JAY-Z Bares His Soul On '4:44'

JAY-Z, shown performing at Barclays Center of Brooklyn Oct. 20, 2015, has released 4:44, his first album in four years

JAY-Z, shown performing at Barclays Center of Brooklyn Oct. 20, 2015, has released 4:44, his first album in four years

JAY-Z opens his latest album, 4:44, by slaying his own ego.

For an MC who's spent his entire career constructing such a formidable facade, it's a tall task. But "Kill Jay Z" sets the stage for what becomes his most personal, vulnerable album yet — and arguably one of his best.

Why the title 4:44? Because he woke up at 4:44 a.m. one morning and wrote the album's title track, he tells iHeartRadio. "I just believe it's one of the best songs I've ever written," he says — which is good, because it's also the song people have been waiting a whole year for him to write.

He and wifey Beyoncé share a lot of connections with the number four — birth dates, their anniversary date, even their favorite president was No. 44. In "4:44," he apologizes for putting it all on the line with the alleged infidelity that made Beyoncé's Lemonade so bittersweet: "I suck at love, I think I need a do-over / I would be emotionally available if I invited you over." But Hov goes even further, apologizing to all the women he may have hurt in the past. "It took for my child to be born," he raps, "to see through a woman's eyes."

 

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