Jay Z isn't the kind to tolerate "album news" that's not even remotely album news, so this story could get very officially shot down any minute. That said: There is a big ad reading "4:44" making the rounds—most notably in Times Square, but also on rap websites and beyond.
Speculation is building on other hip-hop sites, Reddit and forums that this heralds Jay Z's 13th album, which could very likely be due soon if only so he has new bars to deliver at all these festivals he's got coming up. (By the way, he's never gone this long between albums. Magna Carta Holy Grail hit four years ago this July.)
Some have traced the 4:44 ad to Tidal, which today released a new song from the always-elusive Roc Nation artist Jay Electronica.
Here are some interesting reactions/clues surfacing on Twitter:
Right. In the NYC Jay St. Subway station, all of the ads were just changed to big signs that only say "4:44", and nothing else.— Kim W. (@LurkingBklynite) June 5, 2017
Saw a casting for a Jay-Z video here in LA. So you know what that mean.....— Stacey Hash (@StaceyHashh) June 2, 2017
The 4:44 has popped up on music sites and the add is sourced and paid for by tidal. Then it's popped up all over NYC the past hour or two. pic.twitter.com/n8x3u2AD9c— 21 Blainer (@Blainer93) June 6, 2017
Four is a big number for the Knowles-Carters. Beyoncé was born Sept. 4; "Shawn Carter was born December 4th, weighing in at 10 pounds, 8 ounces"; he and Bey married on April 4. Tina Lawson's birthday is Jan. 4. The "Ivy" in Blue Ivy is also a homophone for IV, a.k.a four. The queen's fourth album was just called 4.
Oh, now that we think of it: What if this teaser wants us thinking Jay Z's new album is The Blueprint 4? While you're pondering, watch a Blueprint 3–era Jigga x Fuse interview: