JAY-Z has released a snippet for “Adnis,” a single from his upcoming new album 4:44.
It’s been a busy few weeks for the legendary hip-hop artist, who has posted billboards in Time Square featuring only the mysterious “4:44,” a recent name change from Jay Z to JAY-Z, and the birth of his twins with wife Beyonce.
Now the artist has partnered with Sprint and dropped a 30-second clip of his new single “Adnis,” which can be found below.
The black-and-white video clip features Academy Award-winning actor Mahershala Ali and Hollywood legend Danny Glover. Ali is striking a punching bag in the video, and he’s wearing hand wraps with boxing shorts while Glover is seemingly acting as his coach. The clip is from the film also titled “4:44,” which will be released along with the album and also feature Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o.
This video coinciding with the haunting vocal melody, ghostly piano, and minimalistic snare carries into a verse from a more personal JAY-Z.
“Letter to my dad that I never wrote, speeches I prepared that I never spoke, words on the paper that I never read. Prose is never penned, they stayed in my head.”
The title is a reference to his father, Adnis Reeves, who left his family when Sean Carter was still a child. This was documented in JAY-Z’s 2003 The Black Album, which was meant to serve his as retirement from the hip-hop world.
He mentions his father in his song “December 4th,” stating, “I was conceived by Gloria Carter and Adnis Reeves who made love under the sycamore tree which makes a more sicker MC…”
The song continues to tell the story of his youth and how his father leaving him affected his upbringing with lyricism like, “Now, I’m just scratching the surface ’cause what’s buried under there was a kid torn apart once his pops disappeared.”
An album that utilized the insecurities of his life and the genuine devastation of not having his father around created thoughtful, autobiographical material, garnering both critical and commercial success. It’s an album that gave his personal demons the spotlight while still celebrating the fruits of his successful rap career.
The “Adnis” snippet seems to play into these similar themes which could construct something more reflective of JAY-Z’s own internal struggles.
The album will be released on June 30 exclusively through the music streaming platform Tidal.