Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times
August 31, 2013
Remember when this rapper really was as great as he says? After dropping the indelible "The Blueprint" in 2001 and one-upping Sinatra with the Big Apple anthem "Empire State of Mind," Jay-Z is now best known as half of a pop-culture power couple with Beyonce. But lately he's struggled to say anything new on record, particularly on "Magna Carta Holy Grail," which offers little more than recounting his undeniable riches in steadily less interesting ways.