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Listen to Three Brilliant New ‘4:44’ Bonus Tracks from JAY-Z

“Adnis,” “Blue’s Freestyle/We Family,” and the James Blake-featuring “MaNyfaCedGod” all arrived on Tidal by surprise late Friday night.

by Alex Robert Ross
Jul 29 2017, 11:27am

Photo by Shirlaine Forrest/Redferns via Getty Images.

Four weeks on from the release of his remarkable thirteenth studio album 4:44, JAY-Z has shared three bonus tracks that didn't make the initial cut. "Adnis," "Blue's Freestyle/We Family," and the James Blake-featuring "MaNyfaCedGod" arrived on Tidal late Friday night. For now, they remain exclusive to the streaming service.

"Adnis," a snippet of which accompanied the official announcement of 4:44 six weeks ago, has JAY-Z speaking directly to his father, maintaining the confessional streak that runs through the record. "Letter to my dad that I never wrote / Speeches I prepared that I never spoke / Words on a paper that I never read / Proses never penned, they stayed in my head," he raps over a spare, piano-led beat. "I punted on feelings 'cause you said you was coming / You couldn't kick the habit, I wish you said something / You can't avenge these many sins with your own hands / You wanna make God laugh, just tell him your plans."

"Blue's Freestyle/We Family" marks Blue Ivy Carter's first foray into rap, with the 5-year-old laying down a 40-second intro for her father. "Never seen a ceiling in my whole life," she raps with impressive conviction. "Everything I seen, everything is rotten / Never sit in silence, innocent is Carter / Innocent we seek them." It sets Hov up for a rumination on Afrocentrism with references to Fela Kuti, Muhammad Ali, and cities from Lagos to Havana.

"MaNyfaCedGod" has Hov tying 4:44 up, reminiscing about the last year of his life, and coming out defiant. "Look at all we been through since last August / Skating through the rumors like, "Aw, shit" / Still came back, fucked up the red carpet / Shows how big your heart is." In one of the most vulnerable moments on a deeply introspective record, he raps, "Sexing the pain away / Vacay the pain away / Drinking the pain away / Smoking the pain away." James Blake adds a fragile chorus over a soft piano that sets up one of 4:44's best moments. "I was worried that the way I was would end me up alone," Blake sings in falsetto, before Jay bursts in: "Shit feels so beautiful, don't you agree?"

JAY-Z also released the full-length video for "Adnis," with Mahershala Ali and Danny Glover, alongside the bonus tracks. Watch that here.

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