Review: Jay-Z “4:44”

“My wife Beyonce. I cheat different” 4:44 is the remake of The Life of Pablo…done better.
I tried to believe Jay wasn’t the scumbag asshole that people make him seem like but 4:44 confirmed that he is indeed a terrible person.
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As Jay- Z scowls us for not buying black, how we need to stop killing each other and be more like the Jews and not investing with money that we don’t have (you know, his usual speel), he tops it off by admitting [bragging] he, too, is a cheater. And he’s not going down alone. As he calls out other infamous thotty men like Eric Benet and Future (Tiger, you can sit this one out), he provides a therapy session for men similar to him metaphorically but without the money physically. “JAY RAPPIN BOUT GENERATIONAL WEALTH AND STOCKS! CHESS NOT CHECKERS! SUPPORT BLACK BUSINESSES!” #TRUE and #staywoke but the fact some men want to shrug off Jay admitting his infidelity is very telling when it’s a focal point of the album. Why does a man have to almost lose everything before he bows down?
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Most of the slander Jay gets is that he’s old and dated. This is a new angle. Jay tells us to build the black community but start internally with yourself and home. How can you provide when you’re not mentally and emotionally sturdy? What is generational wealth if a man has no family to share it with because he refuses to reflect on who the man in the mirror is? If you’re hurting the ones you love or willing to, you’re damaging yourself. How can you lead as you self sabotage? Jay showcasing his vulnerability and reshaping his ego is the highlight of the album. He takes accountability for things that could have been prevented. Men seem to be able to master and dominate everything except relationships.

It’s not because of the revelation that he cheats on Beyonce (even though that’s 70% of where my spite comes from) but because the album puts his ego in the spotlight and he acknowledges the ugliness. If I wasn’t sure before, now I can confirm I do not like Jay as person. But who cares what I like he’s a cute billionaire! 4:44 is a dope project. It’s short and he gives us just what we need and doesn’t try to over-execute it. He calls out Ye about that small loan of 20 mil while jocking the Life of Pablo aesthetic with production by No I.D. Yall peep the shade? He opens up about his mistakes and wrongs as a man on tracks like Kill Jay-Z, 4:44 and Story of OJ and reminds us how important it is to keep the family whole with songs like Family Feud, Legacy and Smile. With so much information and insight we get as Jay gets personal, the project maintains a minimalist feel. Jay is revealing everything so he can heal.

4:44 consists of 10 tracks of why you should never trust a Sagittarius. Half human, half creature, the centaur only foresees the vision for himself at the end of the day. However, it’s an album that was needed this year It’s good to hear “real” bars with the touch of black excellence that Jay has embodied as he’s gotten older. This is some cookout music especially with the samples he used (shout out to No I.D.). With everyone on the wave of self care, self awareness and self esteem, Jay is an idol a lot of black men look up to and with him exploring his masculinity and vulnerability, I hope it’s something men of today can relate to.

Stream 4:44 for free on Tidal with an email registration. It will be hitting iTunes and Spotify reportedly this week.

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