average rapper. Even on his worst day Jay is above average, and sometimes has an elite flow.

  • Blayze

    Explains why the lyrics and flow were trash

  • COCA

    NO WONDER THE LYRICS SUCK...

  • Anonymous

    Ja Rule records albums in three hours while under the influence of opium.

  • Scan

    It aint hard to tell

  • scott

    Sounds like it was done in 3 hours... Hang up the Mic HOVA

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