Jay-Z’s ‘Magna Carta’ album art displayed alongside the real Magna Carta, really

As we discussed a few weeks ago, Jay-Z is releasing a new album too, despite his on-and-off “retirement”. The album is called Magna Carta… Holy Grail, and the header image is the newly released album cover. Is this “art”? Eh. It’s an interesting, bold album image, and if this was just a stand-alone thing, I would probably like it. Unfortunately, Jay-Z managed to have this album cover displayed at the Salisbury Cathedral… just beside THE REAL MAGNA CARTA.

Located in the United Kingdom, The Salisbury Cathedral, home to one of the four surviving original 1215 Magna Carta documents, has become the site which debuted JAY Z’s Magna Carta… Holy Grail album cover art.

The installation will be on display at the Salisbury Cathedral Chapter House through the month of July.

JAY Z’s new album Magna Carta… Holy Grail will be available early to eligible Samsung users who have downloaded the #magnacarta app at 12:01 am EST on Thursday, July 4th. The album will be released globally on July 9th.

[From Life & Times]

So, is it that Jay-Z thinks his album (or worse yet, his album cover ART) is equal to the Magna Carta, considered to be one of the most important documents in the history of democracy? I’m still mystified as to how Jay-Z got permission to display his cover art in the Salisbury Cathedral? Did the Salisbury Cathedral want some additional tourists maybe? Or is this some kind of Banksy-esque art stunt?

Here’s a video Jay-Z posted on Life & Times called “Welcome to the Future”. It’s got a nice hook.

Here’s another preview video for the album:

Photos courtesy of Life & Times, Beyonce’s Tumblr.

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95 Responses to “Jay-Z’s ‘Magna Carta’ album art displayed alongside the real Magna Carta, really”

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  1. Elle says:

    His ablum is better than “Yeesus” atleast.

    • lisa2 says:

      Kanye’s album has dropped so badly. I wonder if he thinks it is backlash from his personal life.

      I hate all the fanfare of them releasing an album. Bring back the days when the music sold because was good.
      I’m sure it will be a hit.

      • Elle says:

        Yeah he would think it was backlash and not the fact that it was crap. I tried to listen to his ablum but it was so bad I just stopped. I heard a few of Jays songs though and they are good!

      • Hakura says:

        @lisa2 – I agree that he’s no doubt blaming his personal life (or more directly, Kim) for the lack of his usual success. The 1 thing he seemed so determined to prevent… Overexposure…Was something not even Paris could save him from.

        For someone who claims to be so smart, he should’ve realized that no one involved/associated w/a Kardashian (especially Kim) can escape the far reaches of constant public exposure, even not being physically present didn’t prevent him from being constant pap/media fodder.

    • mabooski says:

      thought this was a smart way of promoting the album! good for him!

      • kaligula says:

        It is smart and even beyond that… it’s surreal. Many greater music and entertainment legends have not dared to do something like this. Actually it’s badass. Insanely badass.

        Love that it will also draw kids’ attention to the historical significance of the original Magna Carta.

      • littlestar says:

        I disagree. It’s not badass. It’s silly and it’s delusional. Equating some album made in 2013 to one of the most important historical documents ever, shows just how important Jay Z thinks he is in his own mind. As I said, he’s delusional.

      • FLORC says:

        Littlestar. Absolutely agree. The album is ok. Certainly not anywhere near his early stuff. It’s frustrating that he’s paid off a museum to display his album and equally frustrating that much of his fan base is only now hearing about the Magna Carta and what it is…

      • Angie says:

        What an egotist! His album compared to a significantly important historical document? Who do these rappers think they are? I am actually offended that Kanyee compares himself to Jesus.

      • Arla says:

        I thought this was ridiculous until the point was brought up that this will help introduce young people to the Magna Carta Libertatum. Kids are going to listen to Jay-Z, so why not learn a little about history while they’re at it? Hopefully the first thing that comes up on Google will still be the wikipedia entry for the real Magna Carta, though, and it won’t go the way of “Madonna” where the original meaning can be found buried somewhere in the 70th page of results…

      • Hakura says:

        @Arla – “ Hopefully the first thing that comes up on Google will still be the wikipedia entry for the real Magna Carta, though, and it won’t go the way of “Madonna”…

        That is a good, valid, (& incredibly unfortunate) point. Sadly, that probably will be the case, given the pages bring up results based on the popularity of each page.

        And we all know most kids aren’t going to be searching for the historical subject. ¬_¬

      • Jess says:

        I am so over rappers and their big fat out of control egos!!! I doubt either Mr. Magna Carta or Yeezus is educated.

  2. mkyarwood says:

    Out of control.

    • Jules says:

      Their behavior is bordering on disgusting, how many idiots out there are going to keep giving their money to these 2?

      • Meaghan says:

        Borderline disgusting? My first thought was that is disgusting. How could they allow this? I dont even know what else can be said about this. They are so egotistical and self centered it never ceases to amaze me what stunts they will pull to get talked about or sell stuff.

      • mabooski says:

        people who enjoy their music. i dont know whats so disgusting about that.

  3. pao la says:

    No wonder he’s best friends with Kanye West. They probably fight every day on who has the biggest ego and if we put the ‘better halves’ in the game too.. oh Lord help us..

    • MCraw says:

      Yeah but at least Kanye is funny. Jay takes all of Kanye’s art and ego with none of the comedy attached.

      This cover art is so Kanye. Jay has always copied others.

    • littlestar says:

      Yup, his ego is just as out of control as “Yeezus’” ego is…

    • Kelly says:

      Excellent point. What douchebags.

  4. Londongal says:

    F*** me. Jay-Zed has been taking ‘wank’ lesson from James Franco….

  5. Mercy says:

    My my My,how much money can thy have to spend?Worht it?I hope not.Stop making the rich richer,and the poor, porer.

  6. Tapioca says:

    These days he’s looking as tired as his music has become…

  7. e.non says:

    what a friggin joke (and not in a funny way). you can bet that jackass didn’t have a clue what the magna carta was — prolly thought it was a new label high end champagne..

    • Angie says:

      I don’t think for one second that Jay Z actually knew what the Magna Carta represents in history.

  8. Faye says:

    Does Jay-Z even know what the real Magna Carta is, or its significance? I wonder.

    Sadly, many of his fans probably don’t know either. I can envision the next generation thinking the Magna
    Carta is a Jay-Z album.

    • mabooski says:

      I’m pretty sure he’s aware. I mean, everyone can google right?

      • Tapioca says:

        Everyone except J-Lo and Hilary Swank.

      • Lucy2 says:

        Lol Tapioca!

        I’m sure he knows about it, but the arrogance to put an album with it is gross. I love music and the arts should be celebrated, but…not like that.
        Let’s all just hope Beyoncé doesn’t call her next album Sistine Chapel.

    • Nalgene says:

      Faye, I find your comment offensive. It would take too many words ( which you would undoubtedly counter with plenty of outraged denial) so let me just say that I fall firmly in a demograph that does follow Jay i.e. young, black, urban. And let me assure yoi that I know the significance of the Magna Carta. If I didnt this would be a great learning opportunity. W

      • TheOneAndOnlyOnly says:

        If I may, narcissism on this level is just offensive, and people in droves are turned off by it; there are so many true artists more deserving than these three greedheads, such as Esperanza Spalding who has more talent in her eyelash than these three; Question, and if i’m out of bounds forgive me, but Jimi Hendrix is revered worldwide, of far more significance musically than these three, and yet is largely ignored by the young black community; He was hipper, cooler,not materialistic, humbler, and the greatest electric guitarist ever; Why is he ignored and yet these three clowns are given adulation way beyond their musical contributions or talents?

      • Jarredsgirl says:

        Nalgene, I too fall into the demographic of Jay-z’s audience:
        Young, WHITE and suburban
        and I had never heard of the Magna Carta

        Still don’t understand why everybody is offended… So he has referenced an important document in history…So what? I’m sure academics reference it all the time in a bid to sound smart and knowledgable.

      • LAK says:

        Jarredsgirl – That’s the most obtuse counter argument i’ve ever read. I can’t believe you posted that. It reflects very poorly on you.

  9. G says:

    The biggest AS IF of the century!!!!!!

  10. Betty says:

    I don’t know why people are so pissed about Jay-z or Kanye for doing what they like. I love the cover, it’s simple but it is strong in itself and the title is kind of awesome.

    • mabooski says:

      i know right? I like it too!

    • Latisse says:

      Betty, I’m with you. Why the outrage? If they let him display his album art there then clearly the powers that be in Britain are ok with it, so why is it pissing off people that are in no way shape or form connected to the real Magna Carta?

      And the whole: bet he doesn’t even know what the Magna Carta is…really? If he named his album that then I’m sure he knows. And honestly even if he didn’t know prior to naming his album, the fact that people are boasting about a factoid most of us learned in the 5th grade is beyond bizarre. Does knowing qualify one of us to display our album next to the real magna carta?

      Oh wait, none of us are multi-platinum selling rap stars…

    • Bijlee says:

      I didn’t care at all about the album, until I saw is promotional videos for it. Dear god those were eye roll inducing. He talks about his daughter and how his own father left him so hes like “I don’t know you know, I never had that example. I never had someone teach me what it means to be a good a father etc. I’m always wondering if I am.”

      …STFU jay z! Wtf? Don’t you have another kid before this one? The guys talented, I like his music. But there’s so much fakery, pretension, and ego surrounding his promotional stuff.

      • Latisse says:

        Wait no he doesn’t have another kid. Those allegations were refuted and never proven.

      • Jarredsgirl says:

        How is wondering aloud if you are a good father pretentious? That’s the opposite of pretentious.

      • Bijlee says:

        @latisse yes, the allegations have never been proven, but they’ve never been refuted either. Something’s fishy. They just have a lot of money to keep it on the downlow. I for one don’t believe beyonce was pregnant either because her whole pregnancy was freaking bizarre. So take that how you will.

        @jarredsgirl it’s pretentious when it’s put as a promotional video for his album. It’s his attempt to appear contemplative about his role in his life to his fans. To make it seem like despite all the crap he’s been through he’s really trying to be a good father. I take no issue with him wondering if he’s a good dad. But this was HIGHLY deliberate.

        Think about it. How much did they rehearse? Did they write lines? How many angles did they test before they found the right one? How did they edit it? It just starts to lose meaning with all that, especially when he uses it specifically to promote his album. Sorry, there’s nothing left to chance with stars like these, especially since even samsung has sooo much invested in his album doing well. The dude is on a publicity blitz. So you can bet your buttcheeks that this was carefully planned it by his PR to appeal to his fan base make him more relatable or whatever. It’s such bullcrap.

        So sorry, I rolled my eyes and thought it was pretentious. It’s not raw or thoughtful anymore after being out through the ringer. It’s deliberate and almost propaganda.

        I enjoy alot of his music and I do think he’s a talented guy. Just way to up his own bum. But I feel that way about a lot of pop stars these days….because they are.

  11. DanaG says:

    Haha I love that Kanye’s album has dropped so badly. What is it with rappers thinking their bigger then God? Of course Kanye will blame Kim even though he recorded it in Paris away from her. I hope it continues to bomb badly that is what happens when you make such an egotistical album. I doubt Jay Z knows what the Magna Carta is he probably thought it was an old relation.

    • Kenyan254 says:

      ^^this LMFAO!

    • MCraw says:

      Kanye’s album is actually good tho. It’s a critical success, if not a commercial one. It sounds like he knew people wouldn’t like it and risked it anyway. Who else would purposefully do that?

      • pao la says:

        Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Kim Kardashian just to name a few.

      • MCraw says:

        They weren’t critical successes tho. So no.

      • Dawn says:

        Critical success means nothing. It is the masses who put money in your pockets. Christopher Cross was a “critical success” and even won a Grammy. But right now most people are saying…who? All that means is the critics don’t really get the music either so they find it to be high art when indeed it is bad and time will not change bad.

      • wolf says:

        it is a good album. it’s not an album for the majority of people, who won’t take the time to let it marinate after 5-6 spins.

  12. Buffy2000 says:

    WOW – a lot of unfounded assumptions here that he probably doesn’t know what it means. Regardless of whether you like the music he produces or him as a person: Jay Z is a very intelligent man. I’m 100 percent sure he knows what it means. As for the younger generation that may not know/ or remember that they know what the Magna Carta is, this will encourage them to educate themselves and have conversation about it; my nephew asked me about it yesterday …

    • LAK says:

      And people wonder why/how kids emulate vapid celebrities….

      • Buffy2000 says:

        I agree LAK – maybe it’s not the best platform (celebrity) but it’s something and if it gets people talking I’ll take it. I will say this, I think the term “role model” is used very loosely in terms of celebrity; I believe they are more objects of entertainment (maybe not the right wording but you get me…) and as such can foster discussion both good and bad i.e the whole premise of this website but their crazy shenanigans don’t have any affect on my day-to-day life/decisions. It could if it’s relevant but for the most part, no. Mind you I’m in my 30′s but I remember when I was younger I was very much aware of their purpose as entertainment and nothing more. I grew up when Madonna was huge and never thought for a second emulating her was an option; my Mom as an active (and at the time unwanted) role model and disciplinarian killed ANY thought of that!!!

  13. Micki says:

    His megalomania enters the room 5 min. before him.

  14. EIleen says:

    I don’t know what he and his wife are going to do when their baby grows up into childhood-their two egos are so massively large there won’t be enough room for her to breathe, she’ll be crowded out!

  15. hadleyb says:

    He looks like Beyonce’s dad in those pics. He should spend some of his billions on some PS, fillers, botox or just a whole face transplant. Yikes.

    He is SO unattractive.

  16. Kenyan254 says:

    Jay- Z should have retired when he said he wanted to, you know, when people still took him seriously and when he could actually rap!Now…..what nice thing to say….aaaam,cant think of any!

  17. serena says:

    Magna Carta and Holy grail..sure. Now I know why Jay-Z and ‘Yeezuz’ are friends.

  18. Anna says:

    At this point Bey and Jay’s collective egos have no bounds or sense of reality. UGH.

  19. Mew says:

    Totally out of topic, sorry, but there’s a link to “realistic Barbie” and it’s so damn off. There’s a gap between her thighs! How is that “average 19 year old american girl?” Total BS.

    And so is the whole Jay Z thing.

  20. Mandy says:

    Listen, don’t get me wrong, I really like Jay-Z. His music is great. But it really gets on my nerves when he, Kanye AND Beyonce, actually, all act like they are God’s gift to earth. Their egos are outta control. Calm down, ya’ll. Your talented, we get it.

    • annaloo. says:

      +1 on this. But I actually am not a fan of Jay-Z. I’m not a huge fan of rap, but there are other rap artists I find a lot more enjoyable and just more FUN than his stuff.

    • Raquel says:


      I used to tell myself that he and Beyoncé were obnoxious, but talented enough to make their famewhore, grating antics worth it. You just had to look the other way when they did desperate publicity attempts and appreciate that you were at least getting good music out of it.

      Now? It’s sad to think even artists as talented as they are have been skirting the boundaries of that grace area for a while now. I’d almost be happy to lose their music, if I could just turn on the news and not have to here about what stupid stunt they pulled this time (as if they are as important as the situation in Egypt, or something).

  21. Bree bree says:

    I actually happen to think jay-z is phenomenally talented ( he has so many brilliant songs in the last decade. Like an unbelievable amount) but my god his voice and speaking style is incomprehensible and beyonce has issues speaking and just can you imagine them talking to one another? It’s got to be a mess! Seriously, YouTube it, it’s ridiculous. They are millionaires and they can’t hire someone to work with them? Yikes!

  22. MBP says:

    Is he going to follow this album up with The Doomsday Book?

  23. Dommy Dearest says:

    This family just needs to go to an island and disappear. His shows as well as Kanye’s have had Illuminati symbols as well as odd cult behavior. A friend of mine went to one of their concerts back in 2011 here in Seattle and was talking about all the creepy things they had there. I don’t understand his Messiah complex, nor Beyonce and Kanye. They are all fools with too much money on a talent based on putting words together and moving around at the same time.

    Yay for multitasking.

    • Nev says:

      so right. WORD.

      every word. becoming eerily too much.

      • Dommy Dearest says:

        So much worship for people who keep us poor.

        I wonder if his tickets will be a grand just like his big headed wife. And I’ll say it: anyone who pays that much to watch a person jirate on stage is a ridiculous. Same for Bieber, Miley, Rhianna. You can go to a strip club and see the same thing for way cheaper. And less talk about how they got to where they are today. Cause E, MTV, and VH1 haven’t done tons of specials.


  24. MaryO says:

    Jay-Z and Kanye West both blather all day long about how fabulous it is to be them — kinda makes me wonder who they’re trying so hard to convince.

  25. A Fan says:

    These two are going fall one of these days…it’s inevitable.

  26. LibsW says:

    I actually live in Salisbury and even I can’t muster up enough fake interest to walk the 20 minutes to the Cathedral to have a look at this crap!

  27. rudy says:

    Out of Control egos surrounded by family and friends who are paralyzed by their ‘glorious’ presence. Bey and Jay are living in a narcissistic mason jar covered in layers of bubble wrap. It is all them all the time. This is when people in power start to believe the hype and think, “yeah, I can do anything anywhere anytime because I am better than anyone.”

  28. EscapedConvent says:

    I’m shocked. What is this doing in Salisbury (or any) Cathedral? How did that happen?! I would seriously like to know how anyone gets to display an album cover in a Cathedral like it’s their personal billboard.

    This is so beyond pretentious my head is spinning at the sight of it.

    Also, what is up with the title? Magna Carta…Holy Grail? Doesn’t that strike anyone else as completely dumb & weird? Why is he connecting these two things?

    He’s upped the gold standard now, this guy. His next album will have to be called “The Old Testament…Great Gatsby.”

  29. Raquel says:

    Jay-Z and Beyoncé are both climbing their way to the top of the obnoxious, ego-driven celebrity list…but I have to wonder, why are these idiots enabling them?

    It’s not as if the political officials who signed off on that in-your-face ‘cultural exchange’ vacation that they flaunted to the public got great face time out of the deal (for the record, I am not uptight about the breach of the Cuba rules, I just get annoyed when the rich and well-connected get to break rules that apply to everyone else, and then don’t even have the sense of decency to not rub it in the public’s collective face).

    It’s not as if the dumbass curator here is going to piggyback his music career off of letting a desperate JayZ exploit a priceless document.

    So, why do they do it? Beyoncé and JayZ are a pair of NPDs run amok…but I just don’t understand their enablers.

  30. Idreainprincess says:

    I am so sick of these pompous and pretentious group of friends. Jay-Z and the Magna Carta? KWest and Yeezus? Seriously? And don’t even get me started on their buddy Goop. The fact that this fool got to display his stupid album cover next to the real Magna Carta just proves (again) that money can buy reputation. KWest is not Yeezus and Jay-Z’s album is not remotely in the same category as the Magna Carta.

  31. GreenTurtle says:

    I wonder if it’s meant as a play on his last name, Carter. Magna Carta…big Carter…

  32. Jazzy says:

    This is just gross. He, Kanye and Beyawnce are all out of control. They’re acting out because they need to stay relevant. A lot of people aren’t buying into their hype machine anymore, which is why you are seeing up and coming, down to earth artists rising (ex. Kendrick Lamar, J Cole, Wale). Like someone mentioned earlier, if the music is great then it should stand on its own. Instead they rely on outrageous behavior in interviews, obscene product placement and PepsiCo sponsorships. Then when it doesn’t sell, it’s art. Haha, yeah right!

    • Jayna says:

      I find J Cole’s Born Sinner boring. He should have pared it down to a shorter length and put a few my songs in there with some oomph. Wale’s The Gifted I am enjoying. Both guys are strong lyricists and show promise.

      And no matter what I say about Kanye’s lazy lyrics on Yeezus in many places and the misogynistic lyrics overkill, the soundscape of this album is mind-blowing and his use of other artists is brilliant in how their songs are used. Read Lou Reed’s review of Yeezus. As a Daft Punk fan and EDM fan, I really applaud Kanye’s vision and creativity on this album. Even though I can’t stand some of his lyrics I like the energy behind his delivery and a lot of humor in some. Basically a lot less Kanye rapping on the album, and in this case, that’s a good thing. But this album makes other hiphop albums sound like they are in slow motion. Many fans will hate the electronics soundscape and nod to house music, industrial music, punk rock, new wave on this album. It’s so experimental and minimalistic and then comes a wall of sound and It’s what I find exhilarating. Love the vocals of Frank Ocean, Charlie Wilson, etc, and the sample of Nina Simone’s Strange Fruit. I can’t stand Kanye, but have to always admit he’s talented.

  33. Aud says:

    Do Jay Z and Beyonce even know what the Magna Carta is?

  34. anon33 says:

    Don’t care what Jay-Z does.

    My question is, what the fuck is wrong with our school systems that people younger than me DON’T KNOW (aren’t being taught?) what the MAGNA CARTA is, and need Jay-Z’s new album to spur them on to find out???

    • LAK says:


      it’s not an esoteric subject or document. We see it in action everyday of our lives.

      it’s mindboggling.

  35. s says:

    I really want these people to go away.

  36. Stubbylove says:

    I want to bitch-slap them both.

  37. Meanchick says:

    This is so insulting. He got his album displayed because he PAID for that “honor.” In this world, MONEY TALKS. I agree. Just go away and take Beezus with you.

  38. Amelia says:

    It’s. Just. Wrong.

  39. JD says:

    And I miss Marvin Gaye even MORE.

    He never would have pulled a dumb-ass stunt like this.

    But he didn’t need to. He made great music that still lives on.

  40. Kylie says:

    “Idiocracy” all the way, all this mass marketing reminds me of the movie. That any institution can be bought for the right price. It is part of the dumbing down of the people, when anyone with the right amount of $$ can promote their agenda at any location, museums, etc…like a race car we can just stamp any product on it. Sad day…

  41. mimi says:

    He is beginning to sound like one of the most narcissistic people (with his wife- it’s a close competition).

    How self important does he think he is?

    He is no Mozart nor is he David Bowie, and even the latter did not dare to equate his music creation to such monumental items.

    The only thing gigantic about these two MacDonald type of entertainers is their ego and delusion about their contribution and what will last of their fast-food type of “music”.

  42. remywill says:

    Is it a play on his last name Carter? I’m so off K, bay and Jay what a pack of fools; talk about a God complex.

    They are constantly trying to be seen as your presidents BBF, all it does is turn me off of Obama, I can’t believe just because they are black he falls for this crap.

  43. Meh says:

    Don’t watch these narcisstic, fat egocentric fame whore’s videos or listen to thier god awful music, I long for the day Kanye, Beyonce and Jay-Z are penniless and forgotten.

  44. dahlianoir says:

    I miss Puff Daddy.