Jay Z’s 13th studio album, 4:44, officially dropped Friday at midnight. The album has inspired a number of different reactions—including widespread joy because we have some excellent new music from Hov.
Rap fans are breaking down and debating the lyrics and meaning of every song. This is what you do when an all-time great drops a new album.
Naturally, following Beyoncé’s masterful Lemonade and its revelation of Jay Z’s (perhaps real, perhaps fictional) infidelity, the Beyhive was particularly ready to analyze Hov’s new album in depth. Would there be any allusion to Becky with the good hair? What about that elevator fight with Solange?
Jay Z addressed the relational issues head-on in the track “4:44.” He used the word “apologize” seven times in the song.
"You did what with who?" Jay rapped. “What good is a ménage à trois when you have a soulmate? You risked that for Blue?"
This was just one of the numerous moments in which he shared his side of the story. He got vulnerable, rapping, “I suck at love/I think I need a do-over.”
“‘4:44’ is a song that I wrote, and it’s the crux of the album, just right in the middle of the album,” Hov told iHeartRadio. “And I woke up, literally, at 4:44 in the morning, 4:44 a.m., to write this song. So, it became the title of the album and everything. It’s the title track because it’s such a powerful song, and I just believe one of the best songs I’ve ever written.”
This wasn’t the only track that turned heads. For example, in “Family Feud,” he raps: “Yeah, I’ll fuck up a good thing if you let me/Leave me alone, Becky/A man that don’t take care his family can’t be rich.” Even CNN is talking about all of Jay Z’s confessions on the album.
Though all is well with the couple—Beyoncé was a co-writer on “Family Feud,” which prominently features her vocals—many Beyoncé fans are nonetheless upset with Jay Z.
Below is a sampling of the Beyhive’s reactions to 4:44.
The album is currently available on Tidal.