How will JAY-Z’s 4:44 album do in the current rap scene?

He’s done it all (and still doing it) – the money, the power, the respect and all to the highest levels possible, but with Hov’ set to drop his 13th album in a landscape so different what will this do to his legacy? 
He’s shown us that he’s able to adapt to most situations and has ridden through many eras of hiphop. The gun era – when 50cent had dropped and was on top of his game everyone wanted to be a gangster rapper. The snap era – when lil Jon and ATL channelled in catchy dance-heavy tracks. Then rap went back to basics seemingly without a dominant format for a few years before trap took over big time, and we’re knee deep in it with ‘Mumble Rap’ right now. 

Of course he’s dropped some great verses in the last two years with Pusha T, Frank Ocean and twice for Khaled but album time for an artist of his calibre is different.

There’s no doubt that the album can be great as everyone probably wants to work with him and he has great friends in the game. As referenced, we believe his immediate motivation is being the first hip-hop billionaire but he can do that by releasing 4 singles then tour off his hype and back catalogue. He must have another motivation based on the vid below. 

All in all, obviously there’s a few ways that this can go but as a genre, rap has never had such a figure. A near-50 year old artist who doesn’t need an album to probably sell out a world tour. A rapper who can no doubt be called the greatest of all time but is alive and importantly, active. Rap has traditionally been a young man’s sport. We’ve never had it. This is uncharted territory. 

All questions and no answers but it’ll be interesting to see how Jay lands this one amongst the Kendricks, J. Cole and Big Seans of the game and also the Young Thugs, Lil Uzi Verts and Yachtys. 

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