Jay Z Wanted To ‘F— With People’s Heads’ With ‘Holy Grail’ Video, Director Says

'Jay's committed to turning the rules upside down,' director Anthony Mandler tells MTV News.

From the opening frames of Jay Z’s “Holy Grail” video, you notice something is amiss.

Rather than seeing Justin Timberlake belt out his A cappella intro, the viewer instead gets Hov delivering a verse. His performance plays out over a series of nightmarish images — serpents, shadows, silhouettes shafts of light — that make the viewer feel cold, claustrophobic. Jay looks pensive, weary, almost trapped by the, uh, trappings of his success. And then, without notice, the entire video slows down, sags beneath its visual heft, then stops completely. The screen goes black.

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