Casual viewers of those Samsung commercials for the new Jay-Z album may have assumed that, since he was in them, Rick Rubin must have produced Magna Carta Holy Grail. Not true, as it turns out. Rubin tells XXL he had nothing to do with the record, only appearing in the documentary-style ads because Jay-Z asked him to “come listen… and talk about the songs.”
While Rubin said he imagines he was asked along because Jay-Z is “comfortable talking to me,” the rapper might not be so forthcoming in the future after hearing the Def Jam founder’s somewhat-underwhelmed review of the record. Rubin told XXL that, while he liked what he heard, "It was a little difficult—after just coming from the Kanye sessions—to listen to Jay’s album, because they’re so different.” Trying not to outright slam the latter, Rubin added that, coming from West’s sessions, he was in a “very alternative and progressive headspace,” and Jay-Z’s record is just “a more traditional hip-hop record.” Basically, set those Magna Carta expectations low, everyone.