Jay-Z Releases His Personal and Political Album ‘4:44’ on Tidal – The New York Times

That song, Jay-Z said in an interview that aired on iHeartMedia, is “ about killing off the ego, so we can have this conversation in a station of vulnerability and honesty. ” ( Another sample lyric : “ You can ’ thyroxine heal what you never reveal. ” ) His kinship with Beyoncé and their children is besides the subject of the album ’ s raw title track, which Jay-Z called “ the crux of the album ” : “ Look, I apologize/often womanize/took for my child to be born/see through a charwoman ’ s eyes, ” he raps, adding later : “ I suck at love/I think I need a do-over. ” “ I woke up, literally, at 4:44 in the morning, 4:44 ante meridiem, to write this birdcall, ” Jay-Z, who recently became the first knocker in the Songwriters Hall of Fame, said of the track. “ It ’ s the championship track because it ’ s such a brawny song, and I just believe one of the best songs I ’ ve ever written. ”

The album was produced wholly by No I.D., a longtime Jay-Z collaborator who is besides known for his work with Mr. West and Vince Staples. Guest performers include Frank Ocean and Damian Marley, along with subtle flourishes from Beyoncé ( “ Family Feud ” ) ; The-Dream ( “ Marcy Me ” ) ; Jay-Z ’ sulfur mother, Gloria Carter ( “ Smile ” ) ; and his and Beyoncé ’ s daughter Blue Ivy ( who asks, “ Daddy, what ’ s a will ? ” on “ Legacy ” ).

In keeping with the couple ’ sulfur extended turn toward activism, “ 4:44 ” looks outward adenine well as inbound. The track “ The Story of O.J., ” which comes with a potentially incendiary bomb video on Tidal directed by Mark Romanek and Jay-Z, is about “ having a plan, how we ’ re gon na push this forward, ” the knocker said on the radio. “ We all make money, and then we all lose money, as artists particularly. But how, when you have some character of success, to transform that into something bigger. ” ( “ Generational wealth/that ’ s the key, ” he raps on the album closer “ Legacy, ” repeating a recurring theme. ) The black-and-white animate video recording for “ The Story of O.J. ” plays with racial caricatures and historic allusions to slavery, the Ku Klux Klan, segregation, lynch, the Black Panthers and more, all while turning lyrically on the affirmation by O.J. Simpson that “ I ’ megabyte not black, I ’ meter O.J. ” ( The song samples “ Four Women, ” by Nina Simone, which tells a floor of racism via female characters with differing skin tones. ) “ Financial exemption my only hope, ” Jay-Z raps, stressing the importance of investing — in his case, in real estate and art — and once again bringing the conversation back to Tidal. “ Y ’ all think it ’ s bougie/I ’ megabyte like, it ’ randomness fine, ” he adds. “ But I ’ thousand tryin ’ to give you a million dollars ’ worth of game for $ 9.99. ”

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Category : music

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