Having spent some time with Jay-Z’s 4:44 record, I’m finally able to share my insights on Shawn Carter’s 13th studio album. 4:44 is in essence the personal tell-all of the rapper and entrepreneur. Jay-Z opens up about a number of topics from cheating on Beyonce, his fall out with Kanye West, to the black American conquest.

barneys-jayz-gqcoverOne of the most peculiar things about 4:44 is Jay-Z’s rhyme scheme. He doesn’t drop bars or rhyme the at all at times. On many tracks he’s simply talking over the beat. It’s understandable why people may not like this, but it doesn’t taint the album at all. There are many highlights off the 10 track project. Starting with the opening track “Kill Jay Z” where he bursts on the track spitting about wanting to do right by his children along his fall out with Kanye West for financial reasons. “The Story of O.J.” is when Jay-Z addresses many issues with blacks fronting money for all the wrong reasons. My personal favorite track is “Caught Their Eyes” featuring Frank Ocean for it’s grooves and lo-fi chorus.

The NoID production throughout the record uses many samples from classic soul music.  There’s a smooth sample from The Fugees on “Moonlight.” While the vocal samples get repetitive this is what gives 4:44 it’s classic feel.

4:44 is not the best Jay-Z album. If you’re looking for a radio hit, you won’t find one. However, the honest and open lyrics and classic production make it a solid project. It’s refreshing to hear some grown man conscious rap in 2017. It’s only right that 4:44 forces it’s way to a 4/5 PALMs!

Stream Jay-Z’s 4:44 on Tidal (or DM your boy for that .zip file)


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