Jay-Z has had a pretty good week.
At least, that’s what one must assume when you receive the blessing of a former President of the United States. History was made for Hova on Thursday when President Barack Obama honored the very first rapper to enjoy the distinction of being inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
And now, it has been announced that the distinguished MC is set to release his 13th studio album at the end of the month.
— Roc Nation (@RocNation) June 19, 2017
Dropping officially on June 30, the album will be released exclusively to Tidal users and Sprint members.
The 4:44 announcement follows a weeks-long cryptic promotional campaign that saw mysterious “4:44” ads appeared around New York City.
New Jay Z album? 4:44. I'M READY. pic.twitter.com/GeE8YIQxEq
— champagneharthi (@thehartho) June 6, 2017
Earlier this month, a Tidal ad premiered during Game 3 of the 2017 NBA Finals featuring Mahershala Ali and Danny Glover training as a snippet of an unreleased Jay-Z track played.
here's the full 4:44 ad that premiered during the #NBAFinals btw..
— TUNE DAY (@theycallmeTUNE) June 8, 2017
The song heard in the ad is apparently called “Adnis” and will be included on 4:44.
In tandem with the album announced, Tidal shared a follow-up ad via Twitter also featuring the new Jay-Z track.
— TIDAL (@TIDALHiFi) June 19, 2017
More recently, filmmaker Chris Black shared hours ago via Twitter that 4:44 will be entirely produced by coveted Midwestern beat-maker No I.D.
New Jay-Z album, 4:44, produced entirely by No I.D.
— Chris 6lack (@TheBlack) June 19, 2017
No I.D.’s production features prominently on Jay-Z’s 2009 album The Blueprint 3—most memorably on the pot-stirring “D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune)” and the Rihanna-guesting “Run This Town.” However, the technical and lyrical craftsmen’s professional relationship stretches back over a decade, dating back to 2002 on “All Around the World” from The Blueprint 2: The Gift & The Curse.
The exclusive production handling from No I.D. comes as a bit of a surprise, given that one of the first indicators of Jay-Z’s new record had been a photo of the rapper in the studio with producer Swizz Beats.
According to XXL, existing Spring customers, along with anyone who switches to Sprint, will have the opportunity to be among the first to exclusively access the album with a complimentary six-month free trial of Tidal HiFi.
It remains to be seen whether or not 4:44 will be made available outside the barricades of Tidal. But considering that, as XXL points out, the only Hova record currently streamable on Spotify is his 2004 R. Kelly duet album, prospects currently look pretty grim.