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Jay-Z kept us waiting for this one and when he released his self titled 4:44 Album, it was like he gave birth to an extended version of his Can I Live collaboration with Memphis Bleek and his Regrets Song collectively in the 10 tracks included on the new album. The musicality is there and his need to educate the upcoming Rappers like Nice Gunz, YE, Stick Up, Great White Stylez and so many more (who are trying to find their place amid the madness of the Music Business) on how to get to the butter is obvious. Talking about the Artwork he purchased clues Rappers and everyone listening in on the fact that it’s not so much about the money, as it is about the mindset. Think about learning history and Art is a ginormous part of our past and a way for us to keep our own history alive too. What is valuable to us can be a factor in our future wealth, as Jay-Z proves when he gives the example about owning a piece of real estate that was worth 2 million dollars, when he had a chance to buy it. As Jay-Z Raps in conversational tone, the Bam Rapper goes on to express his regrets in not being wise enough to see the value way back then, ultimately passing on what is now a $25 million dollar opportunity.

Times have changed since Jay-Z made Can I Live in collaboration with Memphis Bleek and yet his Marcy Song is a look back at the Project Life he moved away from and also an acknowledgement that not aborting it or him means, it will always be a part of him, just like the N-word being forever associated with being Black. His unlimited use of the term on The Story Of O.J. Song is a reminder of that and even more powerful than Nas naming an Album the N-word. The way Jay-Z outlines what many of us are living or reminded of everyday, reveals clearly without definition that no matter what our status or how much money we attain, it won’t change the super fact, we are Black.

Smile is a pride song which is good for those who live that lifestyle and want to feel included. The song is proof that taking same sex relationships past friendships is more acceptable, even if it makes no sense. Now, I am sensitive and supportive of those who make that choice. However, the only thing left past friendships or platonic intimacy, is sex. The real treat comes from Mum Gloria Carter’s poetic expression on Smile. She sounds like Maya Angelou.

Y’all, I kid you not, the gospel comes out on 4:44 and the apologies start flowing. Since this is as close as we will get to the Mary J. Blige vocals included on Song Cry, I’m sure other female fans will feel like me. I accept. That may be the friend in my head convincing me to forgive and forget but oh well, I’m all ears on this one (smiling). When Jay-Z Raps about being old money versus new money, he is just defining classification of wealth. For example, Blue and the twins will be old money, if you don’t know. The only mistake on the album is Kill Jay-Z and the third person lyrics included on the song. As he Raps about himself and some of the things he has done, I don’t think of those expressions as regrets. He seems to be giving a final expression and ultimately feeling his death which is totally different from what I hear on 4:44 beyond the apologies. Honestly, I do not want to even think about Jay-Z dying so I will switch to celebrating his braggadocios attitude and lyrics on Bam. Besides being the perfect dance song and a reminder of his many Rap names, Bam is a way for Jay-Z to brag about finally getting his Baby Boy. I do not know if young up and coming Rappers will ever stop flashing money and putting it up to their ears, but the Moonlight Song is a warning for Rappers to watch their money and words of caution for deal making. After all, agreeing to the wrong deal could mean that someone will be getting paid, even if Rappers are not. Jay-Z’s 4:44 is gospel speak on everything just like Can I Live featuring Memphis Bleek and Regrets. While the musicality of 4:44 keeps you relaxed, I will remind you that I’m on it. I hope you are too. Bam! That’s all. Kudos…