By Nicholas Jennings on Friday, 21 July 2017
Category: Reviews

Music Review: Jay-Z - 4:44

Jay-Z resides comfortably in the palace of hip-hop: a groundbreaking rapper and label owner, with 21 Grammy Awards and sales of more than 100 million records to his name. As Beyoncé’s husband, he is also one half of pop’s royal couple. But all has not been well on the homefront, if we’re to believe the superstars’ artistic output. His alleged marital infidelity became grist for Queen Bey’s mill on her hit 2016 album Lemonade. Then there was elevator video footage showing an altercation with sister-in-law Solange. Jay-Z addresses both subjects on his 13th solo album. Confessional and apologetic, it’s an impressive mark of maturation from the man born Shawn Carter. Over samples of Nina Simone and Stevie Wonder and featuring guests like Frank Ocean and Damian Marley, the album embraces vulnerability in a quest for redemption. “Family Feud” features Beyoncé’s vocals, while “Legacy” includes the voice of their daughter Blue Ivy. It all adds up to Jay-Z’s most honest work to date.