JAY-Z Explains '4:44' Song Meanings | iHeartRadio Album World Premiere
By Nicole Mastrogiannis
June 30, 2017
JAY-Z has returned with his brand new album 4:44, his first full-length LP since 2013's Magna Carta Holy Grail, and iHeartRadio has partnered with Roc Nation and the rapper himself on a one-of-a-kind historic launch of his new album.
Fans can hear 4:44 from top to bottom in its entirety all day -- the way JAY-Z wants his fans to experience this new album -- on radio stations across the country, and on iHeartRadio's The Beat, beginning Friday, June 30th at midnight.
In this exclusive audio, Jay talks about the meaning behind each song on 4:44; his 13th studio album, solely produced by No I.D. So while you listen to the album top to bottom -- which is how JAY-Z intends his fans to listen to this new music -- they will learn about what the rapper has been writing about, which includes feuding rappers, a "verbal will," a commentary based on the Oscar Moonight/La La Land debacle, and more. Learn about the meaning behind each song on 4:44 below:
"'4:44' is a song that I wrote, and it's the crux of the album, just right in the middle of the album. And I woke up, literally, at 4:44 in the morning, 4:44 AM, to write this song. So it became the title of the album and everything. It's the title track because it's such a powerful song, and I just believe one of the best songs I've ever written."
"The song 'Bam' with Damian Marley, it's just jammin', it's just like the song. But it's secretly Shawn Carter saying, 'Man, you need a bit of ego.' It was because of me and the things that I've done, this is JAY-Z saying you needed a bit of ego for us to arrive at this point."
"Caught The Eye"
"'Caught The Eye' is a song that's dealing with just being aware of your surroundings. There's a line in it, and it says, 'Your body language is all remedial, how could you see the difference between you and I?' Just being so sharp about your surroundings."
"'Family Feud' is about separation within the culture. Like, new rappers fighting with old rappers, saying all these things. So, the line is, 'Nobody wins when the family feuds.'"
"The first song is called 'Kill JAY-Z' and obviously, it's not to be taken literal. It's really about the ego. It's about killing off the ego, so we can have this conversation in a place of vulnerability and honesty."
"The song is just about what it is, it's like a verbal will. Just a song about speaking to my daughter. She starts the song off, and she says 'Daddy, what's a will?'"
"'Marcy Me' is a nostalgic walk through Marcy, and it's about that hopefulness, that feeling of 'Man, can I really do this? Can I really be one of the biggest artists in the world?' You have these dreams, 'Can I be one of the biggest basketball players?' We have these dreams."
"The hook is 'We stuck in La La Land/Even if we win, we gonna lose.' It's like a subtle nod to La La Land winning the Oscar, and then having to give it to Moonlight. It's really a commentary on the culture and where we're going."
"'Smile' is just what it is. There are gonna be bad times, and those bad times can do two things: they can get you in a place where you're stuck in a rut, or it can make your future that much better because you've experienced these things."
"The Story of OJ"
"'The Story of OJ' is really a song about we as a culture, having a plan, how we're gonna push this forward. We all make money, and then we all lose money, as artists especially. But how, when you have some type of success, to transform that into something bigger."