JAY-Z just emerged out of his extended four-year slumber with his 13th studio album 4:44.
03 July 2017

Back in 2016, Beyonce dropped her posthumous album Lemonade, which turned out to be a melting pot of controversy and theories. The biggest theory that stuck with everyone was her insinuating comments about how JAY-Z cheated on her. While many wondered about the legitimacy of the doubts, this was then followed up with THAT elevator incident with Solange, where she assaulted him. On 4:44, JAY-Z puts all the rumours to rest and puts out a body of work which sees him aging gracefully and accepting his mistakes and dishing out some life advice.



4:44 starts out with a track titled Kill Jay Z, which he said is “about killing off the ego issues and having a conversation filled with vulnerability and honesty.” He also uses the album opener to burst into a scathing rant about fellow mentor/friend/collaborator Kanye West. Referring to West’s meltdown earlier this year, Hov raps “You got hurt cos you did cool by ’Ye / You gave him $20m without blinking / He gave you 20 minutes onstage”. Ouch. Even Kim K dropped in a word saying his verse was a bit too harsh.



The album features just 10 tracks and is short and simple. It’s produced by Kanye’s former guru, No ID, and features only three guests, Frank Ocean, Gloria Carter, and Damian Marley. The beats aren’t anymore lethal to your speakers, instead they’ve taken over a more subtle yet effective sound.


The next standout track is 4:44, after which the album is named. Much has been said about the cryptic numbers and their significance. Many thought the numbers line up with the family’s birthdays and Blue Ivy Carter’s birthday, but the most reasonable explanation comes form the man himself. JAY-Z said “4:44 is a song that I wrote, and it’s the crux of the album, just right in the middle of the album. And I woke up, literally, at 4:44 in the morning, 4:44 AM, to write this song. So it became the title of the album and everything.” You have to listen to the track to experience the legend digging deep into his soul and put out his true self. The JAY-Z of today isn’t the same rapper we knew back in the late ’90s.



Another big topic Jay spends his time talking about is the billionaire status, and how financial security might be the only way black people will get noticed in the society and prosper. Lot of the preaching he does on the later tracks will resonate with people who make six or seven figure salaries, not college going kids, or the ones with the blue collar jobs. But hey, that’s where the beauty lies—everyone can connect to a lyric, no matter where they’re from or what their background is.


Once the album dropped, it was the topic of conversation almost everywhere on the internet, for obvious reasons. The OG MC is back and how! Needless to say, people started decoding and breaking down the lyrics and the meaning behind them. Soon enough, Twitter was engulfed in a flurry of memes, which is just pure delight for sore eyes. We’ve picked out the best ones for your meme-addicted brains.







Now if you want to listen to the album, we have some bad news. Unless you’re a subscribed member on Tidal, you may not be able to get your hands on Hov’s new album. The album is reportedly slated to hit other streaming services next week. That being said, there are multiple live stream events happening on the internet where you might be able to catch the songs being played live. So if you don’t have the patience, get cracking on your keyboards, cos’ you definitely don’t want to miss out on one of the best albums of the year!