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#444 Feels Like Home

4:44 feels like home. This album is more Detroit than any other Jay-Z album. With references to Anita Baker and samples from Stevie Wonder and The Clark Sisters the vibe is infectious. There’s even a song title that flips Marvin Gaye’s Mercy, Mercy, Me. Maybe Hov drew inspiration while here with B last summer.

The title track talks about being emotionally unavailable. The song also speaks on the shame of another woman having something over his wife because of him. Brilliant sample choice “Late Nights and Heartbreak” by Hannah Williams and the Affirmations. Producer No ID takes the most soulful part of the song and also the refrain “I’m never gonna treat you like I should.” It’s vulnerable, apologetic and raw.

4:44 is socially conscious and hella relevant. Our generation came after the civil rights movement and suffered the missteps of The Black Panther Party. Our leaders became the Public Enemies, KRS-Ones, Tupacs, Nas, the Kendricks and yes even the Jay-Zs. “Forget a slice of the pie. I need my own cake.” Maybe this spark can light a flame under the leaders of the new school.

I’m thoroughly convinced without some lemonade and a seat at the table, the clock breaks before 4:44. Jay flows on generational wealth, investments, supporting black business and building a black society that is self-sufficient “The Negro Leagues.” You’ve come a long way from Reasonable Doubt. The student has become the teacher. Pay attention to the master class.


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