The 4:44 promotion mystery made an 180-degree turn as it continued to unravel on Friday, June 16. The project now has a date attached to it but appears to have reverted back to an advertisement associated with Jay-Z, as was originally thought.
Earlier this month billboards and website ADs bewildered observers bearing nothing more than the number 4:44, although, in addition, a few of them read Tidal in small letters. A rumor would start up about the possibility that the music streaming company was hinting at the coming of a new album from the music mogul, especially considering that only a couple of days earlier Swizz Beats had confirmed that they were cooking something up in the studio. Some would go so far as to bend their brains over the significance of the number “4,” pointing out that April 4th is Jay and Bey’s wedding anniversary [a date which they’ve both tattooed on their bodies], and that they were each born on the 4th day of their respective birth months.
The speculation quickly vanished, however during Game 3 of the NBA Finals a commercial screened the number after airing a scene of Mahershala Ali tagging a punching bag held by Danny Glover. “Starring Academy Award Winners Mahershala Ali, Lupita Nyong’o, Danny Glover,” the credits would read, before identifying the scene as part of a Tidal/Sprint project rated NC-17. While no film title nor date of release was given at the time, it was assumed by viewers that 4:44 was, in fact, a cinematic presentation.
That changed on Friday with the appearance of new posters, banners, and flyers that include Jay Z’s name and the date “6.30.17.” And with Jay popping up in Jamaica to do a music video with the likes of Damian Marley and Junior Reid, and Zaytoven dropping hints of a Jiggaman collaboration, fans may very well have Hov’s 13th studio album before long.