Jay-Z dropped 4:44, his first album in four years, and the world lost it.
By now, Hov is a certified legend. With over 20 years in the game, Jay-Z has set the standard for two decades.
But it’s not just his bars or his success story from the Marcy Houses of Canarsie that have made him the figurehead he is now.
Jay-Z was one of the first rappers to ever become a business mogul. He took his massive fan base as one of the most popular musicians of all-time and monetized his following, starting his own record company and clothing line.
The Roc-A-Fella founder didn’t just start trends on the music or business side, Jay switched up the look and aesthetic of hip-hop, multiple times.
Who started the big jersey trend? Hov. Who turned rocking t-shirts around their head into a mainstream style? Hov. Who made the “Yankee cap more famous than a Yankee can”? You already know.
But then he shed the baggy clothes and changed it up again.
Maybe all his time in the business world influenced his style, because Hov went button ups just when everyone was catching up with the baggy jerseys and fitteds.
Then he took it to the next level and just started rocking all black suits like a real fuckin’ mogul.
Over the last two decades, Jay-Z has changed what it means, and what it looks like, to be a rapper. He has changed the aesthetic, the attitude, and ways to make money as an MC. I mean there’s a reason dude is worth a reported $810 MILLION.
Maybe his last couple projects weren’t the greatest of all-time, but 4:44 is definitely a renaissance of sorts. It feels like a breath of fresh air as the ATL sound has become hegemonic over the last couple years (not that that’s a bad thing).
Shoutout Hov for real.