Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 11th 2013 Contents B2
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, July 11, 2013
Rapper Jay Z is taking promo to
the next level, selling a million copies
of his latest album to Samsung for
smartphone distribution and going
on a six-hour Twitterthon with fans.
The American musician holds the
title for most No 1 albums on the Bill-
board 200 chart for a solo artist and
Magna Carta ... Holy Grail, has a good
shot of being his 13th record to shoot
But not all critics were impressed
with the music and at least one ravaged
the Samsung deal.
Magna Carta, out on wide release
this week, sees Jay Z teaming up with
old colleagues such as producers Tim-
baland and Pharrell Williams, Justin
Timberlake on Holy Grail, Beyonce on
Part II (On the Run) and newcomer
Grammy-winning artist Frank Ocean
Jay Z, 43, spent six hours on Twitter
Monday, answering questions from
fans about the album, his first since
becoming a father to Blue Ivy, his child
with wife Beyonce.
He said his favourite track on the
album was Oceans, which is also the
oldest song on the album, having been
recorded two years ago. On the track,
Jay Z raps about the struggles of his
race and his rise to the top.
The American rapper, whose real
name is Shawn Carter, is known as
an innovator in rap and hip-hop who
started out on the streets of Brooklyn
in the early 1990s. When asked by a
fan if Magna Carta showcased a new
era in hip-hop, he replied "only time
will tell, let s hope it starts a dialogue."
Family is the underlying theme in
Magna Carta. But Jay Z also raps about
the frustrations of fame, and praises
the finer things in life, on tracks such
as Picasso and Tom Ford, named after
the luxury-brand fashion designer.
So far, the album has earned a mid-
dling score of 58 out of 100 on review
Los Angeles Times reviewer Randall
Roberts gave the album three out of
four stars, praising the record for being
"shimmering, heavy and at times son-
But New York Times critic Jon Par-
eles was less welcoming, criticising
the rapper s extensive use of designer
names and luxury goods in his lyrics.
He does give Jay Z credit, however, for
songs that "aren t cocky or neatly
Entertainment Weekly s Kyle Ander-
son gave the album a D rating and
called it "lazy, smug and fundamentally
empty." Anderson was also highly crit-
ical about the Samsung deal.
"The way it has been presented as
a capital-I Important piece of art about
duality (Jay s word, not mine), deliv-
ered to us via the power of corporate
marketing and Samsung-sponsored
data-mining, I find absolutely putrid,"
While Billboard will not count the
million copies sold to Samsung and
offered free to users, the magazine s
chart analyst, Keith Caulfield, wrote
on Monday that industry projections
suggest the album may sell between
350,000 and 400,000 copies in its
That number would put Magna
Carta behind Justin Timberlake s The
20/20 Experience which sold 968,000
copies in its first week in March, but
ahead of the second-best album debut
this year, Daft Punk s Random Access
Memories, which sold 339,000 copies
in May. (Reuters)
Critics muted on
Jay Z's Magna Carta
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The true story unfolds through
the "Old Man" (Errol "Blood"
Roberts) who is present throughout
the play with revealing, linking
narratives between full glasses of
liquor and unheard (to the cast)
commentaries on the unfolding
The Old Man is present, yet
absent---an interactive spectre from
the past through whom important
details about Eddie and May are
No better person than Roberts
to play the part of the Old Man.
This is a role that could have been
rendered, by lesser players, with
much more flair and colour.
Instead, Roberts tempered pace
and crisp, measured dialogue
invokes the ghost-like echoes of
an intriguing story within an
unfolding story. In the end, the
Old Man is best not left unheard.
Goindhan s rendition of Martin
also downplays what has been
recognised by others as a likely
homoerotic strand, linking Eddie s
emotional candour before someone
who was just moments before a
violent romantic competitor and
Martin s own surprising docility
following an early scuffle.
The sensuous connection
between Eddie and May is electric.
Nurse and Salcedo could, as well,
have overplayed the part but Hearn
Feldman goes for more artful and
Through the twists and turns of
the action, love turns to hatred
and then back to love. Eddie and
May are subjects of forbidden pas-
sion. The Old Man knows the story
and so does the audience.
None of this, though, is intended
to end very well. And it doesn t.
This play is a 60-minute roller-
coaster ride that should not be
Fool For Love tells of
twists and turns of passion
Nickolai Salcedo (Eddie), right, and Sindy Nurse (May) in the play Fool
for Love. PHOTO: DARREN RAMPERSAD
Fool For Love runs at the Trinidad Theatre Workshop, 23 Jerningham
Junction from July 6-28. Thursday to Saturday at 8 pm and Sunday
at 6 pm call 624-8502 for more details.
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