The much awaited latest album from 47 year old rapper Jay Z has been released. 4:44 is the response to Lemonade we have been waiting for.
Beyoncé took her marital issues and made them public with Lemonade, calling out husband Jay Z for his cheating. It was a personal, raw experience unlike other albums. Many of the songs were like poems, and accompanied an hour long video. Scenes included women and family solidarity, being proud of where you’re from and what you look like, and what it means to be a black woman in America. The kind of expectations held over one.
“If it’s what you truly want, I can wear her skin over mine … We can pose for a photograph. All three of us. You and your perfect girl.”
But that didn’t distract from the fact that dirty laundry had been aired, and all those rumors were true. So Jay Z finally, officially responded.
Here is the breakdown to some of the responses song to song
“Pray You Catch Me”: “You can taste the dishonesty / It’s all over your breath as you pass it off so cavalier”“Kill Jay-Z”: “You egged Solange on / Knowin’ all along, all you had to say you was wrong”
“Sorry”: “He only want me when I’m not there / He better call Becky with the good hair”“Family Feud”: “Yeah, I’ll fuck up a good thing if you let me / Let me alone Becky!”
“Sorry”: “Now you want to say you’re sorry / Now you want to call me crying”“4:44”: “We talked for hours when you were on tour / Please pick up the phone, pick up the phone”
4:44 explains a man’s remorse, and sheds some light on what they’ve been through. The title track offers confession, one after another. Until all that can be heard is “I apologize” several times.
Jay Z himself has spoken on what exactly each song means him to him. And like Lemonade, 4:44 is not just about the gossip and responses; there’s a message deeper than that.
“The Story of OJ”
“‘The Story of OJ’ is really a song about we as a culture, having a plan, how we’re gonna push this forward. We all make money, and then we all lose money, as artists especially. But how, when you have some type of success, to transform that into something bigger.”
“The hook is ‘We stuck in La La Land/Even if we win, we gonna lose.’ It’s like a subtle nod to La La Land winning the Oscar, and then having to give it to Moonlight. It’s really a commentary on the culture and where we’re going.”
On “Smile,” he warmly discusses his mother’s long-secret homosexuality — “Had to hide in the closet, so she medicate/ Society’s shame and the pain was too much to take” — and leaves her to read a lovely bit of verse on the outro.
4:44 is a response, reveal and revelation in 36 minutes.
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