As rumors of a new Jay Z album swirled, fans and critics couldn’t help but preemptively compare it to Beyoncé’s sweeping Lemonade: Would Hov’s new material be a response to his spouse’s Grammy-winning 2016 project? Would it be as intimate? While early clues suggested 4:44 would be a movie starring Mahershala Ali, Lupita Nyong’o, and Danny Glover, Jay-Z’s upcoming album, identified as such by Sprint and Tidal’s partnership website, seems to be both a visual album and as deeply personal as Lemonade. To wit, the song featured in the album’s trailer is titled “Adnis,” a reference to Jay Z’s deceased father, suggesting that this isn’t just your average black-and-white, Oscar-recipient-starring boxing movie we’re dealing with. Either way, looks like we’ll all find out in a little less than two weeks.
Update, June 19: According to Billboard, legendary Chicago producer and Capitol Music executive No I.D. produced the entirety of Jay Z’s new album. The two last worked together on 2013’s “Holy Grail,” and have collaborated throughout Hov’s career.