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The Sprint exclusive on “4:44” and Jay-Z’s war on Apple Music

Content Warning: This article contains vulgar language and racially sensitive references.

Jay-Z’s new album, “4:44” is now available to most Tidal subscribers and to Sprint customers, his first in four years. Many critics have framed this release as an apology from the hip hop artist to his wife, Beyoncé, for his affairs and lack of support. But there’s at least one other person that Shawn Carter called out that we’ll take interest in.

In track 3, “Smile,” Jay-Z goes through several stories of adversity and methods of finding positivity in them. Verse 3 in particular brings his story into view and then drops this sequence which we will disclose, courtesy of Genius.

Oh yeah, I was born with a pair
Playin’ for high stakes
Norman Cake, he looked up and out of the Lear
How niggas can’t relate?
Fuck a slice of the apple pie, want my own cake
Chargin’ my own fate
Respect Jimmy Iovine
But he gotta respect the Elohim as a whole new regime
And niggas playin’ for power, huh
So our music is ours
Niggas only own houses
Ours was, “Fuck you, pay me”
Now it’s, “Fuck payin’ me, I pay you
Put the rest away for Blue”
That blood money, I giggle at it
Can’t even support my misses’ habit

Interscope Records founder Jimmy Iovine is working at Apple in support of Apple Music. While Jay-Z might not have problems with a music industry legend, he does have problems with how Infinity Loop wanted to slice into his business.

The company was supposedly in talks to buy out the Carter-owned TIDAL streaming service before a potential deal broke down. Sprint, instead, infused $200 million in equity for a one-third share of the company. Its customers have gotten favors like free six-month trials and this exclusive streaming right lasting also for six months.

TIDAL subscribers who signed up today and afterwards will not have access to the album, partly to prevent any fair weather members from popping up just for “4:44”. iHeartRadio, however, is spinning the album in full to over 160 of its pop, rhythm and urban format stations through until 12:01am July 1.

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About The Author
Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.