Jay-Z offers a poignant apology to Beyoncé in the title track of his new album “4:44” (Roc Nation), his first response to the charges of infidelity that his wife levied in last year’s blockbuster “Lemonade.”
“I apologize, often womanize,” he rhymes over a sample from Hannah Williams & The Affirmations’ “Late Nights & Heartbreak.” “Took for my child to be born to see through a woman’s eyes, took for these natural twins to believe in miracles … I don’t deserve you.”
He reveals that his proposal for them to date exclusively was to tell her “Don’t embarrass me,” when she turned 21. “You mature faster than me,” he said. “I wasn’t ready, so I apologize. I’ve seen the innocence leave your eyes.”
Fans thirsty for details about Jay and Bey’s courtship and marriage, which they have meticulously tried to keep private despite being one of the most famous couples in the world, will parse these words and compare them to bits of “Lemonade” and the few things the couple has admitted to in public.
The album “4:44,” released Friday morning exclusively on Tidal, is not really Jay-Z’s answer to “Lemonade.” It addresses many more issues than his personal life, especially black empowerment on the stunning “The Story of O.J.,” which has an equally stunning controversial video.
However, the title track and “Kill Jay-Z” – where he addresses many transgressions, including the video of Beyonce’s sister Solange attacking him in an elevator by saying, “You egged Solange on knowin’ all along all you had to say (was) you was wrong” -- will get the most attention initially. “You almost went Eric Benet,” he rhymes, referring to Halle Berry’s ex-husband, “let the baddest girl in the world get away.”