Here we have the music video for “Holy Grail,” the Justin Timberlake assisted track that gracefully eases listeners into Jay Z’s recent release Magna Carta… Holy Grail. Director Anthony Mandler was clearly given creative freedom during the construction of this visual spectacle. The track is heavily remixed here with verses out of order (Jay spits his rhymes before JT’s hook rings, for example) and certain parts are slowed down significantly. It’s hard to say if this version is better than the original creation, but there’s no denying that this newly polished version works. It’s like listening to the song again for the first time, and in my opinion, that’s an interesting experience.
Watch Jay rap in a ghoulish mansion and JT croon amongst the flames in the clip embedded above. In a sharp move, Hova teamed with Facebook to exclusively launch the “Holy Grail” music on the social network.
On Friday night Jay Z (rest in peace hyphen) premiered his music video for “Picasso Baby,” a track off his latest album Magna Carta… Holy Grail. But it’s more than just a music video, claims the rapper. He calls it “a performance art film” as it incorporates more than just him rapping along to his rhymes. Jay introduces the clip with reflections on performance and hip-hop as art. It’s a music video/documentary hybrid, if you will.
Last month Hova took over Chelsea’s Pace Gallery in New York City for six straight hours where he rapped “Piscasso Baby” in front of a crowd consisting of excited fans off the street as well as famous artists, actors, dancers, and performers. Mark Romanek, who previously collaborated with Jay on his 99 Problems music video, directed this eight minute video (the final two minutes or so is all credits) and shot it all using eight different cameras. Celebrity cameos include Alan Cumming, Judd Apatow, Michael K. Williams, and Wale.
It’s definitely one of the most candid and straight up fun music videos I’ve ever seen. Jay seems to be having a genuinely good time amongst his people and his high energy is contagious to the viewer. So, enjoy this performance art film music video documentary, or whatever you want to call it.
If you were watching Game 5 of the NBA finals tonight you couldn’t have missed this: in a three-minute spot paid for by Samsung and promoting its Galaxy smartphones, rap legend Jay-Z introduces and previews his 12th studio album titled Magna Carta Holy Grail. Thankfully there’s no product placement or any cheesiness at all here, really; it’s just Jay and his collaborators Pharrell Williams, Timbaland, Rick Rubin, and Swizz Beatz brainstorming new beats and rhymes for Jay’s upcoming, surprise release.
“Pretty much the album is about this duality of how do you navigate your way through this whole thing — through success, through failures — and remain yourself,” remarks Hova.