JAY-Z Breaks Down the Meaning to Every Track on '4:44'

Go along for the ride.

By //Music

JAY-Z just dropped his 13th studio album 4:44 today as an exclusive to TIDAL members. The 10-track followup to 2013′s Magna Carta… Holy Grail features guests appearances from Frank Ocean to HOVA’s own mother, Gloria Carter.

When the album dropped at midnight, the new LP was played across over 160 iHeartRadio stations in the U.S. In addition to that, JAY-Z also gave iHeartRadio some insight on each and every track. Check out the breakdowns below:

“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 OJ”

“‘The Story of OJ’ 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”
“‘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 The Eye”

“‘Caught The Eye’ 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″

“‘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”
“‘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.’”

“Bam”

“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.”

“Moonlight”

“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”

“‘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.”

“Legacy”
“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?’”

Read Full Article
Composite Imagery
DREW PULIG/HYPEBEAST
Jay-zTidal4:44

You may also like

New Video Breaks Down Every Sample on A$AP Rocky's 'TESTING'
Music

New Video Breaks Down Every Sample on A$AP Rocky's 'TESTING'

From Moby to Lauryn Hill.
6,980 Hypes 7 Comments
Beyoncé & JAY-Z Extend 'On The Run II' Tour
Music

Beyoncé & JAY-Z Extend 'On The Run II' Tour

Dates added for Washington, E. Rutherford, Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Columbus, and Seattle.
6,957 Hypes 0 Comments
Here's Every Date for Beyoncé & JAY-Z's Joint Tour
Music

Here's Every Date for Beyoncé & JAY-Z's Joint Tour

Kicking off in June.
35,388 Hypes 21 Comments
JAY-Z Breaks Down "Good Rappers" in Latest 'My Next Guest Needs No Introduction' Trailer
Entertainment

JAY-Z Breaks Down "Good Rappers" in Latest 'My Next Guest Needs No Introduction' Trailer

A preview of David Letterman’s upcoming Netflix interview.
8,170 Hypes 44 Comments
JAY-Z & Beyoncé's 'Everything Is Love' Debuts at No. 2 on Billboard 200
Music

JAY-Z & Beyoncé's 'Everything Is Love' Debuts at No. 2 on Billboard 200

XXXTentacion, Juice WRLD, Cardi B also are in the top 10.
5,902 Hypes 10 Comments
Beyoncé and JAY-Z File Lawsuit to Combat Fake Merchandise
Music

Beyoncé and JAY-Z File Lawsuit to Combat Fake Merchandise

Fake merch anywhere near the venue will be seized.
2,416 Hypes 8 Comments


What to Read Next

Watch Draymond Green Roast Drake's Style Once Again
Sports

Watch Draymond Green Roast Drake's Style Once Again

“Drake talking about fashion does not work. I can’t wear anything that he thinks is okay.”

A New Black and White Version of the Jordan Trunner LX Drops in Time for Summer
Footwear

A New Black and White Version of the Jordan Trunner LX Drops in Time for Summer

Available now.

The Supreme x Louis Vuitton Pop-Up Store Had the Masses Lined up in Sydney
Fashion 

The Supreme x Louis Vuitton Pop-Up Store Had the Masses Lined up in Sydney

Each vying to get a piece of this highly-coveted collaboration.


IUTER Toys With the Theme of Pack Leaders for 2017 Fall/Winter
Fashion

IUTER Toys With the Theme of Pack Leaders for 2017 Fall/Winter

Including an artistic homage to wolves.

Know Wave Unveils Its Latest Round of Branded Merch
Fashion

Know Wave Unveils Its Latest Round of Branded Merch

Sweats, T-shirts and socks.

Watch Seth Rogen and Dominic Cooper Eat the World's Hottest Wings
Entertainment

Watch Seth Rogen and Dominic Cooper Eat the World's Hottest Wings

Also open up about near death experiences.

More ▾