It’s been just over a month since Jay-Z’s 4:44 album landed. Special attention has been paid across the board to the title track, thanks to the fact that it’s a painfully raw apology to Beyoncé for basically everything we heard about on Lemonade. Pay close attention to the lyrics if you want an unflinching look at the weight that comes with deep remorse, regret, and guilt.
Jay told XXL that the track is “the crux of the album, just right in the middle of the album. And I woke up, literally, at 4:44 in the morning, 4:44 AM, to write this song. So it became the title of the album and everything. It’s the title track because it’s such a powerful song, and I just believe one of the best songs I’ve ever written.”
So that’s that, right? We’ve got the song, an amazing video, a response to Lemonade, and an explanation about the title. Done! The End. Only not, because in the age of the internet, this just has to be about a bunch of other stuff too.
Before the album was even released, Twitter was already throwing out theories:
JOHN 4:44 – For Jesus himself had testified that a prophet has no honor in his own hometown
…..read what you may into that.
— Geespin (@geespin) June 6, 2017
What if 4:44 is also an homage to Jay's good friend and the greatest president of our lifetime Barack Obama? 🤔
— Rockstar Relly⚡️✨ (@JerrelXL) June 7, 2017
After the release, one of the first groups to jump in with some extra analysis were numerologists. You can’t blame them really — according to SpiritualPath.com, seeing the number sequence 444 or 4444 repeatedly is a “Cosmic ‘No!'” that “indicates a ‘No’ to absolutely anything” the person seeing it is thinking about at that time. Imagine using number sequences to make decisions every day, then having one of the biggest artists in the world name his album after the sequence that means “No.” You can guarantee that any promotional material for this particular Jay-Z record is wreaking havoc for this particular school of numerologists.
Felicia Bender, “The Practical Numerologist,” has a more positive spin: “There are obvious connections, like Beyoncé’s birthday is on the 4th, his mother’s birthday is on the 4th, his own birthday on the 4th, and he and Beyoncé got married on the 4th.” She continues: “The number 4 carries the energy of structure… The 4 is all about hard work, process, stability, and a certain level of security. Its power resides in envisioning something and creating it from nothing… Where others give up or want the easy way out, the 4 stays late and comes to work early, if you know what I mean.”
And if you think the numerologists sound crazy, just wait until you hear what the illuminati conspiracy theorists had to say on Twitter:
On 4:44 Illuminati Jay Z/Carter raps about ego (devil's sin), being stuck in La La Land, & catching "The Eye" 👁️
4:44 upside down like 66:6 pic.twitter.com/yDLdWuZZdn
— Alex (@locale40th) June 30, 2017
Then there was this tweet, in reference to Jay-Z’s 1996 track “22 Twos”:
Jay Z did 22 2's first. Now 4:44
— KONNYKON-Zeus's Yout (@KONNYKON_) June 30, 2017
Thank you, interwebs, for somehow transporting us from the time on a clock in Jay-Z’s bedroom to ACTUAL SATAN.
Back on Planet Earth (specifically the Meatpacking District of Manhattan), some other folks just noticed that 444 just might have a link to the address of the Standard Hotel. This is significant, since that’s where Solange Knowles physically attacked her brother-in-law in an elevator.
I'm at The Standard where Solange beat Jay-Z's ass in the elevator. THE ADDRESS IS 444. I AM SHOOK pic.twitter.com/ZKtAVxMQiS
— stephen (@stephenossola) July 26, 2017
A quick Google search reveals that The Standard’s actual address is 848 Washington St. Though if we’re clutching at straws, The Shop at The Standard, as well as the hotel’s rooftop bar, Le Bain, is, in fact listed as 444 W. 13th Street. (Wait… 13? Does Taylor Swift have something to do with this too?!)
Let’s face it, not even Beyoncé directly referencing these kinds of conspiracy theories on her track, “Formation” (“Ya’ll haters corny with that Illuminati mess”) could shut them down. And thank goodness for that — this is altogether far too much fun.