JAY-Z Announces New Album '4:44'

Jay Z © Debby Wong/Shutterstock
Jay Z © Debby Wong/Shutterstock
Photo of Ryan Kristobak
Music Editor19 June 2017

The long rumored 13th solo album from JAY-Z has finally been announced, and we won’t have to wait long for its release.

Titled 4:44, fulfilling the promise of the mysterious New York City billboards and blog advertisements that popped up earlier this month, the album is set to drop on June 30, and will stream exclusively on his platform Tidal.

Following in the footsteps of his wife, Beyoncé, JAY-Z’s new album also shares the same title of a feature-length film about boxing that stars Mahershala Ali, Lupita Nyong’o, and Danny Glover. The first teaser for the film arrived with a 30-second clip of a new song titled “Adnis,” in which JAY-Z raps, “Letter to my dad that I never wrote/ Speeches I prepared that I never spoke / Words on the paper that I never read/ Proses never penned, they stayed in my head.”

It’s been a crazy few days for JAY-Z. Outside of his album announcement, the Brooklyn rapper became the first hip-hop artist inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, receiving a spectacular congratulations speech from Barack Obama.

JAY-Z and Beyoncé also reportedly welcomed their long-awaited twins this weekend, making this Father’s Day an extra special one for JAY-Z. There is no word yet as to the gender and names of the babies.

Besides becoming a daddy once again, JAY-Z also celebrated Father’s Day by penning an op-ed for Time that targeted the “exploitative bail industry.”

“If you’re from neighborhoods like the Brooklyn one I grew up in, if you’re unable to afford a private attorney, then you can be disappeared into our jail system simply because you can’t afford bail,” he wrote. “Millions of people are separated from their families for months at a time — not because they are convicted of committing a crime, but because they are accused of committing a crime.”

In order to help fathers who are unable to spend the holiday with their families because of the for-profit bail bond industry, JAY-Z announced that he would be supporting the nonprofits Southerners on New Ground and Color of Change, both of which had held fundraisers to bail out mothers this past Mother’s Day.

“As a father with a growing family, it’s the least I can do,” he wrote, “but philanthropy is not a long fix, we have to get rid of these inhumane practices altogether. We can’t fix our broken criminal justice system until we take on the exploitative bail industry.”

And, as you might have noticed, the hyphen is back, along with all caps.

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