Nirvana and R.E.M. Lyrics Appear in New Jay-Z Songs

2013-06-26

Story by Anne Erickson

Jay-Z reveals Nirvana and R.E.M.-inspired lyrics from his upcoming new album

Rapper Jay-Z has always held an appreciation for musical genres outside of his hip-hop world. Now, it appears the performer is showing off his affinity for ’90s rock, as Jay-Z is drawing on two alternative rock classics for songs that will arrive on his upcoming album, “Magna Carta Holy Grail.”

According to a lyric sheet for Jay-Z’s new song “Holy Grail,” the track pays homage to the chorus of the groundbreaking 1991 Nirvana tune “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Specifically, according to a post from Jay-Z using a new Samsung Galaxy app, the Nirvana-influenced lines read, “And we all just / Entertainers / And we’re stupid / And contagious.” The track also features Justin Timberlake.

That’s not Jay-Z’s only ’90s tribute on the release. The rapper has also revealed that his new song “Heaven” will feature the chorus of R.E.M.’s 1991 hit “Losing My Religion.” A lyric sheet for the upcoming tune includes the lyrics, “That’s me in the corner / That’s me in the spotlight / Losing my religion.”

Of course, when it comes to the Nirvana lines, Jay-Z had to get permission to use the “Smells Like Teen Spirit” lyrics. Nirvana singer Kurt Cobain passed away in 1994, so his widow, Courtney Love, owns the rights to Nirvana’s entire song catalog. She recently announced that she granted Jay-Z permission to use lyrics from “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”

Jay-Z’s upcoming album, “Magna Carta Holy Grail,” is due out July 4.




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