Cover image for 4:44 [compact disc] / Jay-Z.
4:44 [compact disc] / Jay-Z.
Title Variants:
Four four four

Four forty four
[Explicit version].
Publication Information:
[New York, New York] : Roc Nation, [2017]

Distributed by Roc Nation/UMG Recordings Inc.

Physical Description:
1 audio disc (36 min.) : CD audio, stereo ; 4 3/4 in.
General Note:
Rap and pop songs.

Title from disc label.

All songs composed by S. Carter (Jay-Z) and collaborators.

Track titles and credits taken from
Kill Jay Z -- The story of O.J. -- Smile Caught their eyes 4:44 -- Family feud Bam Moonlight -- Marcy me -- Legacy -- Adnis -- Blue's freestyle/We family -- Manyfacedgod
Jay-Z returns with one of the most talked about music releases of 2017. It has grabbed headlines for the honest lyrics that are inspired by his personal life, including his marriage to Beyonce.
Audience/Reading Level:
Parental advisory; explicit content.


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
TEE JAY Music CD Teen Music CD
GEN JAY Music CD Adult Music CD

On Order



Jay-Z's June 2017 was momentous. The 44th president of the United States inducted him as the first rap lyricist into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. The Beyoncé Knowles-Shawn Carter family added fourth and fifth members. Going by a jocular shot at specific Al Sharpton social media activity within, there was also the completion of 4:44, delivered on the last of the month. Approach-wise, the 13th Jay-Z studio album is a change of course for its employment of only one beatmaker, No I.D., whose previous Jay-Z credits across a decade plus -- a comparatively flashy crop that includes a major portion of The Blueprint 3 -- amount to an album's worth of tracks, primarily as co-producer. Even more noteworthy is its chronological distinction as a follow-up to Beyoncé's Lemonade, a cathartic album prompted in part by Jay-Z's extramarital behavior. This somehow makes album 13 seem older than its true age. From any other artist, 36 minutes of repentance, self-satisfaction, and wisdom regarding issues such as faithfulness, vast wealth, ethical consumption, and the deficiencies of a younger rap generation would likely fall flat, but Jay-Z continues to write at a Hall of Fame level and raps with high levels of conviction, contrition, and wit. He and No I.D. are consistently attuned. The whole album has a fine matte-like finish with nuanced rhythms and soul, funk, reggae, and prog samples that frequently enhance the tracks on an emotional level, not just a sonic one. Even the Frank Ocean and Beyoncé appearances sound sourced from a crate. Filled with references to profit and forms of pride granted by birth and earned by hustling, 4:44 nonetheless is an unglamorous set well suited for solitary and reflective late-night listening. There are no radio play bids. Jay-Z has been in this mode at various points, but never in such concentrated, enlightened form, whether the subject is his mistakes as a husband, the struggles of his long-closeted lesbian mother, the effects of enduring systemic racism, or the assertion of his supremacy. ~ Andy Kellman