×

We've got news for you.

Register on TimesLIVE at no cost to receive newsletters, read exclusive articles & more.
Register now

Album Review

Does Jay-Z's '4:44' live up to the hype?

The 10 tracks on '4:44' are the most personal collection of verses ever to spill from Hov’s mouth, writes Yolisa Mkele

30 June 2017 - 14:04 By YOLISA MKELE
Jay-Z performs on stage during a Get Out The Vote concert in support of Hillary Clinton in Cleveland, Ohio, in 2016. (File photo.)
Jay-Z performs on stage during a Get Out The Vote concert in support of Hillary Clinton in Cleveland, Ohio, in 2016. (File photo.)
Image: Duane Prokop/Getty Images

Take the R140 you were going to spend on a round of drinks this weekend and get a Tidal subscription now. Yes, it is expensive for a streaming service, and I’m sure you can think of 1,000 excuses to justify not doing it, but getting access to Jay-Z’s latest album 4:44 is entirely worth it.

After Magna Carta Holy Grail you would be forgiven for thinking that Beyoncé’s husband had lost his touch. He’s fast approaching 50, has three kids and at this point in his life seems to have fully engaged dad mode. A 47-year-old father of three is not the image that pops into mind when one thinks of good hip-hop, but this Jay-Z, and Jay-Z is the Roger Federer of the genre.



The 10 tracks on 4:44 are the most personal collection of verses ever to spill from Hov’s mouth. Whether its bars about how difficult it was for his mother to hide the fact that she was lesbian for most of her life or the shame about his infidelity, everything on the album feels raw. This is less an album than it is a diary. He also takes time to address his issues with Kanye West and talk about improving the plight of black people in America.

It would be easy to wax lyrical about this until the end of Donald Trump’s next term, but all anyone really needs to know is it's a beautiful look at what being grown-up sounds like. It's easily Jay-Z’s best album since The Black Album.

LISTEN to a snippet of 'Adnis' from Jay-Z's new album 4:44

'4:44' is available exclusively on Tidal.

subscribe