Jay-Z and The-Dream’s ‘Holy Grail’ Demo Sounds Better Than the Official Version

The-Dream teased the song in a songwriting battle with Sean Garrett over Instagran Live

“Holy Grail,” the opening salvo of Jay-Z’s 2013 album, Magna Carta Holy Grail, was always an ostentatious affair. Justin Timberlake sings what seems to be a sexual innuendo where a reproductive body part is compared to a “holy grail.” Jay-Z delivers part of Nirvana’s “Smell Like Teen Spirit” in a very off-key and monotone voice. The best part of the song is Jay trying to convince listeners that his then-toddler, Blue, demanded that he “remind you niggas/Fuck that shit y’all talking ’bout, I’m the nigga.”

“This was the map for the album,” Jay-Z told Zane Lowe in 2013. “It’s why I couldn’t give it up for the [Watch theThrone album. It fit the Throne thematically. I was like, ‘I can’t, man. This is the centerpiece to my next.’ I said, ‘There’s records like “Paris” and “Otis,” and this record is going to get lost on this album.”