Even after more than a dozen plays, it’s still pretty impossible for me to pick a favourite song from 4:44, the lyrical masterpiece JAY-Z dropped last Friday.
I’ve already shared a very personal note on my Instagram page inspired by the “Kill JAY-Z” verses and now that physical copies (CD only for now) of the album are up for pre-order, I am very happy that Stefaan is letting me post the beautiful words he wanted to share on his own IG, here below:
From Stefaan Pauwels:
A lot has been written about the new Hova. But I feel I need to add a lil’ something, too.
Listening to the new JAY-Z album feels important to me, personally, not only because of the music (which is great) and the lyricism (which is top 5 all time level), but also because it helps me fight something I have been struggling with lately.
It helps me fight the horror of discontinuity. The fear that nothing matters, that everything that happens just happens and there is no control, no effect you can really have on reality.
These past months the world has sometimes felt like a Hieronymus Bosch painting, as described by John Berger:
“There is no horizon there. There is no continuity between actions… Everywhere there are surprises and sensations, yet nowhere is there any outcome. Nothing flows through: everything interrupts.”
What 4:44 shows is that even if the world is fragmented, you have the power to get yourself together and make it matter. You can flow through to another state. You can find a horizon for yourself and walk towards it. And maybe, if you’re really really lucky, someone will be waiting for you there, someone who sees where you come from and accepts it, accepts you, all the versions of you because they all matter.
A lot has been said about Jay-Z, but by releasing 4:44, Hova has become the kind of artist that is untouchable to criticism. Because whatever you’re going to say about JAY-Z, it will not be as cutting, as unflinching and as well put as the songs themselves.
Another John Berger quote to end:
“We force art to console us, and we repay it by calling it beautiful.”
4:44 is a beautiful album. Thank you #GOAT.
4:44 will be released on cd on 7/7/17 and Jay’z trusted engineer and close friend Young Guru confirmed it will contain extra tracks, including “Adnis”, the song that was teased on Tidal by way of video a little while ago and that carries the name of Hov’s father.
You can stream and download the album on Tidal or by getting the free try-out.