Jay-Z’s has once again reached critical acclaim with his latest album 4:44. Within the album’s first week debut, it has already gone platinum and is Jay-Z’s 14th no. 1 hit of his career. 4:44 is by far Jay-Z most prolific and thought-provoking work. Disparaged of immoderate materialism, and the promotion of consumption, 4:44 is a cerebral cartogram to the inner working of the man Shawn Carter. We as listeners voyage into the epistemology experience of being an impoverished Black man in America to overcome the wealth inequity gap, where the disparity and gloom have triumphed. Even if you are not a major fan of mainstream hip-hop, 4:44 is definitely an album worth listening, and below are five reasons why everyone needs to stream or buy a copy today.
Because Love Prevails
While we may never forget the infamous elevator scene, Jay-Z does an excellent depiction of what it means to not only live in the moment but to enroot mental maturation that encapsulates spiritual development, pervasive of the consumption of flesh. While no man is perfect, Jay-Z acknowledges the infidelities and mistreatment of his wife. He concerning contemplates the long-lasting ramifications actions may have on him and daughter’s, Blue Ivy, relationship in the future. In these contemporist times, everything is just a Google search away, and being cognizant of this, Jay apologetic descant his mental paroxysm –unassailably professing is dogmatic emotional aloofness as insecurity and lacking proper foundation; growing up with no father figure, dropping out of school early, and growing up poor. He honors his wife by denoting the value of her esteem, maturity, and strength–proponing that, it was she, which nourished and developed the man he is today. It may be universally resounded that it takes a resilient woman to develop a man, especially one with a tumultuous past. 4:44 is a true depiction of the human experience, and what it means to be emotionally wounded and the exacerbated hurt and pain we extend onto those we love.
Because We Need to Develop Black Entrepreneurship
An overlapping theme en masses on 4:44 is the desideratum of developing Black wealth. From tastefully discussing the importance of investing in fine art and masterpieces to repudiating the farce materialism of flaunting monetary wealth on Instagram, Jay-Z recoils the importance in growing wealth, for not only yourself, but also your family, and your community. Fiscal responsibility and practical living are the most important keystones of the album. Jay is noetic in his prose that tastefully encourages the Black community to build and grow together, discouraging the fiscal imprudence of his co-equals and contemporaries. Most importantly, it is refreshing to hear a Black man of the highest echelon discuss the barrenness that is our current societal paradigm, of label dropping, strip club going, expensive cars driving, and renting to own Rolexes.
Queerism Is Given a Positive Platform
In our society, Lesbianism is relished if deduced to the pleasure of a male companion’s arousal. We often see the encouragement of female on female sexual interaction as long as the men are accessible to the eroticism. However, what is to come of the women who do not have fleeting moments of same gender sexual promiscuity, but would much prefer a life of same gender loving solace? On the song Smile, Jay-Z exposes the difficult decision many women of color combat in suppressing their sexual preference for normalcy, inoculating into the cultural and religious amenability, by means of procreating, and supporting a family. Further exposing the emotional torment of being closeted, that often times leads to drinking, doing drugs, and even suicide. Jay is unabashedly apologetic and enduring to his mother’s circumstance, poised between love and irrevocable acceptance. Smile is an enduring aria that symbolizes the irrefutable love and acceptance between a mother and son, for which all aim to aspire.
Honesty Reigns True
While Jay-Z has never held back his opinions and minced words, to hear him openly discuss the deceit of the music industry and of humanity as a whole resonates with my inner core. I do not think there is a person currently who does not have a story of a friend being deceptive, but to hear of such blasphemy as to take the life of a friend then hug their mother at their funeral is subpar to animalistic warfare. Furthermore, with age, we see Jay-Z’s intuition develop to where even the way a man body shows his true intentions; from his smile to his handshake, he can qualitatively discern the fakes. He even examines the death of Prince and the raffish way the artist’s legacy was tarnished and his home peccantly turned into a museum. Only a man above the industrial prison complex can speak this much truth to light.
Maturity is Inedible
Sure, some may complain that it took for Z turning 44 to come into his maturation. However, not that is here, why complain? Again, we must accept that the human experience is different for each individual, and I appreciate the humility and mobility of thought prepossessing throughout 4:44. This album comes full circle, from being so on edge and morally non-compliant to shot your own brother, to apologizing profusely for past transgressions. If you want to hear the experiences of a true rags to riches story with honest and truth of documentary, I strongly suggest you listen to 4:44, with an open mind as you may learn something new.
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