“And if my children knew / I don’t even know what I would do / If they ain’t look at me the same / I would probably die with all the shame,” Jay-Z says in song’s closing verse. “‘You did what with who?’ / What good is a ménage à trois when you have a soulmate? / ‘You risked that for Blue?'”
Elsewhere on the track – Jay-Z’s response-of-sorts to Beyoncé’s similarly personal Lemonade – the rapper apologizes for marrying her before he was ready to commit, robbing her of her “innocence” and not being there during crucial moments of their relationship.
“I apologize for all the stillborns / Cause I wasn’t present, your body wouldn’t accept it,” Jay Z said in one especially candid lyric.
“I never wanted another woman to know / Something about me that you didn’t know,” he raps. “I promised, I cried, I couldn’t hold / I suck at love, I think I need a do-over / I will be emotionally available if I invited you over / I stew over what if you over my shit?”
In an interview with iHeartRadio, Jay-Z said of the title track, “‘4:44’ is a song that I wrote, and it’s the crux of the album, just right in the middle of the album. And I 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.”
“I apologize, often womanize / Took for my child to be born to see through a woman’s eyes,” Jay-Z admits in the song’s first verse. “Took for these natural twins to believe in miracles / Took me too long for this song.”