Jay-Z tends to sound confident in any given situation, so for two tracks off Magna Carta Holy Grail, a few crucial (and familiar) collaborators help set the (wildly different) tones.
In the clattering “BBC,” Timbaland instructs us to turn it up as Nas brags, “My whole life is leisure.” Between the knocking beat and loop of Pharrell sucking in his breath, the party atmosphere makes it a bit difficult to hear Beyonce and Justin Timberlake in the mix. Meanwhile, in the tense “Oceans,” Frank Ocean quivers as he sums up Hov’s rhymes of slavery and ships in plaintive verses (“This water mixed my blood, this water knows it all”). He can be heard loud and clear.
Through it all, whether he spits, “It’s Britney, bitch,” or swears, “I’m anti-Santa Maria / only Christopher we acknowledge / is Wallace,” Jay-Z refuses to lose his cool. Hear “BBC” and “Oceans” after the jump.
Jay-Z feat. Justin Timberlake, Beyonce, Swizz Beatz, Pharrell, Timbaland — “BBC”
Jay-Z feat. Frank Ocean — “Oceans”
How do these Magna Carta Holy Grail tracks compare to Jay-Z’s more off-the-wall collaborations? Let us know in the comments.
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