I would be pretty surprised if you are reading this blog and haven’t heard this by now, but Jay Z dropped an album titled 4:44 at midnight on June 30th exclusively on Tidal (the streaming service purchased by Jay Z in 2015 that Sprint now owns 33% of). After a week of exclusivity on Tidal the physical copy was released and the project went live on all of the other streaming services. It is a shorter album, originally 10 tracks with 3 bonus tracks coming out on the physical version. The album is produced entirely by No I.D. who is a legendary producer from Chicago with tons of hits over the years. 4:44 is Jay Z’s 14th studio album, he has had an incredibly long run and has experienced incredible success both inside and outside the realm of hip hop.
Jay Z really doesn’t waste a bar on this album, this means that there is an incredible amount of depth in each and every song. I’m not going to sit down and type out every shot and complex line because there are simply too many and I’m STILL hearing new lines after listening to the album 5 or 6 times. Jay takes shots at a whole messof people on the album, including the alleged Kanye line, Eric Benet, Future, Bill Cosby, and more. Overall, I thought the main themes on the album were about family, race, and legacy. It felt to me like a possible retirement album, although with Jay Z, who really knows. One point that I wanted to make that I haven’t seen much talk of on the internet was the fact that 4:44’s album artwork (seen below) is using a color remarkably similar to Kanye’s from Life of Pablo (also seen below). This may prove some kind of solidarity with Kanye, the orange being the compliment to Jay’s “Jay Z Blue”, the color he bought back in 2007, or maybe I’m reading in to nothing.
I thought this was a great project that once again showcases the lyrical prowess and songwriting skill of Jay Z over stellar production. This album is meant for sitting down and listening to bars, not for playing at a party and turning up to. It is an album that transports you into the life of Shawn Carter, it speaks about his life and his family, where he’s been and where he’s going. There is only one major problem with this album, 50 Cent didn’t like it.