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The Illuminati, Satan, and Numerology: Conspiracy Theories about Jay-Z's '4:44' Are Everywhere

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It's been just over a month since Jay-Z's 4:44 album landed. Special attention has been paid across the board to the title track, thanks to the fact that it's a painfully raw apology to Beyoncé for basically everything we heard about on Lemonade. Pay close attention to the lyrics if you want an unflinching look at the weight that comes with deep remorse, regret, and guilt.

Jay told XXL that the track is "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.”

So that's that, right? We've got the song, an amazing video, a response to Lemonade, and an explanation about the title. Done! The End. Only not, because in the age of the internet, this just has to be about a bunch of other stuff too.

Before the album was even released, Twitter was already throwing out theories. On June 6, 2017, @Geespin posted: "JOHN 4:44 — 'For Jesus himself had testified that a prophet has no honor in his own hometown.' ....read what you may into that." The following day, another user, @JerrelXL, asked: "What if 4:44 is also an homage to Jay's good friend and the greatest president of our lifetime Barack Obama?"


After the album's release, one of the first groups to jump in with some extra analysis were numerologists. You can't blame them really. According to SpiritualPath.com, seeing the number sequence 444 or 4444 repeatedly is a "Cosmic 'No!'" that "indicates a 'No' to absolutely anything" the person is thinking about at their time of seeing it. (Imagine using number sequences to make decisions every single day, then having one of the biggest artists in the world name his album after the sequence that means "No.")

Giant ads for Jay-Z's '4:44' album, like this one on the side of a bus? Not great news for some numerologists.
Giant ads for Jay-Z's '4:44' album? Not great news for some numerologists. (TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)

Felicia Bender, "The Practical Numerologist," has a more positive spin. "There are obvious connections," she says, "like Beyoncé’s birthday is on the 4th, his mother’s birthday is on the 4th, his own birthday on the 4th, and he and Beyoncé got married on the 4th." She continues: "The number 4 carries the energy of structure ... The 4 is all about hard work, process, stability, and a certain level of security. Its power resides in envisioning something and creating it from nothing … Where others give up or want the easy way out, the 4 stays late and comes to work early, if you know what I mean."

And if you think the numerologists sound bananas, just wait until you hear what the illuminati conspiracy theorists had to say on Twitter.

On June 30, 2017, @locale40th pointed out: "On 4:44 Illuminati Jazy Z/Carter raps about ego (devil's sin), being stuck in La La Land, & catching 'The Eye." 4:44 upside down like 66:6.

Then @KONNYKON chimed in with a tweet that referenced Jay-Z's 1996 track "22 Twos." "Jay Z did 22 2's first," it said. "Now 4:44. 222 + 444 = 666 #illuminati."

Thank you, interwebs, for somehow transporting us from the time on a clock in Jay-Z's bedroom to ACTUAL SATAN.

Back on Planet Earth (specifically the Meatpacking District of Manhattan), some other folks just noticed that 444 just might have a link to the address of the Standard Hotel. This is significant, since that's where Solange Knowles physically attacked her brother-in-law in an elevator.

A quick Google search reveals that The Standard's actual address is 848 Washington St. Though if we're clutching at straws, The Shop at The Standard, as well as the hotel's rooftop bar, Le Bain, is, in fact listed as 444 W. 13th Street. (Wait... 13? Does Taylor Swift have something to do with this too?!)

Let's face it, not even Beyoncé directly referencing these kinds of conspiracy theories on her track, "Formation" ("Ya'll haters corny with that Illuminati mess") could shut them down. And thank goodness for that—this is altogether far too much fun.

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