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(FILES) This file photo taken on June 29, 2017 shows a New York City bus with an advertisement for Jay-Z’s anticipated new album “4:44" turns a corner in midtown New York City.
Jay-Z’s jaunty anthems made him one of rap’s all-time greats and then, as he amassed a business empire and married fellow superstar Beyonce, he drew an ever thicker curtain over his private life. Releasing an album after a four-year gap, Jay-Z has bared himself like rarely before. He apologizes to Beyonce for cheating and pours out love for his mother whom he reveals to be lesbian, all while taking familiar but timely shots on the politics of race."4:44,” the 13th studio album by the rapper born as Shawn Carter, came out June 30, 2017 as an exclusive on his upstart Tidal streaming service whose new part-owners, telecom provider Sprint, is banking on the release to woo customers.
/ AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARYTIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images

Jay-Z gets personal and deep on new album ‘4:44’

SHARE Jay-Z gets personal and deep on new album ‘4:44’
SHARE Jay-Z gets personal and deep on new album ‘4:44’

NEW YORK (AP) — Jay-Z gets personal and deep on his new album, opening up about his relationship with Beyonce, the elevator fight with Solange and his children.

The icon released “4:44” on Friday, and it quickly became a trending topic online and on social media. On the title track, he apologizes to Beyonce for some of his past decisions.

“You matured faster than me, I wasn’t ready, so I apologize, I seen the innocence leave your eyes, I still mourn this death, I apologize for all the stillborns ’cause I wasn’t present your body wouldn’t accept it,” he said.

On “Kill Jay Z,” the album’s opening track, the rapper addresses the elevator fight from 2014, where Beyonce’s sister was caught attacking the rapper.

“You egged Solange on, knowing all along, all you had to say you was wrong,” Jay-Z raps.

He also muses on the track that he almost “went Eric Benet” by letting “the baddest girl in the world get away.” The line is a reference to R&B singer Eric Benet, who was divorced from actress Halle Berry after he acknowledged cheating on her. Benet responded on Twitter on Friday, writing that his current wife is “the baddest girl in the world.”

In this Nov. 4, 2016, file photo, Jay Z performs in Cleveland. | AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File

In this Nov. 4, 2016, file photo, Jay Z performs in Cleveland. | AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File

Blue Ivy’s voice is heard on the final track, “Legacy,” and Jay-Z discusses his mother, who he says is a lesbian, on the song “Smile.” She closes the track with raw and real words, ending with: “Love who you love, because life isn’t guaranteed, smile.”

“4:44” is Jay-Z’s first since 2013’s “Magna Carta… Holy Grail.” The 47-year-old references his twins on several tracks, though neither he nor Beyonce have officially commented on the births.

Beyonce has writing credit on the song “Family Feud” where Jay-Z raps: “Yeah, I’ll (mess) up a good thing if you let me, let me alone, Becky.” It’s a playoff of “Becky with the good hair” from Beyonce’s hit “Sorry,” from her infamous “Lemonade” album.

Jay-Z also addresses Kanye West on “Kill Jay Z,” saying: “But you ain’t the same, this ain’t kumbaya, but you got hurt because you did cool by ‘Ye, you gave him 20 million without blinking, he gave you 20 minutes onstage, (what) was he thinking?” At concerts on his tour last year, West said his kids and Blue Ivy “ain’t never even played together.” West also said he wanted Jay-Z to call him and “talk to me like a man.”

“4:44” was produced by No I.D., who has worked with Jay-Z, Kanye West, Common and others.

On “Caught Their Eyes,” Jay-Z raps about Prince and said he spoke to The Purple One before he died. The track also features Frank Ocean and was co-written by the R&B singer, while Damian Marley is appears on the song, “Bam.”

MESFIN FEKADU, AP Music Writer

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