Hot Album: Jay-Z 4:44

The title of JAY-Z’s 13th studio album comes from the time of morning he woke to record the title track, a song detailing the regret he feels for the pain he’s caused his loved ones. Throughout the album, Hov plays the repentant father—both to his children with Beyoncé and disciples he’s amassed along his career. While No I.D. handles the entirety of production with samples of Nina Simone, Donny Hathaway, and Stevie Wonder, Jigga has words for himself (“Kill JAY-Z”), Black America (throughout), and, most shockingly, his wife (“4:44”)—lending credence to the theory that 2016’s Lemonade was based on personal experience. If JAY has nothing to offer his peers, it is because he no longer has any—4:44 is a concise affirmation that he’s in a class all his own.

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