After several days of wondering, speculation, and some wild theories, it was revealed on Wednesday night that the mysterious 4:44 is not a Jay Z album—at least not yet.
Several days ago, mysterious ads started appearing that just read "4:44." Some folks in the know traced the ads to Tidal, the Jay Z-owned streaming service. This, of course, led to all manner of speculation that a new Hov album was on the way.
During Wednesday's broadcast of Game 3 of the NBA Finals, a commercial aired that revealed the mystery. 4:44 is actually...well, we're not sure what it is. What we do know that it involves a partnership between Tidal and Sprint. It features Mahershala Ali (playing a boxer, it appears), Lupita Nyong'o, and Danny Glover.
Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure tweeted out a message, along with a slightly different cut of the 4:44 ad. His tweet said that Sprint would be bringing exclusive content—including, perhaps, 4:44—to Tidal customers.
Thursday morning, @SprintNews said customers would have the opportunity for a complimentary six-month Tidal trial. Starting Jun. 9, both new and existing customers can get six months of Tidal for $0.00.
"More than two-thirds of mobile subscribers stream music an average of 45 minutes per day, making our partnership with TIDAL a natural fit for Sprint and our commitment to offering innovative, affordable and worry-free service," Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure said in a statement. More info is available here.
While Jay Z is not mentioned in Wednesday's ad or Thursday's announcement, it seems likely that he is connected to 4:44 in some way, given that so many resources (the ads, an NBA final commercial buy, etc.) are being used to promote it. You can see the entire ad above, and you can find out the very little information available about the Tidal/Sprint partnership here.