The cursed “Jay Z” era has ended. Back in 2013, for reasons that nobody ever adequately explained, Jay-Z removed the hyphen in his name. (Maybe he no longer felt confident in his old “Know the shit I don’t write be the illest shit that’s ever been recited in the game / Word to the hyphen in my name” lyric.) But press releases about the Sprint/Tidal-exclusive release of his new album 4:44 this morning spelled Jay’s name a different way: JAY-Z, hyphen restored and now in all caps. Pitchfork has confirmed that the name change is official. The all-caps thing is annoying, but it’s nowhere near as annoying as seeing the space where that hyphen should’ve been.
And in more encouraging news, it’s widely rumored that the old Chicago master No I.D. produced all of 4:44. We’ll find out soon enough; the album arrives 6/30.