Is Jay-Z the black messiah? 4:44 REVIEW

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Jigga man aka Jay-Z aka Shawn Carter has dropped his thirteenth studio album entitled 4:44. The 47 year old rhyme-slaying mogul from Brooklyn’s Marcy Projects is “giving one million’s worth of game for $9.99.” This is one of the standout bars from the heavily soul sampled album, which is refreshing in today’s Hip Hop climate. Jay-Z released 4:44 exclusively to Tidal and Sprint and contains 10 tracks. Interestingly, 4:44 is the first time Jigga has dropped an album with just one producer who goes by the name of No ID.

Platinum on you niggas

4:44 is another platinum album from Raps No 1

Why name it 4:44?

The good folks at Stereogum reported that the origin of the title of the album stems from an interrupted nights sleep. Jay-Z woke up at 4.44 am probably in a frenzy riddled with guilt. He started recording upper echelon bars at his crib with the use of Beyonce’s microphone.

“One long, tearful, soul-ripped-open apology”

Stereogum writer Tom Breihan reported this was the 4;44 vibe

 

Lemonade vs 4:44 – Did Jay-Z cheat?

Well yes, his ass did.

In April 2016, Beyonce released her sixth studio album Lemonade, which seemingly alluded to her husband cheating on her fine ass. The mysterious woman was speculated about forcing many woman to deny they were “Becky with the good hair.”

Lyrics off Beyonce’s Sorry off the Lemonade album

Jay-Z in the song Family Feud, featuring his wife Beyonce, said “Leave me alone Becky.” Perhaps this alleged temptress is still trying to break up a happy home. Are powerful men allowed to cheat?

  • Becky = Act of oral intercourse
  • Becky = A slang used to refer to white girls

4:44 Audio

Jay Z’s 4:44 is the most soulful Hip Hop album that will drop in 2017 bar none. The album contains various samples from ‘golden oldies’ such as Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone and Donnie Hathaway. The beats from No ID send chills down your spine when listening with the Solo Beats.

Personally, I was happy that Jay Z gave us his best 10 songs for the purpose of 4:44 as it is about quality rather than quantity. The playback value for each song is extremely high. With time, I will discover more wordplay and meaning behind the bars, which is refreshing in today’s climate.

Tracks 1-3

The opening track is Kill Jay-Z, which is a masterful killing of Jay-Z’s legendary ego where he resurfaces a lot of his past troubles. Such troubles include shooting his own brother, stabbing a record promoter back in the day and egging on Solange.

The aftermath of the elevator incident in which Solange attacked her brother-in-law Jay Z

Story of OJ is the second track and it is pro-black to say the least touching on subjects such as generational wealth. The hook references many derogatory terms used in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. Jay-Z says despite your level of wealth or fame you are still a nigga. This is a blunt but fair assessment in my mind.

We tend to, as black people—‘cause we never had anything, which is understandable—we get to a place and we just think we separate ourself from the culture.

Smile is the third and longest track on 4:44 and reveals Jay-Z’s Moms as being a homosexual. Clearly, this must have been a difficult omission to make public. The song ends with a poem from Gloria Carter (Jigga’s Moms).

Tracks 4-6

Caught In Their Eyes features Frank Ocean and is truly amazing. Essentially, the message is to always be aware of your surroundings and growing up in London being “on your square” is mandatory, off gates. The crux of the album is 4:44, which is an open love/apology letter to his wife Beyoncé. In the song he discusses being a bad husband and the possibility of cheating on her. This song has that classic feeling. Jay-Z said to iHeartRadio, lyrically it’s one of the best songs he’s ever written.

Family Feud speaks on bridging the gap between the new and older generation in Hip Hop who seemingly bicker about credibility. Beyonce sprinkles some ultra smooth harmonies on this joint too.

I would say I’m the realest nigga rappin’ (Ha-ya)
But that ain’t even a statement (Ha-ya)
That’s like sayin’ I’m the tallest midget (Ha-ya)
Wait, that ain’t politically correct (Ha-ya)

Tracks 7-10

Jay Z and Damien Marley collaborated on Bam

Bam is a jammin’ Reggae sounding banger featuring Damien Marley, which Jay brings back the ego HEAVY. Moonlight is the eighth song on 4:44 and speaks on the rap game becoming stale and repetitive. The hook to Moonlight is clever and stems from the Oscars. I’ll leave that you to unravel.

Marcy Me is another one of my favourites on 4:44 as Jay recalls his day of hustling in his Brooklyn housing projects. The song also shouts out Marvin Gaye’s Mercy Me.

Legacy is the last song on the project and speaks about generational wealth, black excellence and Jay-Z’s motivation in life, which is his children. It’s a touching look if you place family at the forefront of your thoughts and actions like I do. I am grinding for my unborn children – as we speak!

Rating

9/10.

4:44 may become a classic (10/10) but after a week of listening and absorbing the bars y’all wanted the rating. Personally, I think Jay’s three stone-walled classics are Reasonable Doubt, Blueprint and The Black Album. Of course, this is a new day and age but this reminds me of The Black Album.

Musically, this is a complete body of work and the concepts were masterfully executed by Jay-Z.

4:44 is different to everything else in Hip Hop in 2017 as Jay-Z is in a league of his own.

Is Jay-Z the black messiah? Musically, he may be for the American Negroe in which Hip Hop is their culture. Not my Mum though!

Rams-Z

 

 

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