Entertainment

Everything We Know So Far About JAY-Z’s Upcoming Album “4:44”

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JAY-Z is a very busy man these days. Not only did he recently change the spelling of his name and become a father of three with the recent birth of his twins with Beyonce, but he is also already making ~waves~ with his upcoming return to the music industry.

The Campaign

Speculation began early June when mysterious flesh colored signs with the black text “4:44” were found scattered across subways in Brooklyn and Manhattan. They were even reported in places like Los Angeles and New Zealand. These ads weren't only found in print — the mysterious time-stamp also turned up on websites like Complex.com, Fader, and Hypebeast.

Although the advertisements themselves didn’t reveal much, according to  Variety, it was a source code on the Complex.com ad that listed the URL as well as the text “tidal-4:44.” The rapper and father is the owner of the streaming service Tidal, and once the connection was made, the information triggered a frenzy on social media. Fans everywhere took to their accounts with different theories in regards to JAY-Z and what the billboards could possibly mean.

The Release Date

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But before we knew it, there was an album coming from Beyoncé‘s baby-daddy. HipHopDX revealed a release date, marking down June 30th for the big day. It wasn't too long after that JAY-Z himself confirmed the news with a 30-second trailer.

The Meaning

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The number 4 holds a special meaning to Jay-Z himself as well as to his wife Beyonce. JAY-Z was born on December 4, and Bey's B-Day is September 4. The couple was also married on the 4th of April, making their anniversary 4/4. However, it is not just the solo 4 that holds meaning for the rapper. In a recent tweet, Jay gave a shoutout to someone he calls the “greatest rapper of all time,” the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama.

With all of the importance around the numbers 4 and 44, there has been much speculation of what 4:44 could actually mean. Some theories state that the first 4 represents a tribute to his wife and the 44 a tribute to Obama. This could mean that half the album is about his relationship while the other half is political. However, another common theory is that the entire album is a musical commentary to Black Lives Matter movement. Either way, it's safe to say it's gonna be epic.

Special Guests

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Considering JAY-Z's legacy of giving fans albums full of bangers, it's safe to say the expectations are high. Though it's not completely clear who will be featured on the album, people are obviously banking on the love of his life and mother of his three children doing some vocals for “4:44,” as well as some longtime friends who have done many collaborations with the rap mogul in the past such as Lil Wayne and Kanye West. If Yeezy doesn't make an appearance on Jay's album, we can basically confirm those feuding rumors that have been swirling since Kanye had a breakdown on stage that included saying some less-than-complimentary things about his supposed BFF last November.

From the looks of Mr. Carter's Twitter feed, though, we're not ruling anyone out (except maybe Drake, since he recently released a diss track about that superstar). For the past week, the rapper has been showing a lot of love to a number of artists including Nicki Minaj, Lauryn Hill and Weezy. Although this could just mean he is feeling truly inspired by these artists, not necessarily that they had any part in the production of the album.

Someone that is going to have a major part in this “4:44” project is the music producer, No I.D. The duo has worked together in the past, although this time, rumors are circulating that this album was produced solely by No I.D., something which Jay has never done before. On June 19, filmmaker Chris Black tweeted to confirm this rumor (though neither party actually involved has said anything about it).

The Music

JAY-Z has been out of the game for four years, meaning basically anything is possible when it comes to what his sound will be come June 30th. The recent trailer reveals a small portion of one of the songs off the album entitled “Adnis.” The short trailer showed images of a boxer training, set only in black and white, with JAY-Z rapping words in the background that he never got to say to his deceased father. Basically, buy a box of tissues on June 29th cause this shiz could get emotional.

With all the mystery, hype, and campaign tactics, it is obvious that “4:44” is going to be one of the biggest records of 2017. It is still unclear if the album will be solely focused on his family, or if it will feature a variety of themes. Either way, Jay is already a legend in the industry and we can only expect the best to come from this new album.

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