AOTY 2017
Jay-Z - 4:44
Critic Score
Based on 24 reviews
2017 Ratings: #62 / 653
Year End Rank: #11
User Score
Based on 295 ratings
2017 Ratings: #130
Your Review


The Telegraph

Jay Z has always been the most grown up of rap stars but on this he reaches new heights. It’s a highly personal work bravely opening up the artist’s very human flaws as an example to others, locating in his own suffering a path towards forgiveness, redemption and, ultimately, a better world.

A.V. Club

4:44 represents a sort of third act for the rapper, a return to earth after a decade-plus of flawed flights of fancy.

The 405

For those who had counted off Jay-Z the rapper, thinking Beyonce's recent renaissance would constitute the artistic future of the Carter clan (this writer included), 4:44 presents a renewed Jay-Z.


‘4:44’ is a deceptively multi-layered listen, revealing more and more to the listener upon multiple listens.


This is Jay-Z walking onto the stage alone, standing contritely in front of the world, and speaking from the heart, revealing himself in order to heal.

There are several JAY-Z albums that are superior in terms of musical creativity, but never has the man behind the Roc chain been more prolific in thought. It’s catharsis on steroids, walking the tightrope between FYI and TMI.
The ‘4:44’ we have at this moment in time is an unexpected highlight from an artist who’s seen and done it all before, a businessman (you can add even more emphasis on the “man” now) who fooled us into believing he had nothing left up his sleeve.

4:44 may lack the Cohiba panache of Jay’s greatest albums, but it’s by far his most thoughtful one.

Pretty Much Amazing

This is a better comeback album than Kingdom Come, and though JAY-Z hadn’t officially retired before 4:44, he might as well have.

Consequence of Sound

Even though it’s only 36 minutes long, 4:44 is the first JAY-Z album where you’re hanging on every single word from start to finish, because the words have about four times as many meanings as they did on any of his dozen solo albums prior.


These heartfelt, confessional apologies are delivered via Jay’s most concise, straightforward album in years. 10 tracks and 36 minutes long, this is a filler-free return to form after 2013’s patchy and bloated ‘Magna Carta Holy Grail’.


There aren't too many MCs from Jay-Z's era who had the opportunity to reach their full potential. In that sense, 4:44 is a refreshing, full-circle moment for hip-hop lovers — and a true pleasure to hear.

Rolling Stone

Jay-Z's unusual vulnerability elevates 4:44 to something more than just a tawdry reality show.


Filled with references to profit and forms of pride granted by birth and earned by hustling, 4:44 nonetheless is an unglamorous set well suited for solitary and reflective late-night listening.

Drowned in Sound

Examined in totality, the emotional vulnerability and naked transparency of 4:44 contrasts heavily with the infallible image JAY-Z has built over two decades. While 4:44 may not be his greatest album, it is a much valued deviation from the norm, a surprising feat considering his kaleidoscopic catalog.

Slant Magazine

Jay-Z made 4:44 with producer No I.D., whose beats luxuriate in burnished soul and jazz samples; combined with the relatively light feature roster and the short running time, this makes for the most focused Jay-Z album since The Blueprint.


While this project falls short of his more seminal offerings, 4:44 is among JAY-Z’s more meaningful bodies of work to date and showcases another dimension of the greatest rapper alive.

The Needle Drop

Mr. Carter kills his ego and spills the beans on his most intimate album yet.


What makes 4:44 powerful is that Jay Z isn’t preaching from a gilded throne: He’s speaking from the position of someone who’s overcome numerous struggles and wants to give others the keys to do the same.

Crack Magazine

The infotainment of 4:44 finds him delivering messages of black empowerment through the lens of commerce, with seminar-quality lessons about credit, spending and generational wealth straight outta the hotel near the airport.

The Line of Best Fit

Even if all of this leaves 4:44 feeling a little musically thin, it’s still a relief not to hear him effectively drowned out by the kitchen sink mess of ideas that was Magna Carta, or the hyper-polish of The Blueprint 3.

The Guardian
What is on offer for the rap fans who simply don’t care about Jay-Z’s personal life? Truthfully, not much.
NOW Magazine

Against all those conditions, 4:44 is intimate, refined and mature – fascinating partly despite its flaws and partly because of them.


More or less, 4:44 sounds like a late career JAY-Z album (because it is,) replete with the total blankness of the man's performance.

Jun 30, 2017
Jay-z, stop trying to make Tidal happen! It's not going to happen!
Jun 30, 2017*
Fuck Tidal.

FAVORITE TRACKS: Kill Jay Z, The Story of OJ, Caught Their Eyes, 4:44, Family Feud & Marcy Me
Jun 30, 2017
Jay Z's "Lemonade." The magna carta of the media frenzy that followed him early last year and provided a nearly flawless album from Beyonce has cultivated a flawed, yet honest approach from the man whose music speaks volumes in repentance and afterthought of his actions.
Jun 30, 2017
Just straight bars over futuristic yet retro New York beats, this album is lyrically flawless and thematically it flows incredibly. Fucking God mc dropped his Illmatic.
Jun 30, 2017
Gonna have to buy Tidal just to hear a new Frank verse, eh?
Track List
  1. Kill Jay Z
  2. The Story of O.J.
  3. Smile (featuring Gloria Carter)
  4. Caught Their Eyes (featuring Frank Ocean)
  5. 4:44
  6. Family Feud
  7. Bam (featuring Damian Marley)
  8. Moonlight
  9. Marcy Me
  10. Legacy

Added on: June 19, 2017