Album: Magna Carta... Holy Grail (2013)
Charted: 100
  • songfacts ®
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  • Lyrics
  • You in the presence of a king
    Scratch that, you in the presence of a God

    Jay-Z considers himself the one of the best MCs that ever stepped up to rap. So, having watched the throne with Kanye West, he now elevates himself on this song to a god, just as his Yeezus pal did.
  • The song is introduced by a twisted toast from reggae singer Sizzla's cut "Solid as a Rock." 50 Cent used the same sample at the beginning of his song "My Crown." The Sizzla sample has also been used by Ja Rule, Sigma and The Jacka.
  • The hook is sung by Grand Hustle rapper Travis Scott who has several co-producing credits on Kanye West's Yeezus album.
  • The song's co-producer, Ebony Oshunrinde, aka WondaGurl, was only 16-years-old when she received a credit on this track. Oshunrinde started making her own beats in her Toronto bedroom after watching a video showing Jay-Z and Timbaland working in the studio together. She came up with her moniker by swapping around the name of one of her favorite Canadian producers, Boi-1da (pronounced Boy Wonda).

    Oshunrinde sent this song's beat to Travis Scott, whom she had met in 2012. He happened to be working in the studio with Jay-Z at the time and a few days later, Scotter contacted the young prodigy to tell her that Jay liked the instrumentation and was interested in using it. "He texted me and said, 'I'm about to change your life'," she recalled to The Toronto Star. "Usually that doesn't really happen to 16-year-olds."
  • In a deal with Samsung, the Magna Carta Holy Grail album was made available for download on certain Galaxy phones three days before it could be purchased anywhere else. The promotion had lots of advertising support, including commercials on the NBA finals telecasts.

    To get the album, Galaxy users had to download an app through Google Play. This app proved particularly invasive, requiring permission to run at startup, modify and delete contents stored on the phone, and know who you're talking to on the phone. After downloading the app, would-be listeners were asked to sign in with a Twitter or Facebook account. Finally, the app put the songs into the phone's music folder, and lyrics could be viewed if the user Tweeted or posted to Facebook. The New York Times reported on the deal with the headline, "Jay-Z Is Watching, and He Knows Your Friends," and made comparisons to the PRISM program that revealed extensive surveillance by the United States government.
  • Jay-Z achieved a huge coup when Robinson Cano, second baseman for the New York Yankees, fired his former agent, Scott Boras to sign with Hova's Roc Nation sports agency. The rapper takes the opportunity to have a swipe at the powerful sports agent when he spits on this song: "Scott Boras, you over baby - Robinson Cano, you coming with me."
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