Will this be Jay Z's Lemonade?
Late Sunday night, Sprint released a teaser for the rapper's next project, 4:44, featuring a snippet of a new song titled "Adnis." Jay Z cast Mahershala Ali as a boxer and Danny Glover as a trainer. Set to footage of the actors, the 47-year-old superstar—who just welcomed twins with Beyoncé—raps, "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."
According to the teaser, 4:44 also stars Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o. The project—widely presumed to be a visual album—debuts June 30 via Sprint and TIDAL. It is rated NC-17.
"Today is an exciting day to be a Sprint customer," Marcelo Claure, Sprint's president and CEO, said Sunday. (Sprint took part ownership of TIDAL in January). "Jay Z is a global icon and we're giving customers an incredible opportunity to be among the first to experience his new album."
Existing Sprint customers and people who switch to the service can experience the album exclusively and access a complimentary six-month trial of TIDAL HiFi, Claure said in a statement.
Earlier this month, billboards with the message "4:44" started appearing in New York City, leading fans to speculate about a new project from Jay Z. As part of the U.S. campaign, Sprint and TIDAL have pledged support to the 1Million Project, an educational initiative that will assist 1 million low-income U.S. high school students who are not connected to the internet at home.
Jay Z's last studio album, Magna Carta...Holy Grail, was released on July 10, 2013. In a similar fashion, the rapper debuted his album by partnering with a telecommunications service; Samsung subscribers downloaded the album July 8, four days before the general public could.
The rapper will likely perform his new material during the Made in America Festival in Philadelphia Sept. 2-3, as well as the Meadows Music & Arts Festival in New York City Sept. 15.
Last week, Jay Z was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, becoming the first rapper to achieve the honor. He was unable to attend the event due the birth of his twins, so he took to Twitter to list many of the musicians who've inspired him since his formative years in Brooklyn.