Guess who’s back?
With over two decades in the game, JAY-Z is still making major moves. In just the first six months of 2017 alone, he became the first rapper inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, secured a $200 million dollar bag through a 10-year touring deal with Live Nation, leap-frogged Dr. Dre to become the second wealthiest artist in Hip-Hop behind Diddy, and welcomed twins into the world with wife Beyoncé.
A lot has happened since 2013’s Magna Carta Holy Grail, so it makes sense a JAY-Z album was on the way. Right?
Earlier this month, a mysterious ad campaign began making its way throughout New York City and on websites like yours truly that read 4:44. No other information was shared, but thanks to some savvy internet users, we quickly learned Tidal was behind the advertisement, offering fans hope of the legendary rapper releasing his first album in four years.
Rumors of a new album from Hov have been circulating for a minute now. But it wasn’t until his name started popping up as the headlining act on a handful of music festivals (including Made In America, of course) that we really started to believe them. Then came the pictures of Jay in the studio with Rick Ross and Rockie Fresh, Zaytoven hinting at unreleased music, and talk of a Damian Marley collaboration.
Confirmation of the album arrived during Game 3 of the NBA Finals when the 4:44 resurfaced with JAY-Z and a June 30 release date attached. The rollout also came accompanied with a series of black-and-white vignettes starring Mahershala Ali, Danny Glover, and Lupita Nyong’o.
Well folks, the time has arrived. At the stroke of midnight, JAY-Z’s thirteenth studio album has officially been released — through an exclusive partnership between Sprite and Tidal, because Hov’s never not been about his business.
4:44 is his shortest album to date, coming in at a brisk 10 tracks and less than 40 minutes long (similar to Nas’ Illmatic). Produced in its entirety by No I.D., the album features contributions from his mother Gloria Carter, Frank Ocean, Beyoncé, The-Dream, and Damian Marley.
JAY-Z BREAKS DOWN EACH SONG OFF 4:44
After several listens, you can’t help but praise No I.D. for providing JAY-Z with such a soulful sound-bed to work with. The production is downright incredible. Those looking for the samples used, we’ve got you covered. On the lyric side of things, peep some insight from JAY-Z below.
The gifts keep coming. On top of the album, an animated video for “The Story of O.J.” has also been released.
“The Story Of O.J.”
WHERE’S “ADNIS” THOUGH?!
If you’re like me, the one thing you noticed that was missing from 4:44 was the “Adnis” song we heard from the first preview. The song’s named after his father, and considering how deep Jay got on the album, I can only imagine what’s said. Thankfully, the song — and, hopefully, a few others — will show up on the physical release of the album.
Guys calm down Adnis will be on the physical copies. If you guys act right I may slip a couple other songs on there.. shhh don’t tell jay
— Young Guru (@Young_Guru) June 30, 2017