Last night Jay-Z dropped his new album 4:44 and I listened ASAP. I’m psyched to say that the album kicks ass. It’s a Tidal exclusive but I don’t have Tidal so I just illegally downloaded it. Do NOT tell the cops. I already got one strike for watching a pirated version of Boss Baby last month.
Not only is this Hov’s best album in years, it also feels different. This past decade, Jay Z hit a bit of a creative dry spell. His last few albums were listenable but unmemorable, like he’s phoning it in. There are a few reasons for this. One is that he’s a busy businessman and doesn’t have the time to put his heart into his music. The dude owns an overpriced music app that nobody has and that takes up a lot of his free time.
The biggest reason his music hasn’t been memorable lately? He’s run out of things to say. Not to his fault, it seems like most great entertainers eventually run out of things to say. Eminem is one of the greatest rappers of all time but he basically only raps about like three things: his family, motivational anthems, murdering and raping everyone. Woody Allen, despite being the biggest creep in North America, is a phenomenal director but he’s basically spent the last two decades making the same movie 20 times. Its a common, almost inevitable problem.
But then, the unimaginable happened. He cheated on his wife Bey. This is baffling because Beyoncé is straight up the most gorgeous woman in the universe. Even gay men get at least a half-chub when they see a picture of Beyoncé. If you stare at Beyonce too long, you’ll explode into a puddle of $100 bills due to overstimulation. And Hov had the balls to cheat on the hottest woman to ever live. WHAT?!
We obviously know this because Beyoncé put him on blast year on her album Lemonade. The album was arguably the hugest release of last year and it banged like a motherfucker. In just a day, Jay became public enemy #1 to an army of Beyoncé fans who fantasized about castrating him with a plastic butter knife.
The twisted irony of it all? This mistake reignited his music. The guilt and demons that accumulated, as well as the public backlash, sparked a fire in his belly and gave him new subject matter to rhyme about it. Make no mistake, this is Jay Z at his most vulnerable and introspective. The boastfulness is replaced by neurosis and it stings.
This makes sense. Backlash can bring out the best in a musician. Kanye made his best album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy after the intense public hatred he received for the hilarious Taylor Swift incident. When we found out R. Kelly pissed on a 15-year-old, he released Ignition Remix, a song so catchy that we collectively decided he can pee on a thousand teenagers if he wants to. Drink tons of water and do your thing, Mr. Kelly.
In a hip-hop climate where he’s not the monster he used to be, it’s exciting to see a legendary artist drop an album that reminds us why we fell in love with him in the first place. Basically, what I’m trying to say is…infidelity can be a good thing. Jay-Z’s selfish dick just saved his career.
My point is this: If you’re a musician and you have writers block, cheat on your wife. One day she’ll thank you for it..
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