What is the Meaning of Jay-Z’s 4:44?
The 2017 album 4:44 by Jay-Z has been on everybody’s lips, with its deep and reflective lyricism shrouded in a sense of secrecy as to its hidden symbolism and meanings. The title track, “4:44”, proves to be some of the most poignant lyrics of modern times, and has been interpreted by many to be a confessional track exploring the many facets of the rapper’s life.
From the title of the track to its lyrics, the 4:44 track is a masterpiece of discernible enigma that has many people trying to uncover its hidden meaning. But what is the meaning of 4:44 from Jay-Z?
The Meaning Behind 4:44 From Jay-Z
At the heart of the 4:44 track seems to be a confession of past mistakes in Jay-Z’s life. At its most basic level, the title “4:44” may be a reference to the time of day at which a revelation or epiphany was received and the lyrics subsequently written – perhaps somewhere around 4:44 am.
At a deeper level, the 4:44 track may be a confession of how Jay-Z has failed to be the best husband and father that he could be. The lyrics in the track “4:44” draw on themes of infidelity, apology, and repentance. He references his relationship with his wife Beyonce, who previously claimed to have suffered due to Jay-Z’s misbehavior. He apologizes for putting her through such suffering, and vows to be better in the future.
The simplest and most straightforward description of 4:44 would be as a confessional track in which the artist details his current mental state and seeks real redemption from those he has wronged.
The Symbols of 4:44
In addition to the narrative-style lyrics, 4:44 also contains numerous references to deeper meanings.
One highly visible symbol in the track is the number 4 itself. In numerology, 4 is associated with balance, structure, and order. This could be seen as a call to Jay-Z to find a balance between his career and personal life, and to attempt to bring order to his marriage and his family.
The album cover art also contains significant symbolism – a sheep with a single yellow diamond on its forehead, standing alone against a backdrop of deep red and orange hues. The diamond could be seen as a sign of Jay-Z’s wealth, but in the context of the album 4:44 it could also be seen a sign of his own worth, as he attempts to redeem himself through his own hard work and dedication.
Finally, the number 44 could have special meaning for Jay-Z’s relationship with his own father, Adnis. The track is dedicated to Jay-Z’s father, and the number 44 could be seen as a reference to Adnis’ age when he passed away, as well as an indication of Jay-Z’s desire to honor his father and be a better man.
Jay-Z’s 4:44 track is a masterful confessional piece, conveying the rapper’s real-world struggles in a way that resonates deeply with listeners. Along with its narrative-style lyricism, 4:44 also contains powerful symbols of redemption, order, balance, and personal worth that enrich the track and help to drive its message home. Whatever the underlying message, 4:44 is undeniably one of the most reflective and meaningful pieces of rap music to be released in recent times.