In Jay-Z’s latest album, “4:44,” the MC raps about the infidelity suggested in Beyoncé’s 2016 album “Lemonade.”
The infamous “Becky with the good hair” appears on the song “Family Feud”: “Yeah, I’ll f— up a good thing if you let me / Let me alone, Becky.” But it’s the titular track that serves as an apology to Queen Bey.
On the song “4:44,” Jay-Z laments his actions. “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/ ‘You did what with who?’ / What good is a ménage à trois when you have a soulmate? / ‘You risked that for Blue?”
And he outright apologizes more than once, suggesting that his emotional distance played a role in Beyonce’s miscarriage in 2011: “I apologize, often womanize / Took for my child to be born to see through a woman’s eyes / Took for these natural twins to believe in miracles / Took me too long for this song/ You mature faster than me / I wasn’t ready, so I apologize/ I’ve seen the innocence leave your eyes / I still mourn this death, I apologize for all the stillborns / ‘Cause I wasn’t present, your body wouldn’t accept it.”
JAY-Z said that he woke up literally at 4:44 in the morning to write titular song. “I just believe it’s one of the best songs I’ve ever written,” he said to iHeart Radio.
Other highlights from the album include the song “Moonlight,” which addresses the Oscar snafu when “La La Land” was mistakenly announced as best picture: “We stuck in La La Land / even when we win, we gon’ lose.”
His mother comes out as a lesbian on the album in the song “Smile”: “Mama had four kids, but she’s a lesbian / Had to pretend so long that she’s a thespian / Had to hide in the closet, so she medicate / Society shame and the pain was too much to take”; “My therapist said I relapsed / I said, ‘Perhaps I Freudian slipped in European whips.”
Gloria Carter lends her voice to the track: “Living in the shadow / Can you imagine what kind of life it is to live?”
Jay-Z’s thirteenth solo album features songs with his wife Beyoncé, as well the voice of daughter Blue Ivy Carter in addition to his mother. “4:44” is now available on Tidal, but will have a wider release in a week.