The Most Vital Lessons I Learned From Jay-Z's '4:44'

I'm late on Jay-Z's 4:44 but that's only because I wasn't signed up on Tidal. I already have two music streaming subscriptions. Shout out to Apple Music and Spotify.

Jay-Z released his 14th studio Album this past Friday and honey it is the end all be all as a Hip-Hop Masterpiece with Rhetoric speaking on the role of masculinity, Black love, growth, financial freedom and the state of the Black community. This piece of work engages in the themes of Braggadocio and Conscious rap and on an international level places Hip-Hop as a teacher for Universal Black uplift. (That ain't nothing new though)

Was Jay-Z the first to dabble in the "WOKE" arena? No. Hip-Hop heads get that. However, the growth he shows from 1997 Jay-Z 'Imagery Player' to 2017 Hip-Hop's Crusader is the reason why 4:44 is vital to Hip-Hop's listeners. Jigga is using Hip-Hop as Hip-Hop has always been as a political tool to wake up his community and acknowledge some of the oldest lessons in Black plight. That's why I'm here for it!

Ownership, responsibility, and vulnerability is what makes this album. Although some of Jigga fellow Hip-Hop artists in the industry felt uncomfortable because he spoke his truth, they missed the big picture.

Photo: GIPHY
It's the sign that says: HEY MY DUDE WE NEED TO GET OUR SH*T TOGETHER BECAUSE WE'RE SENDING THE WRONG MESSAGE TO BROKE BLACK FOLKS WHO THINK THAT SPENDING MONEY IS THE WAY WE SAVE IT.

Substance is key! (*How many times have I written a piece that has said this?*)

So, when Jay-Z said "there's a disconnect we don't call money over here"  he didn't mean to act like he's never used the money phone, but that he's lived and learned that, that era is over. So for those who think it is, that's exactly why the disconnect exists.

Some people want to make it clear that they're focused on the bag. Brotha Plies, I ain't mad at cha!



Anywho, here some of the other vital lessons Jay-Z I took from the album:

1. Be able to call out yourself out on your own sh*t. Check yourself if you're having problems with everyone:
But if everybody's crazy, you're the one that's insane

3. It may hurt like hell but, at the end of the day no matter what Black folks do we can't shy away from being Black! There are still people who exist in this world and see us as nothing more than a n*gger.
Light nigga, dark nigga, faux nigga, real nigga
Rich nigga, poor nigga, house nigga, field nigga
Still nigga, still nigga

Don't let #3 go over your head!

I was watching a recent The Breakfast Club interview with Dr. Umar Johnson, although I'm not a big fan of him Dr. Umar dropped a statement that was factual and very relevant to the lesson of financial freedom given  by Jay-Z:

4. Status symbols hinder our prosperity, financial freedom is our only hope.
"When you can't obtain true freedom you surround yourself with the symbols of that freedom."- Dr. Umar Johnson

'The Story of O.J' is hands down the best song on the Album in my opinion.

5. Nobody wins when the family feuds
Pretty self explanatory. And Hip-Hop needs to get its sh*t together.

6. Relationships are NOT, I repeat are NOT perfect. Not even the ones you label as relationship goals.
Stop idolizing people because no one and no relationship is perfect! Oh, and Black women already knew he cheated, so this new revelation the world fell too just goes to prove the Black women and their intuition are the truth.  Now back to the regularly scheduled program.

7. You look so much better when you smile!
So smile and realize the freedom that exist swhen you do!

As of today the Album has reached Platinum status since its release. Is it now fair to say one elevator ride created three of the dopest albums of our time! I feel like there's still so much more to unpack with this piece.

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