Jay-Z and pretty much every track on his thirteenth album “4.44” are the top trends on most of your favorite social networking sites right now. The new LP showcases a big brother side to the hip-hop mogul with less emphasis on trivial matters and more educating.
On “4.44” he also had some choice words for his longtime friend and protege Kanye West on the album’s opener “Kill Jay Z.”
“I know people backstab you, I felt that too/But this fuck everybody attitude ain’t natural/But you ain’t the same, this ain’t Kumba ‘Ye/But you got hurt because you think kumbaye/You give him $20 million without blinking/he gave you 20 minutes on stage, fuck what was he thinking?/’Fuck wrong with everybody?’ is what you saying/But if everyone is crazy, you’re the one that’s insane”
His “I Got The Keys” collaborator, Future wasn’t safe from the shade either. “In the future, other niggas playin’ football with your son/You had lost it.”
If you’re a Hov fanatic like myself then I’m sure you must have wondered what his thought process behind a few of the tracks on the LP were at the time. While pausing and playing it back as an attempt to decipher each track is good — Won’t you rather hear the actual meaning of the songs from the artist himself?
Kill Jay Z
“The first song is called ‘Kill Jay Z’ and obviously, it’s not to be taken literal. It’s really about the ego. It’s about killing off the ego, so we can have this conversation in a place of vulnerability and honesty.”
The Story of O.J.
“‘The Story of O.J.’ is really a song about we as a culture, having a plan, how we’re gonna push this forward. We all make money, and then we all lose money, as artists especially. But how, when you have some type of success, to transform that into something bigger.”
“‘Smile’ is just what it is. There are gonna be bad times, and those bad times can do two things: they can get you in a place where you’re stuck in a rut, or it can make your future that much better because you’ve experienced these things.”
Caught Their Eyes
“‘Caught Their Eyes’ is a song that’s dealing with just being aware of your surroundings. There’s a line in it, and it says, ‘Your body language is all remedial, how could you see the difference between you and I?’ Just being so sharp about your surroundings.”
“‘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. 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.”
“‘Family Feud’ is about separation within the culture. Like, new rappers fighting with old rappers, saying all these things. So, the line is, ‘Nobody wins when the family feuds.'”
“The song ‘Bam’ with Damian Marley, it’s just jammin’, it’s just like the song. But it’s secretly Shawn Carter saying, ‘Man, you need a bit of ego.’ It was because of me and the things that I’ve done, this is JAY-Z saying you needed a bit of ego for us to arrive at this point.”
“The hook is ‘We stuck in La La Land/Even if we win, we gonna lose.’ It’s like a subtle nod to La La Land winning the Oscar, and then having to give it to Moonlight. It’s really a commentary on the culture and where we’re going.”
“‘Marcy Me’ is a nostalgic walk through Marcy, and it’s about that hopefulness, that feeling of, ‘Man, can I really do this? Can I really be one of the biggest artists in the world?’ You have these dreams, ‘Can I be one of the biggest basketball players?’ We have these dreams.”
“The song is just about what it is, it’s like a verbal will. Just a song about speaking to my daughter. She starts the song off, and she says ‘Daddy, what’s a will?'”
“4.44” is available for streaming exclusively on TIDAL.JaY-