JAY-Z uses his freshly-unveiled 4:44 to address many personal and global issues, but he also finds time to discuss his Watch the Throne collaborator Kanye West and their rumored feud.
On the opening track, “Kill Jay Z,” Hova speaks to himself about a variety of topics, including his relationship with Yeezy. “You ain’t a saint,” he raps to himself. “This ain’t ‘Kumba-yay’ / 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’?”
In November, Kanye broke into a now-infamous rant during the Sacramento stop on his ill-fated “Saint Pablo World Tour.” “Jay Z, call me,” he said. “You still ain’t called me. Jay Z, I know you got killers. Please don’t send them at my head. Please call me. Talk to me like a man.”
Just one month before that, West accused Jay of taking him off of Drake’s “Pop Style” because of “some TIDAL-Apple bullshit.” That same night, he added: “I can’t take this shit, bro. Our kids ain’t never even played together.”
This might be why Jay references Kanye’s son Saint with wordplay on the song, as a connector between his stream of consciousness and the Yeezy issue.
Later on the album, Hov arguably references Kanye’s “30 Hours” lyric about hitting the gym for “all chest, no legs” on “Bam.” “Ni**as is skippin’ leg day just to run they mouth,” he raps. “I be skippin’ leg day, I still run the world.”
While those references are on the album, there’s a rumored JAY-Z diss towards Kanye making its rounds that isn’t real. Shortly after the LP dropped, one Twitter user tweeted an invented lyric as if it appeared on the project: “And I never was a fan / My wife a queen not a Kardashian.”
"And I never was a fan…. my wife a Queen not a Kardashian" HOV IS SPAZZING
— Bobby Pendragon (@Voxmaus) June 30, 2017
The fake line picked up steam on Twitter, with close to 1,000 retweets. Others soon copied the lyric as if it were real, typing up their own tweets, and getting even more retweets for it. However, that lyric does not appear on the album.
JAY-Z and Kanye have a long history together, dating back to their collaborative work on The Dynasty: Roc La Familia and The Blueprint, before West launched his solo rap career. Yeezy would later commemorate their bond with “Big Brother,” a song that also celebrated 4:44’s lone producer No I.D. as his mentor.
“A idol in my eyes,” ‘Ye rhymed on the song. “God of the game / Heart of the city / Roc-A-Fella chain / Never be the same / Never be another / Number one, Young Hov / Also my big brother.”
Throughout their careers, JAY and ‘Ye have collaborated on tracks like “Run This Town,” “Monster,” “So Appalled,” “The Joy,” “Never Let Me Down,” and “The Bounce.” In 2011, the duo dropped their joint album Watch the Throne, which spawned hits like “Ni**as in Paris,” “Otis,” and “H.A.M.”