Review: 4:44

Isaac Lamont, Staff Reporter
Originally published December 7, 2017

Jay-Z’s 13th studio album, 4:44, is also his 13th album to go platinum and there’s a reason behind it. Although his two most recent projects have gone platinum primarily from endorsement deals with Sprint and Samsung it is still nonetheless an accomplishment.

Jay-Z is most commonly known for his hard raps flexing his valuables or recounting his hustle which got him them, but he seems to show a softer side on 4:44.

In response to Beyoncé’s “Lemonade,” Jay provides his own insight on his affairs with other women and along with it, multiple apologies to Beyoncé for his past actions. The album’s title track, ‘4:44,’ starts with a sample singing “Why do I find it so hard? When I know in my heart I’m letting you down every day. Why do I keep on running away.” This sample encompes Jay’s own anger and shame with himself for mistreating his wife while also putting their family on the line.

While Jay shows a softer side to himself, he also reaches back to his roots on songs like “Family Feud (ft. Beyoncé)” and “Bam (ft. Damian Marley)” showcasing bars like “The kid that used to pitch bricks can’t be pigeon holed.” And “Before we had A & R’s we had ARs too.” Both of these lines reflect back on his past as a drug dealer in the ghetto.

He does all this while also effortlessly flowing over smooth, softer songs “Marcy Me” and “Legacy.” Overall, ‘4:44’ does an exquisite job of showing Jay-Z’s versatility both musically and emotionally while also being evidence to how much Jay-Z has matured over the years as an artist.