Even at 47 years old, nobody in rap quite moves the needle like Jay Z, so it was no surprise to see the anticipation crescendoing as we got closer and closer to the release of his 13th studio album 4:44. Now, the super secretive project has arrived, and while it remained shrouded in mystery during its build up, it’s exactly as many expected: a full-lengh album and an accompanying visual similar to what his wife Beyonce did with Lemonade last year.
For Jay, this ends a four-year hiatus, and though he peppered in a few guest appearances during his time away, he never seemed fully committed to a return full time. When it was announced he’d be headlining a few festivals this summer, including his own Made In America festival the speculation began that he would finally be releasing another album.
Much like Beyonce, the announcement that they had twins on the way seemed as if it would stall his career, even if briefly, but the 4:44 advertisements began and posters were popping up in major cities across the country and though it was never confirmed, everybody knew: Jay Z is back.
So now it’s here, featuring guest appearances from Damien Marley and Frank Ocean. If you heeded Tidal and Sprint’s advice and signed up for the streaming service before the 11th hour, stream Jay Z’s 4:44 below. For those without the cell and streaming service, Roc Nation, iHeartMedia and JAY-Z have teamed up to world premiere an exclusive one-of-a-kind historic radio launch of JAY-Z’s album. Beginning today at 12:01 a.m. ET June 30, iHeartMedia, in conjunction with TIDAL X Sprint, will world premiere the full album with an exclusive 35-minute Album Roadblock.
Update: Now available on Apple Music below and iTunes here.