A breakdown of every song on JAY-Z’s ‘4:44’

Posted on June 30 2017 , at 02:01 pm
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  • You can't beat the artiste feeding you the actual facts.

HOV is Back!!

Surely don’t know what you’re doing today, but hey Jay-Z’s 4:44 just dropped, so any other conversation should be put on hold till further notice.

As some of us might be listening to the album already, JAY already gave iHeartRadio some exclusive commentary on each of the 10 tracks on 4:44, giving listeners searching for insight outside of the direct lyric transcriptions.

And while it’s definitely easier to zone out, you can’t beat the artiste feeding you the actual facts.

READ: Jay Z got inducted in the Songwriters Hall of Fame but there was something else he had to get off his chest

Hov’s back, and has all of the info you need to getting a base understanding of his 13th solo album, in track order (just to make it a bit easier).

The album cover

‘Kill Jay Z’

‘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 Story of O.J.’

‘’The Story of O.J.’ 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.’



With his mum, Gloria Carter

‘’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.’


‘Caught Their Eyes’

‘’Caught Their Eyes’ 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.’



‘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.

JAY-Z and Beyonce pose during the 59th Grammy Awards in February 2017. Photo: Lester Cohen/Getty Images for NARAS

‘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.’


‘Family Feud’

‘’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 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.’

JAY-Z with Damian Marley in Jamaica



‘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.’


‘Marcy Me’

‘’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.’

Blue Ivy looking like her father JAY-Z


‘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?’’

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