99 Domestic Problems and I'm Not Interested In 1

Relationship Drama Can't Be the Most Important Thing About "4:44"

By Hadley Tomicki ·
I like when rappers rap about “running up on them crackers in their city hall.”

I enjoy when hip-hop legends recount getting letters from government officials saying “they were suckers.”

I believe RZA reached a divine paragon of lyricism on the opening verse of “Impossible.”

I don’t like skits wherein obese MCs struggle their way to a grunting orgasm and force us to hear it between their best songs.

Call me particular.

I also don’t like when rappers delve too deeply into their domestic issues. I’m not talking Mom songs. I’m not talking love songs. We need more Mom and love songs.

I’m talking the “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” drama my local newscasters are gibbering on about this morning that you’ll find on Jay-Z’s new album, brought to you by Tidal and Sprint PCS. You have to say that, I think.

In the track “Family Feud,” Jay admits to fucking Becky with the good hair and swears he won’t do it again after a good, hard look in the mirror and being like, “Shit, Hov. Beyonce loves you, fam. Be-yon-ce. Don’t fuck that up. Yup!”

This doesn’t make me want to hear “4:44” anymore than I want to see Jay in Burberry shorts on an astronomically priced bike he’ll only ride once. Or squabbling with his sister-in-law. Or complaining how heavy and bothersome money gets in his pocket.

Or hear Eminem whine about his mother's parenting skills again. Or Puffy pine for JLo. Or listen to a single Drake song about anything.

Relationship gossip isn’t going to be close to whatever mastery may be found within “4:44.” Not with a mind-blowing statement like the “Story of OJ” video to compete next to.

And doesn’t the whole back-and-forth feel suspiciously conflated for intrigue. Is this Melrose Place rap? Couldn’t the couple achieve more by talking in person?

All this said, I’ve yet to hear the whole of “4:44” aside from those two tracks. It very well could be the illest album of all time. But it’s still early on the west coast. And the baby is sleeping. Not to bore you with domestic issues.
Hadley Tomicki

Hadley Tomicki lives in Los Angeles. He is probably going nowhere on the 10 Freeway this very second.

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