Just before midnight on Thursday, Jay-Z dropped 4:44, his first album in four years, exclusively on his streaming service Tidal, and even though it’s been mere hours since the 10 new tracks hit the web, the internet is already fairly certain that the project is a response to Lemonade, in which Bey accused him of cheating on her in the past.
Even though Lemonade seems to conclude with a message of forgiveness and a desire to move on from the past, Jay-Z seems to own up to his alleged cheating.
On the track “4:44,” he raps, “I apologize, our love was one for the ages and I contained us / And if my children knew, I don’t even know what I would do / If they ain’t look at me the same, I would prolly die with all the shame / You did what with who? What good is a ménage à trois when you have a soulmate, you risked that for Blue?”
Jay-Z also makes reference to one “Becky with the good hair,” a mysterious character named on Beyoncé’s “Sorry” who many believe to be the woman Jay-Z was cheating on her with. “I’ll f— up a good thing if you let me / Let me alone, Becky!” he raps on “Family Feud.”
And even that now infamous elevator brawl with his sister-in-law Solange following the 2014 Met Gala gets a shoutout. For those who don’t recall, leaked video footage shows Solange lunging at Jay-Z in the club elevator to The Top of the Standard. The rapper says on his album’s first track “Kill Jay Z,” “You egged Solange on, knowin’ all along all you had to say you was wrong / You almost went Eric Benét, let the baddest girl in the world get away / I didn’t even know what else to say.”
A slew of Twitter users, naturally, have their own theories about 4:44. Some have pointed out similarities in the lyrics on both Jay-Z’s new release and Lemonade, while others have simply applauded the rapper for owning up to his past.
Of course, 4:44 isn’t the only high-profile new release from the Carters. The couple welcomed twins earlier this month.
Beyoncé’s Most Iconic Beauty Moments of All Time
As a member of Destiny’s Child in 1999, Beyoncé embraced a more natural look hair-wise — which made her purple eye shadow and shimmery lipgloss stand out all the more. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
At the 2000 9th Annual MTV Movie Awards, Beyoncé wore her highlighted loose waves with a glossy, mauve lip. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Beyoncé 2001 MTV Movie Awards wears her highlighted blonde locks in tousled waves with a floral hairpiece and a golden smoky eye. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
A look we wish she’d revive — Beyoncé appeared on TRL again in 2002 to promote Austin Powers in Goldmember, showing off the same hair style sported by her character Foxxy Cleopatra. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Beyoncé was glowing at the The Fighting Temptations film premiere in Hollywood in 2003 wearing a sleek, braided up do with a silver smoky eye. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Wearing a low, tousled pony with blunt bangs and a gunmetal smoky eye, Beyoncé attends the 2003 MTV Europe Music Awards. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Loose curls defined the look for all three ladies of Destiny’s Child for their NFL performance before the Patriots vs. Colts game in Foxborough, Massachusetts in 2004. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Though she wasn’t up for any awards in 2005, Beyoncé arrived at the 47th annual Grammy Awards looking like a winner, with a slick updo and a fresh glow. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Beyoncé shows off full, loose curls (much like her Foxxy Cleopatra look, minus the curly bangs) for a BET Awards performance alongside Jay-Z in 2006. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
A winner all around in 2007: A more understated look allows the best accessory, a new Grammy to add to the collection, to speak for itself. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
At the premiere of Cadillac Records in 2008, Beyoncé embraced a classy singer-actress look with another slick up do, this time with a loose pony behind it. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Beyoncé rocked brunette curls at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards with a subtle grey smoky eye and and glossy nude lip. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Flat, ultra-highlighted hair pairs with a more exaggerated winged liner than Beyoncé’s usual look, here at the 52nd annual Grammy Awards in 2010. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Beyoncé bleached her hair even further for the Grammys the following year, in 2011. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Beyoncé went back to bangs in 2012. She paired the look with matte pink lip. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Beyoncé showed off her super short pixie cut in 2013. Photo courtesy of Instagram.
Every year brings another Grammy Awards, and with it, another stellar look from Beyoncé. She rocks yet another variation on the formal ponytail for the event in 2013. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Beachy, tousled waves paired with a taupe smoky eye was Beyoncé’s stunning look at the Costume Institute Gala for the “PUNK: Chaos to Couture” in 2013. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
The singer went short again with faded ombre ends and a vivid makeup look for the Grammys in 2014. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Beyonce’s sultry evening look turned heads at the 2014 Costume Institute Gala as she paired her sleek up do with a maroon lip and an embellished veil. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Beyonce’s sheer Givenchy gown might have been what attracted all the attention at the 2015 Met Gala, but her hair and makeup are equally worthy of attention. A towering, teetering ponytail amps it up, while her makeup stays neutral. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
At the 2016 Super Bowl Halftime Show, Beyonce and her dancers stepped out in Black Panther-esque black catsuits — but her gorgeous ombre curls are equally commanding. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Proving once more that less is more, Beyoncé made a surprise appearance at 2016 58th Grammy Awards wearing a sleek, side-parted low bun with a taupe smoky eye. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Stunning in an adventurous latex Givenchy dress at the 2016 Costume Institute Gala, Beyoncé wore her long blonde locks sleek straight with an exaggerated jade green smoky cat eye. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
The 22-time Grammy winning singer celebrates her latest additions for Best Music Video and Best Urban Contemporary Album wearing a copper smoky eye and matte nude lip. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Beyonce during the 60th Annual GRAMMY Awards at Madison Square Garden on January 28, 2018 in New York City. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Beyonce Knowles performs onstage during the 2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Field on April 21, 2018 in Indio, California. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Beyonce attends the Premiere Of Disney’s “The Lion King” at Dolby Theatre on July 09, 2019 in Hollywood, California. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
See What’s Trending in W Video: