For Beyonce and Jay Z superfans, it's all but certain that the rapper will finally respond to Queen Bey's Internet-shattering visual album Lemonade this month.
How can they be so sure? Please allow us to explain: For a little over three years now, fans have wondered when the leader of Roc Nation would head back to the studio. He hasn't released an album since 2013's Magna Carta...Holy Grail, but in recent months, Hov has been popping up in hits of major artists. With verses on DJ Khaled’s “Shining” (which also featured Queen Bey), and Frank Ocean and Tyler, The Creator’s “Biking”; he’s gifted us with small snippets of his genius. (Enough to keep everyone interested, I say.)
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This speculation turned into semi-confirmation after Jay Z announced that he will headline his own Made in America Festival this summer in Philadelphia, P.A., Austin City Limits in Austin, T.X., as well as New York City’s own The Meadows Music & Arts Festival. Swizz Beats also posted a cryptic Instagram in early May that further fueled the album rumor fires. However, fans were still left to wonder when exactly this summer they would finally receive the long-awaited return of Jigga. Until now.
Album chatter reignited today after banner ads displaying 4:44 over a pale pinkish background appeared all over the Internet, particularly on popular hip hop and music websites like The Fader, HypeBeast, and Complex. And this week, the same ads have been plastered around NYC in the subways and even made an appearance in Times Square. Meaning, an album is upon us. And it will have something to do with Beyoncé.
Allow us to play detective: The number four plays a huge role in Jay Z and Beyoncé’s relationship. She was born on September 4, 1981, he on December 4, 1969. They were married on April 4, 2008 (eight divided by two is...) and they have a daughter named Ivy, whose name includes the Roman numeral four, which they also have tattooed on their ring fingers as wedding band alternatives. Beyonce released her fourth studio album, simply titled 4, in June 2011. Now, six years later–four years after Jay Z's last studio album–the evidence is mounting that the new album will drop sometime this month.
In the wake of Beyoncé’s Lemonade, which appeared to let fans in on the highs and lows of the couple's highly private relationship, Jay-Z's album could very well be his response. Perhaps it will reveal the rapper’s side of their love story, or it's the Jay and Bey collaboration album we have all been waiting for. Either way, we're setting our alarm for 4:44 tonight.