4. JAY-Z “4:44”
June 30, 2017
“I’ve never been so open for so long/ usually it’s like one song, two songs, three songs on an album/ but an entire album to make like ten “You Must Love Me’s” is new and it kind of makes people uncomfortable too”- Jay-Z on RapRadar Podcast 2017
It’s only right that on December 4th, Jay-Z’s 5oth Birthday that his 13th studio album “4:44” is my 4th choice for one of my favorite albums of the decade. I have been a Hov fan my entire life, listened to every song like it was gospel, took notes on every business move, watched him transcend beyond rap superstar to mogul, philanthropist, culture icon and much more.
But it was something about “4:44” that made me put Jay-Z the persona aside and see Shawn Carter the man. He covered Black Excellence- a constant theme throughout his career, legacy, family, his marriage, and furthering our culture on this project.
Overall, I’m more impressed by the vulnerability of the album. As I get older and experience life I love when my idols transform from these mythical creatures and allow us in for a sneak peek.
In addition, we got to see other Black Men being vulnerable. The album’s footnotes were a lovely addition to the tracklist and visuals, and it created a space for other men to let their guard down and speak freely. As a Black Woman seeing Black Men in that space on camera speaking on love, life and family was beautiful and I’ll forever cherish that.
Two years later and we have yet to see the full impact of “4:44” on the culture, but what we do know is “4:44” is beyond music- It’s history.
Definitely top 3 Hov albums, lets debate.