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4 Lessons From Jay Z’s 4:44

Just when we thought no return was needed. Hov came back with symbolic and metaphorical 4:44. The album is entirely produced by No I.D. much like his last album, which came out first exclusively to Samsung users, Jay Z’s new LP is now available exclusively to Sprint users as well as people who have a Tidal subscription. But outside of Jay Z’s impressive phrases and cultural relativism, let’s indulge a little more on this album’s non-traditional marketing and brand strategies.

In the last four years, Jay Z has released two albums, through non-traditional means. While most artists would sign with a record label to release their album right(?) The most successful hip-hop artist of all time, a man worth $810 million, has made deals with a smartphone maker and carrier to cover distribution and promotion. Pay attention readers because I’ve seen a lot of people try to accomplish this tactic and take advantage lol.

Lesson 1: A strategic plan to partner with another business or businesses to mutually grow is a huge tool. A strategic partnership can help you achieve your business goals and grow. Jay Z’s total value of these agreements, which include not just Jay Z’s music but his business is about $220 million. Want to grow your small business or entrepreneurial start-up without spending a pile of money expanding to new locations, manufacturing new products, or hiring a gang of new people/interns? Then its time to find a strategic partner! (There are also other ways besides distribution to promote your partnerships; Affiliate Marketing Partnership, Sponsorship Marketing Partnership and more.) Just make sure you do good business and both partners benefit.

As for the number relationship to the album 4:44, that goes to the very heart of the project. When the new album was first announced, it raised a lot of confusion, but for the fans of both Jay Z and Beyonce, we are very familiar of the numerical significance.

Lesson 2: Symbols are extremely important to the effective entrenchment of your brand. Promotional symbols include various words, phrases, images, characters and other visual depictions or sounds that connect customers to your brand. (I wonder if the couple consult with a numerologist lol) Anyway, the title track, which lasts exactly four minutes and 44 seconds, got its name for a serendipitous reason. During the iHeart Radio interview, Jay explained what happened "'4:44' is a song that I wrote, and it's the crux of the album, (the order of the track is also symbolic) just right in the middle of the album. Woke up, literally, at 4:44 in the morning, 4:44 AM, to write this song. So it became the title of the album and everything. It's the title track because it's such a powerful song, and I just believe one of the best songs I've ever written.” The title track, which is Jay's answer to Beyoncé's Lemonade, is in many ways, the rawest part of the album. Hov delivered!

(Times Square, Simple Promotion & Advertisement)

Figuratively speaking, I get so high off of this type of intelligence! Hearing lines of yet another samples of Nina Simone's voice from "Four Women" rubbing against Jay Z's similar raps as he adds an assertion of unity on the track The Story of O.J — “still nigga.” Jay Z yet agian speaks to a seprated culture about having a plan to push forward.

Lesson 3: Know your audience! The more you know and understand about the background and needs of your audience, the better you can prepare your speech. To optimize your communication, you will need to know not only who your audience is, but also what they need from your communication task. How many of you believe that all cultures are worthy in their own right and are of equal value? How many of you appreciated lines like “Please don’t die over the neighborhood, where your momma renting”, “F**k living rich and dying broke” and other lines explaining the importance of financial freedom as he talks directly at the black community.

Lesson 4: Humanize Your Brand. Your brand needs a human voice, and a personality. Make your brand relatable! Your customers are human. Your partners are human. Your employees are human. Even your social media fans and followers are human. My favorite line is Jay’s conversation with his daughter, urging Blue and the twins to "fund ideas from people who look like we,” and his apology to Beyonce for his past indifelities as a husband. Also him killing off the version of himself/his ego on his very first track where he reveals his vulnerability and honesty.

Sometimes we are afraid to let our human show? But your audience wants to see you, hear you and understand you! They want you to inspire them to connect and engage with you. They want you to help them achieve their goals and objectives. They want relevant content and conversation that makes them think. So tell me, are you doing these things? Are you even thinking about these things for your own brand? You should! Humanizing your brand is a requirement, not an option if you want to survive in business today. Some may say that this is Jay Z’s best album, if so it's probably because he returned with a different approach. He humanized his brand, through a very stratgic lens and metrohirical phrases that touched an entire race.

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