JAY-Z’s 4:44, is so much more than just another rap album. The 10-track, 36-minute effort finds the rapper baring his soul, letting listeners into the world he’s concealed for so long.
Since its release, Hov has spent the past few weeks dissecting the different layers of his latest offering in his TIDAL series, Footnotes, addressing everything from racism and masculinity to relationship woes.
And in his first interview since the album’s release, JAY-Z recently sat down with Rap Radar Podcast host Elliot Wilson for part one of his two-part interviews that was released Friday (Aug. 18) to further unpack the messages of 4:44, discuss the album’s development process and address his feud with Kanye West.
Early on, he explained on 4:44 he wanted to recapture some of that creative magic artists possess early on.
“Just like from the beginning of someone’s career and making that sort of album that really means something — touches the culture like a touch point, moves conversation and just be really f—–g good and s–t — it’s, like, a hard thing to do because you’re so removed from where you were in the beginning,” he told the podcast hosts.
“And I really had to like think about what I wanted to say on this album at the time, think about the next thing, what was the next thing that I wanted to say and I didn’t want to just make an album to just put out music, I wanted to be important.”
JAY-Z began to craft his 13th studio album at the top of 2017, on Jan. 3, beginning with 4:44’s opening track “Kill Jay Z” and “The Story of OJ”, using “real-life” experiences that he was dealing with at that time as the cornerstone of the project.
“This album has a lot of topics that’s why it had to be so short, it’s so condensed,” he said. “It’s so dense with subject matters and all these other things that if it was longer, you wouldn’t be able to take it; it would wear you out. It had to get to a point really quickly and be as dense as it is and No I.D. what he’s doing with the samples, he’s playing samples like jazz improv. No one’s ever chopped records up the way those records are chopped up.”
FULL report: Billboard