Jay-Z’s ‘Magna Carta Holy Grail’ Contains Some Nirvana Lyrics, According To Courtney Love

Carl Williott | June 21, 2013 1:25 pm

Jay-Z‘s next album already has a killer list of names attached to it — Timbaland, Pharrell, Swizz Beatz — but here’s one we weren’t expecting: Nirvana. Turns out he’s somehow interpolating lyrics from their legendary song “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Courtney Love, Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain‘s widow, told The Huffington Post that Magna Carta Holy Grail uses some lyrics from the hit.

“I’m letting Jay-Z use lyrics,” she said. “Jay-Z’s huge and we’re friends. I mean we’re not besties or anything…. They [used the lyrics] without asking, which is kind of nervy but the business side has been taken care of so it’s fine.” As you may or may not know, Love is very touchy when it comes to Nirvana’s creative property and memory — she threw a hissy fit back when Paul McCartney called his gigs with Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic a “Nirvana reunion” — so Jay really tempted the fates by not seeking permission beforehand.

The Nirvana-Love-Hov triangle goes back a few months further, actually. Back in January, the Hole singer curiously decided to perform an acoustic cover of Jay-Z’s “99 Problems” — N-words and all. Re-live through that over here.