The pair’s friendship seems to have grown strained in recent years, with West criticising Jay on stage late last year, claiming that his former friend hadn’t called him since his wife Kim Kardashian was the victim of an armed robbery in Paris. Kanye also alleged that Jay-Z had the power to put a hit out on him.
Now Jay appears to have struck back in this new track, which sees him rap:
“You walkin’ around like you invincible
You dropped outta school, you lost your principles
I know people backstab you, I felt bad too
But this ‘fuck everybody’ attitude ain’t natural
But you ain’t a Saint, this ain’t KumbaYe
But you got hurt because you did cool by ‘Ye
You gave him 20 million without blinkin’
He gave you 20 minutes on stage, fuck was he thinkin’?
“Fuck wrong with everybody?” is what you sayin’
But if everybody’s crazy, you’re the one that’s insane”
Fans have speculated that the lines contain several references to Kanye, notably his nickname Ye, a nod to his album ‘College Dropout’ and the name of his son, Saint.
In a recent interview with iHeart Radio, Jay said the song is about “killing off the ego, so we can have this conversation in a place of vulnerability and honesty”.
‘4:44’ is out on Tidal and now and features a response to Beyonce’s ‘Lemonade’ as well as a Frank Ocean collaboration.
It is rumoured that the album will arrive on various other streaming services next week.