4:44 is not a new Jay Z album, but it still might be worth all that sneaky, world-dominating Tidal advertising hype, because it's actually an NC-17–rated film starring 2017 Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali, 2014 Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong'o and four-time Emmy nominee Danny Glover.
The reveal was made with a black-and-white teaser during Wednesday night's NBA Finals game. Recall that Jay Z surprise-announced his last album, Magna Carta... Holy Grail—a Sprint partnership like 4:44—as during the 2013 NBA Finals.
"In January, Sprint acquired a 33 percent stake in Tidal, and with the investment the wireless carrier said it will offer exclusive Tidal content available only to Sprint customers," Variety reports.
Those performers are crazy gets for what might be an exclusive for Sprint customers (4:44 is, definitely, being presented "exclusively on sprint.tidal.com." Ali was one of last year's biggest actors, appearing in Hidden Figures, Moonlight, Luke Cage and more. Nyong'o has only appeared in person in two films since 2013's 12 Years a Slave—and she remains a power player, with more Star Wars action coming up, plus Marvel's Black Panther. Glover, 70 now, isn't starring in the most crucial projects in the world, but is hella busy, having done about a dozen films and TV shows in 2016 and lined up his 2017 slate more prolifically than almost any actor going.
Hear the Back of the Class podcast talk about Sprint's big Tidal buy: