- Stephanie Toone The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Rap demigod Jay-Z released his 13th solo studio album “4:44” Thursday night, and, along with celebrating his lyrical genius, hip-hop heads around the world are saying in unison ‘oh, no, he didn’t’ about the disses aimed at Future, Kanye West and others.
The album, released only to Tidal subscribers and Sprint customers, immediately became a trending topic on social media Friday due to its personal and unapologetically honest lyrics.
One headline-grabbing line comes from his track “Kill Jay-Z,” where he refers to his own misgivings of nearly losing the “baddest girl” in the world, his wife Beyonce, which he likened to R&B singer Eric Benet “losing” former wife and famed actress Halle Berry.
Later in the verse, he artfully plays on Atlanta rapper Future’s name by rapping “in the future” he could have ended up having another man playing football with his son, according to the lyrics listed on Genius.. The line appears to refer to Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson spending time with his wife Ciara and rapper Future’s son, who shares his name.
"You almost went Eric Benet / Let the baddest girl in the world get away / I don't even know what else to say / N----a, never go Eric Benet / I don't even know what you woulda done / In the future, other n---as playin' football with your son."
He doesn’t stop there with his schooling of his hip-hop peers. The 47-year-old rips Kanye West to shreds in the same song. He spits about giving West $20 million with nothing in return, according to the lyrics listed on Genius.
But you ain't a Saint, this ain't KumbaYe / But you got hurt because you did cool by 'Ye / You gave him 20 million without blinkin' / He gave you 20 minutes on stage, f---was he thinkin'? / ‘F--- wrong with everybody?’ is what you sayin' / But if everybody's crazy, you're the one that's insane
Beyond these venomous lyrics, Jay-Z delves into his public challenges in his marriage with Beyonce and the infamous elevator fight with sister-in-law Solange, rapping "You egged Solange on, knowing all along, all you had to say you was wrong."
Beyonce helped write "Family Feud" where Jay-Z raps: "Yeah, I'll (mess) up a good thing if you let me, let me alone, Becky,” which is a playoff of "Becky with the good hair" from Beyonce's hit "Sorry," from her infamous "Lemonade" album.
Critics are raving about the sincerity and depth of "4:44,” the Brooklyn rapper’s first album since 2013’s “Magna Carter Holy Grail.”
The reaction from fans on Twitter have primarily been positive, besides the gripe of the album’s limited release.