Jay Z to release new album teased in Tidal clip » Manila Bulletin Entertainment

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Rap mogul Jay Z will release his latest album at the end of this month, the Tidal music streaming service said Monday, confirming weeks of rumors that the artist was preparing a new project.

The album, titled “4:44”, will be available on June 30 exclusively to Tidal subscribers and to customers of Sprint, the telecom giant that bought a one-third stake in the music streaming platform earlier this year.

Jay Z’s new album will be the rapper’s first since ‘Magna Carta Holy Grail’ in 2013 | AFP | Manila Bulletin

The announcement comes on the heels of highly anticipated reports that Jay Z’s pop diva wife Beyonce recently gave birth to twins, making their superstar family a party of five.

A 30-second trailer released late Sunday featuring lyrics from the rapper hinted at the prospect of an album — which was then confirmed just after midnight by Tidal and Sprint.

“Jay Z is a global icon and we’re giving customers an incredible opportunity to be among the first to experience his new album 4:44,” Sprint chief executive Marcelo Claure said in a statement.

Enigmatic promotion efforts began appearing for the project this month when cryptic banners reading “4:44” popped up online and in New York’s Times Square.

The signs turned out to be advertisements for a mysterious film available on Tidal featuring the actors Mahershala Ali, Lupita Nyong’o and Danny Glover, for which a black-and-white trailer featuring Ali as a boxer was later rolled out.

The latest clip includes similar visuals and the same soulful electronic score — and this time closes with four lines from Jay Z.

The album will be the rapper’s first since 2013’s “Magna Carta Holy Grail.”

Though fans now have a release date, it remains unclear whether the album and film will be separate entities or a visual album akin to the conceptual “Lemonade” that Beyonce put out last year.

That intricate project was first released exclusively via Tidal before being offered on Apple’s iTunes.

Jay Z bought Tidal in 2014 from Aspiro, a Norwegian company whose shares are listed in Sweden, and has tried to make it the preferred platform for music afficionados through exclusives, original video content and high-quality audio.

But even with the rapid growth worldwide in streaming, Tidal has struggled and remains a small player in a market dominated by Sweden’s Spotify.

Sprint’s purchase of the Tidal stake for an estimated $200 million surprised many industry watchers, some of whom had doubted the service’s long-term health.

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