Finally got a chance to hear it!!! Also, check out Jay-Z’s explanation of each track on the album!!!
So guys, I finally got a day to binge off Jay-Z latest album, 4:44 and overall it was freaking awesome. It’s been a while since an artist has released a true hip-hop album with no extras included; no auto tune, no outlandish adlibs, and mumble rap. Jay dropped a complete wake that ass up album which hopefully wakes up the rest of the other legendary hip-hop artists who are getting drowned out by this “new culture” or shall I say this “new wave”. But that chatter is for another post.
So I’ve broken the album down and found a few of my favs (if you see some songs missing it’s because they aren’t my favorite). Read more below:
First off the beat on “4:44” is CRAZY! “4:44” is basically an awesome song. This is probably one of the best Jay-Z songs that I’ve heard. Straight vulnerable and honest. The last time I felt Jay-Z like that was on “Lost Ones”. I mean, it hurt me to hear his side of his infidelity in his marriage. Sheesh–I felt that.
“Kill Jay-Z” was def overrated. I mean, it was one of the most quoted songs of social media but it was a decent song, I was just expecting the “kill” and I got the “critical condition”.
“The Story of OJ” is my favorite!!! Hands down! “You wanna know what’s more important than throwing money in the strip club? Credit.” BARS. BARS. BARS. Dammit, I missed this dude 😩
“Family Feud” reminded me of “Oh my God” from Jay’s 2006, Kingdom Come album.
“Smile” is another one of my favorite records off the album. Thank God for the production of No I.D, this album needed no other producers. “Living two life’s, happy but not free…” “Smile” has the vibe of a Kanye produced track.
“Bam” is American Gangsta Hov. One of his best lucrative albums to me (I’m sure everyone will disagree with that statement, oh well)
“Hov-fully” “Moonlight” will bring the old head rappers back in the game. He could have come harder on that Lauryn Hill sample.
For all those who were a little confused about the album, XXL released audio of Jay-Z explains what each record on 4:44 meant. Read the break down below and listen to the audio right here.
“The first song is called ‘Kill JAY-Z’ and obviously, it’s not to be taken literal. 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 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 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”
“‘Caught The Eye’ is a song that’s dealing with just being aware of your surroundings. There’s a line in it, and it says, ‘Your body language is all remedial, how could you see the difference between you and I?’ Just being so sharp about your surroundings.”
“‘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.”
“‘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.’”
“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 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 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.”
“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?’”