Beyonce’s other half and the king of rap, Jay Z, announced his next album this past weekend titled ‘4:44’ to be released on Tidal later this month. The rap mogul announced on Twitter, “Become a Sprint customer and get 6 complimentary months of TIDAL and access to JAY-Z’s album 4:44.”
On the heels of the birth of his twins, Mr. Carter has a lot to celebrate. ‘4:44’ debuts June 30th, the first album since his last release Magna Carta Holy Grail in 2013. Whether the announcement and birth was coincidental or not, the man has good timing. Bey and Jay have that way about them; always seeming to be on the cusp of something big and innovative. They’re not the highest paid musicians for nothing.
Jay was alluding to the release for weeks with mysterious “4:44” posters plastered all over New York subway stations. Soon after it was revealed that ‘4:44’ was part of a Tidal-exclusive film starring recent Oscar winner Mahershala Ali, Lupita Nyong’o and Danny Glover. The clip, which debuted on Father’s Day, features a snippet of his new track “Adnis.”
On the track, Jay Z raps, “Letter to my dad that I never wrote / Speeches I prepared that I never spoke / Words on a paper that I never read / Proses never penned / They stayed in my head…”
But of course Jay didn’t release all of this just as a nod to his own streaming service. He is a business man, after all. Earlier this year Sprint made a $200 million investment in Tidal, making the company undoubtedly more valuable than it’s purchase a few years ago. It’s also strategic that he hasn’t released an album since the mobile phone service provider made their investment. Perhaps it’s a ploy to get people into Sprint’s pocket. Either way, it’s still a pretty terrible service provider.
Like most albums released ‘exclusively’ on streaming services, ‘4:44’ will most likely stay exclusive to subscribers for awhile. After popular demand I’m sure Jay will release it to non-subscribers, as well. The argument of appropriate payments from streaming services is another beast in itself, but Jay isn’t concerned with those small payments as much as his money tied up with Sprint.
Jay Z is out on the road this summer, although no tour dates have been confirmed other than his music festival Made in America, Meadows, and Austin City Limits.