After the mysterious feud that sparked questions around the nation, all of the answers are slowly coming together. Who would have thought that it all began the moment Solange Knowles threw blows at Jay-Z in that elevator.
Recently, Jay-Z has released his 13th solo album titled 4:44. It features ten powerful tracks like, “Kill Jay Z”, “4:44”, and “The Story of O.J.” Additional guest appearances include Frank Ocean and Damian Marley. Jay-Z also invited his family to a spit a few lines, like his mother and Beyonce. Blue Ivy also freestyles for the first time on a bonus track!
The album was revealed to the public on June 30th for Sprint and Tidal users. A week later, the album has finally been released to other stream services, such as Apple Music and Google Play.
The album is a mixture of pro-black expression and an obvious ode/apology to Beyoncé. In a previous interview, Jay-Z claimed that 4:44 would be a response to Beyoncé and her emotional songbook, Lemonade. In her sixth album, there were some allegations and suspicions that Jay-Z was unfaithful. Verses from Jay-Z’s new album only seems to confirm our speculations. For example, in Beyoncé’s ‘Sorry’, she sings, “You better call Becky with the good hair.” A similar short line, from Jay-Z, would later be found in 4:44’s, ‘Family Feud’, stating, “Leave me alone, Becky”. 4:44, by itself, seems to reflect some emotional regret. In one stanza, we hear Jay-Z begging, perhaps to Beyoncé; “Please pick up the phone, pick up the phone”
Jay-Z told IHeartRadio, “‘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. It’s the title track because it’s such a powerful song, and I just believe one of the best songs I’ve ever written.”
As expected, Jay-Z has faced multiple critics with numerous mixed reviews.
Some people reacted positively, stating the album stayed within Jay-Z’s musical character but has also evolved since his latest. The Rolling Stone calling Jay-Z “vulnerable, apologetic, and still dazzling”.
Others were more vocal about their dislike for the album, especially 50 Cent. In a now deleted Instagram video gone viral, the ‘Candy Shop’ rapper commented that 4:44 was ‘too smart’ and not very desirable for the younger generation. He even went as far to say, “S— was like golf music” and, “I’mma tell you the truth. N—as hot out here. They don’t wanna hear that s—. They just wanna have a good time”.
Some might agree that 50 Cent may have an interesting point. However, there are others like Snoop Dogg and Boosie, who have both publicly voiced their distaste for the new generation of rappers. No one seems to be safe from such torn emotions, not even 4:44.
At least, we can find some humor in the memes the album has given us.
Who knows how long until the heat of 4:44 will die down?