So I showed Jay-Z round my local church

I didn’t really expect to meet the rap megastar during my summer holidays, but then he showed up outside my front door.

The cover for our inevitable collaborative album

The cover for our inevitable collaborative album

A couple of weeks ago, Jay-Z was headlining Wireless Festival, and while he was in the country he wanted to check out one of the original copies of the Magna Carta in Salisbury Cathedral, the basis for his new album Magna Carta….Holy Grail.

So he came down on a tourist trip to check out the document briefly, alongside which the album artwork was exclusively placed a few weeks ago. I thought I’d show him around the place.

Entering the building

Entering the building

He parked outside the house and knocked on the door, with his inner entourage which included a very tanned, jewellery-laden bodyguard, whose arms were twice the size of my face. Unfortunately Mrs. Carter did not make it but I passed on my regards.


In front of the artwork


The Magna Carta was of course signed in 1215 to limit the King of England’s power. I decided against discussing with Jay the possible similarities in his rap-game power perhaps not being what it once was.


Checking out his artwork yo

Salisbury Cathedral on a Sunday morning is your typical church scene – tables of tea and biscuits lined the cloisters as streams of Home Counties OAPs filed out of the morning service. All greeted the Cathedral’s Dean and Treasurer as we walked round, blanking the accompanying African-American save for the occasional intrigued glance, at the novelty of such a character in a Wiltshire cathedral.


Jay and his couple of friends took photos from every angle with the building, the original Magna Carta document and the artwork as they walked through as tourists.


Jay chats with some of the Cathedral choristers

Without resorting to “he’s just such a normal guy in real life!”, a few things did strike me:

• He was incredibly polite and humble.
• He is huge, probably about 6’4” at least.
• He was very cheerful and happy to pose for photos and chat about things, including the origin of Magna Carta, the idea for which he’s had for about two years he said, based on the link between it and his surname (Carter).


Admiring the water feature


Jay with the Cathedral choristers, who had just finished singing a service

It’s a bit strange being a middle-class, white Brit whose biggest experience of injustice is being ripped off by Ocado, to then (very briefly) hang out with a man who sold crack in Brooklyn from a young age to get by, and then shot his brother at the age of 12. And who has now met pretty much everyone and is known by pretty much everyone.


It was quite enjoyable, given how much we were in awe of him, that Jay and his cronies were in awe and appreciation of something we were associated with (the 800-year-old cathedral – I pretended I practically built it myself when with him).

After taking some more photos, Jigga said his goodbyes to Salisbury and drove back off to join Justin Timberlake and Rihanna on stage in Stratford.

  • Anonymous

    99 problems but an Oxford education ain’t one

  • Yeezy

    Wow, The Tab finally picks up on something half-interesting and makes it as dull as Salisbury

    • Muppet watch

      Pipe down muppet, this is the greatest article of all time!

      • Crimewatch

        If this is your greatest article or all time it doesn’t say a lot…

        • Muppet Watch

          Please don’t comment if you didn’t get the initial Kanye reference

          • Northern

            the last thing an article about Jigga needs is a dumb Kanye reference

  • Anonymous

    Now that….is fucking COOL.

  • Rosie

    *Mrs Carter

  • Evian

    This is a great piece it really puts into perspective that it doesn’t matter how rich or famous you are, everyone is still fascinated by a good water feature.

  • obligatory

    I live there!!!!

  • BWS Massiv’


  • robbierocket

    For an Oxford student he can’t right for shit. Interesting story made to sound pretty dull.

    • Anon

      Clearly neither can you.


  • Anonymous

    Please tell me robbierocket you intentionally wrote “right”.

  • Anonymous

    No way is he 6’4, the kids are nearly as tall as him! Great article though.

  • Anonymous

    Who ever said the author went to Oxford?

    • Anonymous

      Err, I know him…

      • James Mitchell

        I know his sister Ellie.

    • drizzy

      he wears a shirt without a real collar, loves hip hop but lives in Salisbury – he’s babylove in human form

  • michael

    This is some poorly written bollocks.

  • Anonymous

    Great article but spelling his name correctly would have been a nice touch. Jigga now refers to himself as Jay Z having famously dropped the hyphen.

  • Action Bronson

    nice research, he’s changed his name to JAY Z, not Jay-Z, spell the geezer’s name correctly, realtalk.

  • Anonymous

    Awfully written article.

  • Trust me.

    ”Sleepy town..”. I’ll have you know Salisbury is rocking.

  • Pleh

    Get with the times Tab, it’s Jay Z not Jay-Z:–3/71533 xx

  • mickey

    boring as fuck