1. Let’s get right into it, Jay-Z aka Shawn Carter aka HOV! released his 13th studio album 4:44 today via Tidal and I LOVE IT! I definitely prefer this over Magna Carta which wasn’t a bad album in my opinion. He wrote the title track at 4:44am one morning and I strongly believe that it’s one of his most introspective and honest tracks to date. It’s exactly the kind of material that I expected to hear from a 47 year old rapper that’s not trying to emulate this new class of mumble mouth rappers. He’s still as witty and as sharp as ever. My favorite tracks thus far are: “4:44”, “Family Feud”, “The Story of O.J.”, “Kill Jay-Z”, “Bam”, “Smile”, and “Moonlight”. I know that’s like 80 percent of the album but what I can say, I really enjoy what I’ve heard thus far. NO ID, Chi-town’s LEGENDARY producer did a fantastic job with the production on this album. I won’t create a think piece on this project as of yet; 4:44 needs to breathe a bit. Last but not least, the Eric Benet jab on “Kill Jay-Z” is hilarious! “You almost went Eric Benét
/Let the baddest girl in the world get away/I don’t even know what else to say
Nigga, never go Eric Benét !” The fact that Eric responded earlier this morning made it even funnier. For those that don’t know Eric Benet was married to Halle Berry but that ended due copious amounts of infidelity on his part. Shit happens.
2. For the longest time, I avoided signing up with Tidal. I cold fronted on the streaming service when it first came out because I already had Apple Music and I refused to be caught up in all of the hoopla at the time. Hov’s 4:44 album was the perfect incentive to join plus a free trial period and that seemed like too good of a deal to ignore. I’m going to keep the service because I am becoming more and more of a proponent of supporting black businesses. I mean I always have (my barbershop is black as fuck!) but in terms of what I invest my money in should help to benefit those in the community in which I live. I harken back to the words said in Malcolm X’s “Ballot or the Bullet” speech where he discussed the importance of our financial independence. The power of the black dollar carries weight just ask your favorite sneaker brands and other companies that we’ve popularized within the culture.
3. I’m still trying to process the death of Prodigy. I never met him nor did we have friends in common but it still, for some strange reason, hit close to home. Health is wealth. I’ve lost a few family members this year and as much as I try to comprehend the meaning of it all, there’s a fog there that I can’t quite decipher but whatever I’d rather focus more on living anyway.
4. Life right now is an open field and I’m walking on a path. Do I know where I’m going? Not even the slightest idea but I know that wherever I end up is where I’m supposed to be. Optimism…