Jay-Z Does It Again
For the many music fanatics out there, most may already know about Jay-Z’s new album called “4:44”. Hip hop lovers may also know of Jay-Z’s strategic marketing of limiting the availability of this album to select music platforms.
For the many music fanatics out there, most may already know of Shawn Cory Carter, more popularly known as Jay-Z, and his newest album titled, “4:44.” However, for those who don’t know, Jay-Z is an American rapper who has received 21 Grammy Awards for his music and has sold over 100 million records.
On June 30, 2017, his latest album, “4:44”, was released. As his fourteenth album, “4:44” includes ten songs and features popular singers such as Damian Marley, Beyonc?, and Frank Ocean. Jay-Z states that the album name derived from when he woke up one day at 4:44 and began writing the title track.
He also explains that within his songs lie several messages. The importance of financial security is mainly focused on his song “The Story of OJ” in the album. Jay-Z also mentions how many people will “bootleg” his songs because the album is a streaming-exclusive to Tidal members only. Now what exactly does he mean?
For the first week, the album was released to subscribers from Jay-Z’s streaming platform called Tidal. “4:44” was also released to Sprint customers as part of the Tidal-Sprint Investment Deal. Soon after, however, the album was made available on iTunes Music and Amazon Music.
On the outside, Jay-Z’s decision to include specific media platforms may seem insignificant, but this release strategy was done purposefully. Business Insider speaks upon the “business of music streaming” and how the album’s release could be seen as a way for Jay-Z to capitalize on his own streaming platform. Many fans were left wondering why the widely-known hip hop artist would not release the music to on more popular platforms such as Spotify and Deezer.
However, fans need not worry as Jay-Z has announced that he will be going on a 31-city, “4:44” tour! The major cities include Atlanta, Miami, Chicago, Seattle, Dallas, Brooklyn, and Los Angeles. The tickets have already gone on sale to the general public on July 14th. In general, prices start at around $42.
As for the album itself, “4:44” went unofficially platinum (sold over 1 million copies) in its first week! However, the album did not make the Billboard Top 200 chart as expected because Tidal did not report their streaming numbers to Nielsen Music.This can be a common occurrence, as Kanye West’s “Life of Pablo” did not enter his Billboard charts during its exclusive release in 2016.
Overall, as a hip hop lover myself, I believe that Jay-z once again did a fantastic job on his newest work. Not only does the album confront some of society’s issues, it also highlights the legacy of Shawn Carter (Jay-Z). The 36 minute album highlights how Jay will be remembered and his impact on culture in music and society. Also, the songs include famous features such as Beyonc? and Frank Ocean. So, when you have the chance, pop some earphones in and listen on!
<Noah Won, Chaminade Prep, 11th Grade