jay z's '4:44' project releases on june 30

Whatever ‘4:44’ is, Jay Z is Dropping it This Month

Release date posters for the mysterious project have begun circulating

For most of the month, posters bearing the figure ‘4:44’ have been circulating the streets of major metropolitan areas, and just about every entertainment corner of the internet. Initially no one had a clue what they were a reference to. But murmurs began spreading that they had something to do with the completion of Jay Z’s phantom new album. The rapper himself hasn’t confirmed to anyone publicly that he’s got a new LP in the works, and even though his streaming platform, Tidal, has been promoting the fuck out of those three numbers, everyone’s still pretty much in the dark on what it is. That said, it looks like that dark veil will be lifted in exactly 13 days.

Yesterday in Los Angeles, the plain ‘4:44’ ads morphed into something more detail-oriented. On a set of posters spotted on HipHopDX, the ‘4:44’ insignia is joined by “Jay : Z” and the Sprint and Tidal logos—earlier this year Sprint bought a 33% stake in Tidal that made this tag-team possible. In the top left corner of the posters lies the most important detail: “6.30.17.” Whatever ‘4:44’ is, it looks like on June 30, we’ll all get to experience it for ourselves.

Part of Tidal’s promotion of ‘4:44’ included a 60-second trailer revealing that actors Mahershala Ali and Lupita Nyong’o would play a role in the project, but clarity on what the project was still didn’t come. And while public desire for a new Jay Z album might be influencing the rumor mill, there’s certainly reason to think that ‘4:44’ could be Jay’s first LP in almost exactly four years. Last year, several outlets reported that the Roc Nation head was recording an album that would directly respond to Lemonade, his wife Beyonce’s deeply revealing 2016 LP. A sizable portion of the album’s narrative appeared to cast Jay Z in a negative light, suggesting acts of infidelity and deceit. So much so, that divorce rumors followed its release.

Though no such album has materialized, far more concrete tidbits have made their rounds in 2017. Vic Mensa has copped to having heard new Jay Z material, while a recent trip to Jamaica found Hov recording with Damian Marley for an alleged upcoming project. Swizz Beatz more directly stated that Jay was in “album mode,” while Atlanta maestro Zaytoven has confirmed recording sessions with Hov. Jay has also been spotted with Mike Will Made It, who produced one of the more popular cuts on Jay’s last album, Magna Carta Holy Grail.

13 more days. Don’t let the anticipation kill you.

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