Jay-Z released his new album “4:44” on Friday morning (June 30) and sent the Internet into a frenzy.
Over the course of the 10-track, Tidal-exclusive LP, the Hip Hop mogul confronts the turbulence of his relationship with Beyoncé.
Confirming the rumors of his infidelity established in Beyoncé’s explosive 2016 album “Lemonade,” Jay has many lines on the album that express regret to his wife for his actions over the years.
Jay-Z is calling his title track, “4:44” off the album one of the “best songs” he’s ever written.
“‘4:44’ is a song that I wrote, and it’s the crux of the album, just right in the middle of the album. And I woke up, literally, at 4:44 in the morning, 4:44 AM, to write this song,” he told iHeartRadio’s The Beat in an exclusive interview.
“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.”
On the track, Jay-Z gets brutally honest about his womanizing and infidelity. He mentions how the birth of his daughter, Blue Ivy, changed his perspective of his relationship and granted him a newfound maturity.
The song starts with a reference to the couple’s latest big news, the birth of their twins, as well as the way his daughter Blue Ivy has helped him see the error of his ways:
“Look, I apologize/ Often womanize/ Took for my child to be born to see through a woman’s eyes/ Took for these natural twins to believe in miracles,” Jay-Z raps on “4:44.”
He goes on to address personal moments in his relationship, including Beyonce’s miscarriages, which she also referenced in her song “Sorry” (“my children both living and dead”).
“I wasn’t ready so I apologize . . . I apologize for all the stillborns/ Cause I wasn’t present your body wouldn’t accept it . . . I apologize because at your best you are love and because I fall short of what I say I’m all about,” he raps.
The song ends where it started, with a reference to his children and the risk he took with his decisions.
“And if my children knew, I don’t know what I would do/ You did what with who?/ What good is a ménage à trois when you have a soulmate/ You risked that for Blue?”
Though “4:44” exclusively focuses on his apology, Jay Z also references his cheating in other songs on the album, including “Kill Jay Z,” the album’s first track, which references the infamous 2014 moment when his sister-in-law, Solange, was seen on tape hitting him in an elevator (a moment Beyoncé has also explicitly referenced in her own work).
In his explanations of his songs, Jay Z never specifically says that any of them address his cheating, but the lines are quite clear.
After “4:44,” the next song on the album is “Family Feud,” which features ethereal vocals from Beyoncé and includes Jay rapping the line, “Leave me alone Becky.” That’s a direct reference to Beyoncé’s memorable “Sorry” lyric about “Becky with the good hair,” also known as the woman Jay-Z was allegedly cheating with. Interestingly, Beyoncé is credited as a co-writer on the track, suggesting everything’s smoothed over in the Carter’s household.
Interestingly, Beyoncé is credited as a co-writer on the track, suggesting everything’s smoothed over in the Carter’s household.