Jay Z’s ‘4:44’ debuts at No. 1, making it his 14th No. 1 on the Billboard 200 Chart
The album was finally made available everywhere after being a week long Tidal exclusive, respectively; it sold 262,000 total copies – 174,000 traditional copies – making it the fourth largest debut of 2017, thus far, behind Kendrick Lamar's Damn (603,000 units), Drake's More Life (505,000) and Ed Sheeran's Divide (451,000). 4:44 debuted at Number One on the Billboard 200 Chart, making it his 14th album to do so (never done before by any Hip-Hop/Rap artist).
Although, the LP received instant platinum status from the RIAA (his 13th), upon its release on June 30, it wasn’t acknowledged by Billboard due to the Tidal and Sprint partnership which saw the latter purchase 1,000,000 digital copies, which were later made available for download on ‘444.tidal.com’ with the promotional code ‘SPRINT’.
However, this is not the first time Jay Z has released an LP in this fashion; back in 2013 he inked a deal with Samsung which saw the technology conglomerate purchase 1,000,000 copies of his album: Magna Carta Holy Grail, which led to Billboard changing its rules to exclude prepaid albums as a form of contribution to chart success.
This being Jay Z’s 14th No. 1 album he sits in second place behind The Beatles with 19, and Bruce Springsteen and Barbra Streisand coming in third place with 11.
Nonetheless, it is important to note that this album is a detailed self-evaluation which presents the growth of a man coming to terms with the mistakes he has so ignorantly made but presented in the most vulnerable state. As for the name; speaking to iHeart, Jay said: “‘4:44’ is a song that I wrote, and it’s the crux of the album, just right in the middle of the album. And I woke up, literally, at 4:44 in the morning, 4:44 AM, to write this song. So it became the title of the album and everything. It’s the title track because it’s such a powerful song, and I just believe one of the best songs I’ve ever written.”