Rapper, actor, producer, and now father of three, after Beyoncé gave birth to twins over the weekend, Shawn Carter aka JAY-Z, is setting his sights on a mysterious new album release. His first since Magna Carta Holy Grail in 2013, and 13th album overall, 4:44 is set to drop June 30th and will be a Tidal exclusive.
This announcement is coming off the heels of vague 4:44 posters and banners plastered all around New York City over the past month.
Cleverer fans began to suspect a new project from Hov, due to his connection with the number: he and Beyoncé were both born on the 4th day of different months, and Beyoncéalso has her album 4, which dropped back in 2011.
The posters and banners turned out to be advertising for not just the album, but a Tidal-only boxing film starring Danny Glover, Lupita Nyong’o, and Mahershala Ali. A video for the film was released Father’s Day night, and it featured a small piece of a song called “Adnis” about Jay’s father Adnis Reeves, off the new album.
The ad was in partnership with cell-phone behemoth Sprint, who has a deal with Jay’s music streaming service Tidal, offering six months of free Tidal membership for switching to Sprint. Sprint also announced Monday that this is just the first in, “a series of exclusives” between the two.
4:44 will be produced entirely by Chicago’s own, No I.D., one of the most established producers of all-time. Jay also chose to bring the hyphen back into his name, stylizing it in all caps as well.
While not much else is known about the album, the significance of it is clearly there for Jay, four years-plus of music in the making. We may see him address Beyoncé’s latest album, Lemonade, which was laden with what many fans viewed as references to Jay’s alleged infidelity. It may even be his final album, although the 14th album as the finale makes a lot more sense. Regardless of the meaning behind the name and the muse for the album, it’s sure to be a good one after four years without Mr. Carter.
Jay will be on the road most of the summer attending events and festivals to promote 4:44 after its release, including Made in America, Austin City Limits, and Meadows, among many others.