4:44 Album Lyrics
4:44 is the fourteenth studio album and thirteenth solo album by American rapper Jay-Z. It was released on June 30, 2017 through Roc Nation. The album is produced by No I.D. with additional production from Jay-Z, as well as James Blake and Dominic Maker on the album’s physical bonus tracks. The album features guest appearances from Frank Ocean, Damian Marley, Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s mother, Gloria Carter. 4:44 was released as an exclusive to Sprint and Tidal customers, and is the first in a planned series of music exclusives from the Sprint-Tidal partnership. A physical edition was released on July 7, 2017, including an additional three tracks.On the same day, the album was made available to other streaming platforms, such as Apple Music, Google Play Music and Amazon Music.
4:44 was teased after posters were displayed in New York City, Los Angeles and Miami as well as banner ads started appearing on the Internet. A one-minute teaser ad was aired during the NBA Finals on June 7 featuring actors Mahershala Ali, Lupita Nyong’o and Danny Glover, ending with “4:44 – 6.30.17, Exclusively on Tidal”. On June 18 (Father’s Day), a clip titled “Adnis” was posted on Sprint’s YouTube page. Adnis was Jay-Z’s father’s name. A second teaser trailer was released on June 27 titled, “Kill Jay Z”, featuring a young man with a “Stay Black” T-shirt. A third one followed on June 28, titled “MaNyfaCedGod”, featuring Lupita Nyong’o crying hysterically on the floor.
No I.D. says Jay-Z approached him about working together, and initially declined. He cited feeling “uninspired” and “didn’t think [he] had anything at the time” but talks about researching Quincy Jones as inspiration to begin work with Jay-Z. It is the first time Jay-Z has worked with one producer for an album. No I.D. states he “began to play the samples like I would play an instrument.” To get inspiration for 4:44, No I.D. pointed to albums such as, What’s Going On by Marvin Gaye, Confessions by Usher, The Blueprint by Jay-Z, Illmatic by Nas, and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West, saying he “analyzed the mistakes and tried not to make those mistakes.”
“4:44” was written when Jay-Z woke up one morning at 4:44 am, and recorded at his house using Beyoncé’s mic. Stereogum writer Tom Breihan calls the track, “one long, tearful, soul-ripped-open apology.