Jay-Z dropped his long awaited new album “4.44” exclusively through TIDAL on Friday. The first since 2013’s “Magna Carta, Holy Grail,” it’s a 10 track mini-odyssey of introspection and new found maturity, that frequently addresses his emotional shortcomings in his relationship with Beyoncé. The pair officially became an item in the early 2000s, and married in 2008.
It’s the response that fans of both artists have been waiting for since Beyoncé released her groundbreaking visual album “Lemonade” in April 2016, which hinted strongly at Jay’s long-rumored infidelities. Here are the key lyrical moments on “4.44” where the Brooklyn hip-hop legend spills the beans and owns up to the turmoil he created in their lives.
“I apologize, often womanize/Took for my child to be born to see through a woman’s eyes.” (“4.44”)
Jay told iHeartMedia that the title-track is the crux of the album, and described it as “one of the best songs I’ve ever written. It’s certainly the most honest, and in this line, he admits to his philandering ways, before adding that it was the birth of Blue Ivy Carter in 2012 that finally made him change up his life.
“Said ‘don’t embarrass me’ instead of ‘be mine’/That was my proposal for us to go steady/That was your 21st birthday.” (“4.44”)
It seems as though Jay led with his ego rather than his heart when he and his future wife first became exclusive. Despite their 12-year-age difference, Beyoncé has evidently always been the more mature half of the relationship.
“And if my children knew, I don’t even know what I would do/If they ain’t look at me the same, I would probably die with all the shame.” (“4.44”)
With the recent addition of twins to the Carter family, Hova already knows he has some tough questions to answer in the future. No wonder he’s already starting to make amends in public.
“Yeah I’ll f–k up a good thing if you let me/Let me alone Becky.” (“Family Feud”)
The infamous “Becky” from Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” track “Sorry” (who is frequently assumed to be an amalgam of Jay’s possible side pieces) is again given a namecheck. “Good hair” or not, it seems as though Jay-Z’s late night booty-call line will be going straight to voicemail from now on.
“You almost went Eric Benét/Let the baddest girl in the world get away” (“Kill Jay Z”)
Hova accepts ridicule in the opening track of “4.44” by referencing Eric Benét. The R&B crooner was once married to Halle Berry until Benet’s alleged infidelity led to their separation. For many on the outside looking in, cheating on someone like Berry looked like a spectacular self-own, and Jay almost followed suit by fooling around behind Beyoncé’s back. He’s avoided Benét level infamy, but only just.