Jay-Z released his 13th solo album, 4:44, and it addresses all of the gossip divulged in Beyoncé’s Lemonade album. The album features 10 tracks and offers an inside glimpse into the more personal side of the multi-millionaire entrepreneur.
When the album dropped at midnight, the album was played across 160 iHeartRadio stations in the United States. In addition, JAY-Z shared details into each track on the album.
The Meaning of Jay-Z’s ‘4:44’ Songs
For the first song on the album, JAY-Z argues that the song is all about “the ego.”
“The first song is called ‘Kill JAY-Z’ and obviously, it’s not to be taken literal.” JAY-Z said. “It’s really about the ego. It’s about killing off the ego, so we can have this conversation in a place of vulnerability and honesty.”
“The Story of OJ”
The second song on 4:44 is all about transformation, according to JAY-Z. “‘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.”
Smile is all about seeing the bright side in life.
“‘Smile’ is just what it is. There are gonna be bad times, and those bad times can do two things: they can get you in a place where you’re stuck in a rut, or it can make your future that much better because you’ve experienced these things.”
“Caught The Eye”
JAY-Z explains that “Caught The Eye” is focusing on “being aware of your surroundings.” He points out a verse in the song that sums up his point. “There’s a line in it, and it says,” he says. “‘Your body language is all remedial, how could you see the difference between you and I?’ Just being so sharp about your surroundings.”
The middle song in the album is probably JAY-Z’s most revealing song in the album. He explains that he woke up at 4 in the morning and began writing the lyrics to the song. With hundreds of songs written by JAY-Z, the lyricist explains this is one of his best songs he has ever written.
“‘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.”
With all the controversy surrounding rappers, especially considering the recent feud between Joe Budden and the Migos during the BET Awards, JAY-Z’s “Family Feud” addresses the “separation within the culture.”
“‘Family Feud’ is about separation within the culture. Like, new rappers fighting with old rappers, saying all these things. So, the line is, ‘Nobody wins when the family feuds.’”
“Bam” is all about confidence. The song ‘Bam’ with Damian Marley it’s just jammin’, it’s just like the song. But it’s secretly Shawn Carter saying, ‘Man, you need a bit of ego.’ It was because of me and the things that I’ve done, this is JAY-Z saying you needed a bit of ego for us to arrive at this point.”
The song “Moonlight” addresses how culture has changed over time, especially the recent Oscars fiasco. “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.”
“Marcy Me” is a reflection back on the Marcy projects, where JAY-Z grew up. “‘Marcy Me’ is a nostalgic walk through Marcy, and it’s about that hopefulness, that feeling of ‘Man, can I really do this? Can I really be one of the biggest artists in the world?’ You have these dreams, ‘Can I be one of the biggest basketball players?’ We have these dreams.”
JAY-Z explains that this song is a “verbal will” and centers around speaking to his daughter. “The song is just about what it is, it’s like a verbal will. Just a song about speaking to my daughter. She starts the song off, and she says ‘Daddy, what’s a will?’”
How to stream Jay-Z’s 4:44 album
If you want to stream/listen to JAY-Z’s new album, Tidal is offering Sprint customers the opportunity to listen to the album. You can also check out the album below.