OPUS Mag

Far from timid • Caveat Lector

Life Lessons I Took From 4:44

Life Lessons I Took From 4:44

Ever since our favorite rapper JAY-Z dropped his anticipated album 4:44, the Internet streets have been buzzing from left to right. It’s only been out for about two or three weeks and so much has taken place, from all of the album reviews and think pieces to the numerous twitter debates i ran across where most of it was between black men and black women. Not to mention Jay’s album already going platinum and 4:44 tour dates are already up. Even with his twenty plus years in the rap game as a rapper and businessman, I’m still astonished to see Jay shake the world up leaving us in awe. There’s so much to take away from 4:44. So many layers and life lessons to take and there’s probably still more layers in the album that we need to explore since technically the album still brand new.  Here’s some things I personally took from the album that can be put into perspective when it comes to our lives.

4:44 is Therapy Session for Black Men

Listening to 4:44 and seeing all of the responses coming from my peers, it’s safe to say that this album serves as a form of therapy for Black Men. It’s so dope seeing all of us bond and opening the floor to communication about our experiences growing up while handling our emotions. Throughout the years, I’ve seen and learned more that as black men, we haven’t really been taught how to understand and use our emotions. I learned that you could grow up in the toughest of places such as Marcy Projects and get shot at, stabbed, etc. You can experience the wildest stuff ever in your life and not be fazed by it. But when it comes to learning how to love a woman, that’s a whole other ballgame.  Watching the footprints for 4:44 on tidal alone put things into perspective. Depending on the environment, a lot of black men growing up weren’t taught how to be selfless with their loved ones. They weren’t taught how to handle their emotions by speaking up on how they felt, whether it was with feelings over a woman or expressing an emotion such saying they’re mad, or depressed.  Also when it came to being taught about women, the OG’s giving them game either gave them bad advice on how to handle women or never spoke about it at all. This explains why there are so many men walking around on earth acting the way they do. It’s frustrating when i see some of my peers blow certain situations with women because they didn’t know how to properly communicate with them. But at the same time, i understand it takes a lot of time for a man to really open up. Believe me, I still have trouble opening up to the right woman. I love though that as men we can congregate in a safe space to have discussions like this because not only we find out that were all in this same battle but we also help each other grow from discussion. It’s still going to take some time for Men to grow out of this and be more comfortable with expressing themselves but I’m confident that my peers are going to get it together for the sake of breaking the pattern.

Stop Hurting People, especially the ones you love.

I saw a lot of tweets on my twitter timeline regarding the titled song 4:44 where some guys were saying that what they got from How recording 4:44 the song was that it was ok to cheat on your lady because Beyoncé was cheated on and she still stuck through the marriage with him. Even though its twitter and also understanding how people love to make troll tweets, it disturbed me. I mean I’ve been seeing people on twitter timeline justify cheating for all of my times on there. If this what you guys were getting from the album while listening to it, then you need to go back again and listen to the album because you’ve missed the entire point. It’s never been cool at all to cheat on your loved one at all. If you feel like you need to cheat on the person you love, then you don’t need to be with that said person whether boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, etc. Hov wasn’t just opening up to his infidelity for shits and giggles; he opened up and talked about it in order to lets us men know that its cool to creep on the person you love dearly. It’s wrong and can have huge affects on your love one even if she still decides to take you back. And if she does take you back, there’s a chance that same person won’t be the same as they was when y’all first got together. Hurting the person you love really takes a toll on somebody mental. I’ve known of some situations where the person plays responsibility to someone’s depression and doesn’t even know it.  Treat your loved ones with care and respect please and thank you.

A hit dog will Holler

For those who might not understand the saying, the definition of“hit dog,” according to urban dictionary can be described as someone who responds defensively to a general statement, meaning they took it personal. We’ve all been there before when a general statement was made and someone whom you weren’t even speaking ill on takes offense. An the end of Hov’s 2nd verse of “The story of OJ,” he spits:

 “Y'all out here still takin' advances, huh?

Me and my niggas takin' real chances, uh. Y’all on the 'Gram holdin' money to your ear. There's a disconnect, we don't call that money over here, yeah.”

A couple of rappers within days of the album release revealed their displeasures towards that line through social Media, whether it was through direct shots or subliminal. Rappers like Boosie, Future, Young Dolph, and Ralo let it be known to social media that they weren’t fazed by Hov’s lines and were going to continue flexing their money regardless. It’s hilarious to see other rappers let those lyrics get under their skin when in actuality, he wasn’t even dissing. That just showed me they really didn’t listen to what Hov was actually saying. He wasn’t dissing anybody with that line but was rather giving out game for 9.99. Know your Legacy & what you want to leave on earth

How ends off 4:44 with the song “Legacy” where the entirety of the record he is celebrating his family, from where they originally came from to where they’re going to be at in the future. The older you get in life, the more you ask yourself “How do you want to be remembered?” We all have a certain purpose in life. Some of us want to really take over the world and make a difference while others may only just want to live a real comfortable life. I know for myself, I want to leave the best legacy that i can leave on planet earth. I want to make that kind of lasting impression as to where its going to last me until the end of time. I haven’t done a lot of what i wanted to do yet, but I’m very thankful I’m not where i once was last year. Every chance given, I’m working on something that’s going to mean something not only to myself and my readers but to the world as well And when its all said and done, i want to make sure i leave something incredible behind on earth by the time God decides its time to call me home.

Many people don’t really listen to JAY-Z as you think

The one thing that I notice on a plethora of reviews of 4:44 was how everybody was so impressed with how all of sudden Jay’s music was “Refreshingly honest and vulnerable”. Now I can’t front, I was blown away with everything he spoke about on the self-titled track 4:44. But if you’ve really been on the journey with Jay, then you would also realize that Jay’s music has always been “refreshingly honest and vulnerable.” He’s always had the ability to be open and honest about his life in the streets and in the rap game. In hindsight, Jay is doing what Jay usually does. Like my guy Al said, “If Hov's music is all of a sudden "refreshingly honest," what the fuck were his last 12 albums over the last 20 years? A lie?” This right here low-key exposed quite a lot of supposed “Critics and tastemakers” who claimed to be Hov fans or just fans of the music in general. The more you think about it, the more insulting it gets. Jay has always been honest since Day 1 and now all of a sudden he’s “Refreshingly honest”? Do you fools listen to music or do you just skim through it?

"Stick to Sports" - Part 1

"Stick to Sports" - Part 1

Review: The Defiant Ones

Review: The Defiant Ones