On his 13th studio album, Shawn Carter gets as personal as ever before at the age of 47. Mr. Carter is one of the few that has the power to have the world stop and listen to one of your projects, as Jay enters the third decade of an illustrious career. We’ve never seen Hov this vulnerable, letting us in on his relationship struggles by responding to Bey’s LEMONADE, having to kill his ego, admitting his mother Gloria is a lesbian and even checking little brother Kanye West.
What he exuded is the realities of black excellence, showing the positive as well as the negatives of being a hip-hop mogul, spokesman and trailblazer all contained within the ingenious 10-track project, which is now available across all major streaming platforms. Jay raps “I’m trying to give you a million dollars worth of game for $9.99,” which is the over-arching theme of the project in my opinion.
— TRACE Naija (@TRACENaija) June 30, 2017
Jay passed along gems that he learned in business throughout his journey. Explaining in the interlude of the powerful “The Story of O.J.” Hov dismisses people throwing money away while flaunting at the strip club instead of investing in themselves for good credit because that is a way to help break through America’s systematic oppression. Comparing that to the Jews who have generational wealth passed on through owning real estate.
Black capitalism related lyrics dominate the project as Jay expresses his commitment to generational wealth and using entrepreneurship to “rinse” the black communities. To continue with “The Story of O.J.” Hov explains his plans of passing on wealth through owning property, using examples of how the value of a DUMBO building property in Brooklyn is now worth 10x more than when he was growing up.
“Financial freedom my only hope Fuck livin’ rich and dyin’ broke I bought some artwork for 1 million 2 years later, that shit worth 2 million Few years later, that shit worth 8 million I can’t wait to give this shit to my children”
The Brooklyn MC called on the legendary Kanye West mentor, No I.D. who handled the production side for the entire project, crafting tuneful beats incorporated with an old-school soulful sound that soothes your well-being. The Chicago producer sampled the likes of Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone and Donny Hathaway. It’s refreshing that the culture could still enjoy a modern hip-hop album that doesn’t include any trap beats. Jay only exercises the use of Damian Marley and Frank Ocean as features on two tracks throughout 4:44.
Anybody else got 4:44 in their top 3 Hov albums yet or it’s too early for that kind of talk? 35 and up Twitter only please reply.
— Charlamagne Tha God (@cthagod) July 11, 2017
Hearing HOV this honest on an album shows that vulnerability still makes for the best art. This is how an artist progresses throughout his career, especially someone who has accomplished as much as Jay has at the age of 47. It may be his 13th album, but Shawn Carter is still finding innovative ways to release his music 21 years after his debut album, where as almost all of the colleagues that joined the game with him in the ’90s are well out of the relevant hip-hop picture.
JAY Z added a footnotes video to explain the deeper meaning of his heartfelt confessional “4:44” to open the album, where he apologizes to his wife Beyonce saying she “matured faster” than him even though he is 12 years her elder. Carter admits his relationship “wasn’t built on 100% truth” and rebuilding the “beautiful mansion” of their marriage was “the hardest thing he’s ever done.” Hov chops it up with other celebrities including Chris Paul, Meek Mill, Will Smith, Michael B. Jordan, Aziz Ansari, Anthony Anderson for some barber shop talk about love and relationships. Check it all out on TIDAL.
— SAINT HERON (@SaintHeron) July 10, 2017
Hovi will be coming home to perform at the Barclays Center at the Brooklyn stop of his 4:44 Tour on November 26th. The pricey tickets already sold-out within a few hours for the entire tour, which kicks off in Anaheim, CA on October 27th.
R.I.P. JAY Z