It looks like Jay Z had a busy weekend. First, he became a father to twins, and then he officially announced his 13th solo album, 4:44. The news about the new album was announced via Tidal’s official Twitter account and a press release shortly after midnight on Monday. The album will be officially released right after midnight on June 30 and will be available exclusively to Sprint customers and Tidal subscribers.
For the past couple of weeks, billboard and subway ads in New York City emblazoned with what he now know is the album’s title have been leaving people both intrigued and confused, and both feelings were intensified when Sprint and Tidal ran an ominous ad featuring Lupita Nyong’o, Mahershala Ali, and Danny Glover during the NBA Finals.
Late Sunday night, Jay released another video relating to his new project, which once again featured Ali and Glover and also included a couple of bars from a new track apparently titled “Adnis.”
4:44’s rollout capitalizes on the Tidal and Sprint partnership that was announced back in January, which saw Tidal sell a 33 percent stake in the company to Sprint for $200 million. Earlier in June, Sprint announced that it would be giving its customers six months free access to Tidal. This is the second Jay Z album rollout in a row where the hip-hop mogul has partnered with a mobile company. Back in 2013, Jay partnered with Samsung for the release of his album Magna Carta Holy Grail. That rollout was similar to this in that a trailer was released during the NBA Finals and some Samsung customers were treated to an early release. However, the road to Magna Carta’s release was a rocky one, as the Samsung release was panned as an invasion of privacy and was even subject to an investigation from a private advocacy group.
Hopefully, Jay and Sprint have learned from that mistake.