June might have had a significant number of verses from Young Thug, Travis Scott, 2 Chainz, Big Boi, Vince Staples, Nas, Nicki Minaj, Future, and all of the features on DJ Khaled’s Gratefulbut it was relief pitcher, Jay-Z, who proved his title as King of Rap with a late month release of his thirteenth studio record, 4:44. 

The title-track from 4:44, is the “crux of the album,” according to Jay. “I woke up, literally, at 4:44 in the morning to write this song,” he said in an interview with iHeart Radio. The verse acts as a Lemonade-response record, touching on Jay apologizing to not only Beyonce but to Blue, as well as a vow to be a better man ever since they started dating back when they were in their early twenties.

“I told him that’s the best song he’s ever written,” said producer No I.D. for an interview with The New York Times, “everything it covers about being a man, being in a relationship, being a father, how you affect your kids. These things don’t really get touched on in music, especially in hip-hop.”

Read the lyrics below via Genius, watch the video, and listen via TIDAL:

[Jay-Z – “4:44” 1st Verse]
Look, I apologize, often womanize
Took for my child to be born
See through a woman’s eyes
Took for these natural twins to believe in miracles
Took me too long for this song
I don’t deserve you
I harass you out in Paris
“Please come back to Rome,” you make it home
We talked for hours when you were on tour
“Please pick up the phone, pick up the phone”
Said, “Don’t embarrass me,” instead of “Be mine”
That was my proposal for us to go steady
That was your 21st birthday
You mature faster than me, I wasn’t ready
So I apologize
I seen the innocence leave your eyes
I still mourn this death and
I apologize for all the stillborns
‘Cause I wasn’t present, your body wouldn’t accept it
I apologize to all the women whom I
Toyed with your emotions because I was emotionless
And I apologize ’cause at your best you are love
And because I fall short of what I say I’m all about
Your eyes leave with the soul that your body once housed
And you stare blankly into space
Thinkin’ of all the time, you wasted it on all this basic shit
So I apologize

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