“Holy Grail” is a song by American hip hop artist Jay-Z from his twelfth studio album Magna Carta Holy Grail. It features vocals from singer Justin Timberlake and serves as the album’s first single. It was produced by The-Dream, Timbaland and Jerome “J-Roc” Harmon, with additional production from No ID and contains elements of Nirvana‘s 1991 hit single “Smells Like Teen Spirit“. Following the release of the album, the song charted in many regions, reaching number four on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number seven on the UK Singles Chart. The song’s lyrics can be interpreted as Jay-Z’s and Timberlakes’ love-hate affair for fame (taken verbatim from Wikipedia).
And baby, it’s amazing I’m in this maze with you.
I just can’t crack your code.
One day you screaming you love me loud.
The next day you’re so cold.
One day you’re here. One day you’re there. One day you care
You’re so unfair. Sipping from your cup until it runneth over. Holy Grail!
In this song, Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake describe their love-hate relationship with fame. They love being famous celebrities, but they also realize that being rich and famous has many disadvantages. Some of these words and expressions are related to the topic of fame and will help you understand the song:
- take off (sep. phrasal verb) – to remove clothes. My roommate is so messy. He throws his clothes on the floor after taking them off.
- give up (sep. phrasal verb) – to quit; to stop doing something. Teaching was such a hard job, so I gave up and started a new career.
- Holy Grail (idiom) – something that you try very hard to achieve, but probably never will. My dream job is working at Google, but that’s the Holy Grail of jobs!
- be caught up in something (in. phrasal verb) – to be involved in a situation, especially one that you do not want to be involved in. Sorry I’m late! I got caught up in a very long meeting at work. My boss wouldn’t shut up!
- My bad! (slang) – a slang expression used to admit that you’ve made a mistake. Oh, no! I’m sorry that I broke your chair. My bad!
- cornered off (adjective) – to be trapped in a place and unable to escape. The crowd at the concert was so big, and I couldn’t see the stage. I got cornered off in the back.
- call off (sep. phrasal verb) – to cancel plans. I was going to meet my friend, but then she called it off at the last minute.
- get on your high horse (idiom) – to behave arrogantly and think you are better than everyone. If somebody is being very arrogant, you can say, “Get off your high horse!”
- Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. (proverb) – This proverb gives us advice and warns us about making a serious mistake. If we try to eliminate something that is bad, we should avoid eliminating the good things.
- living the life (idiom) – to live a comfortable and luxurious life. My vacation in Bali has been amazing so far. I’m finally living the life!
Do you want to be rich and famous one day? What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of being a popular celebrity? If you were a well-known superstar, do you think you would get tired of it? Write your ideas in the comments below.